This policy document establishes policy and procedures for the performance of STCU project monitorings.
Adequate monitoring of STCU projects is of primary importance to ensure that the goals of the project, as specified in the Project Agreement, are met and more generally that the STCU is actually achieving its main objective, the redirection of weapons of mass destruction scientists and engineers towards peaceful activities.
The Secretariat must be able to provide the Governing Board of the STCU and representatives of the Parties, in a timely manner, with all necessary information on the implementation of a project. Specifically, the tasks assigned to the Project Coordinators and Project Accountants under the guidance of a Deputy Executive Director and the Chief Financial Officer are to oversee the implementation of approved projects, including the technical and financial aspects as called for in Project Agreements; to alert the management of the Center in case of deviations from the Project Agreements; and to provide recommendations for helping to ensure that projects meet their objectives as approved by the Governing Board.
The Center can gain a better perspective on the actual status of the project through different kinds of events which all provide elements for ongoing monitoring. The following are a list of events which allow the Center to monitor its projects:
- On-Site Monitoring - The Project Coordinator, Project Accountant, and/or Deputy Executive Director visit the recipient leading institute and other participating institutes to monitor the project work sites. The remainder of this standard operating procedure is focused on this type of observation event.
- Participation at Scientific Meetings - The Project Coordinator and/or Deputy Executive Director may attend scientific meetings related to the project. They may also be invited to attend internal workshops or meetings of the project. The Project Coordinator can gain a better insight into the project through such meetings, especially when foreign collaborators participate. Project Coordinators will be sure to take note and highlight aspects of these scientific meetings that may be of specific interest by providing a brief summary to be added to the project file.
- Trips Abroad by Project Participants - The Project Coordinator receives information on the status of a project through scientists' travel plans as well as through the ensuing trip report. Especially when trips include visits to foreign collaborators, the trip reports can be usefully complemented by comments solicited from these collaborators. Project Coordinators will be sure to take note and highlight aspects of these trips abroad that may be of specific interest by providing a brief summary to be added to the project file.
- Participation to Auditing/Monitoring Carried Out by the Parties - The STCU staff also participates in auditing/monitoring carried out by the Parties and at the Parties' request. The detailed knowledge the Project Coordinator and Project Accountant have of the project and of its specific environment and the added expertise of auditors/technical experts are expected to complement each other when auditing/monitoring. Therefore, the STCU staff will, as much as possible, accompany the auditors/experts appointed by the Parties in their on-site visits.
- Communication with Foreign Collaborators - Meeting with foreign collaborators at the STCU premises or during on-site visits are generally very useful in bringing new insight into the project. Project Coordinators will be sure to take note and highlight aspects during communications with Foreign Collaborators that may be of specific interest by providing a brief summary to be added to the project file.
- Day-to-Day Communication -The Project Coordinator and Project Accountant have many opportunities to meet with the project manager or key participants of a project, to talk to them on the phone, or to correspond by fax or e-mail. Changes in the Workplan, requests for payments, equipment purchases or trips are all occasions to take stock of the situation of a project.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:
Performance of On-Site Monitoring
- Frequency & Purpose of Monitorings and Composition of Monitoring Team
- Initial Monitoring -The first monitoring of a project should be performed approximately six months after the beginning of the project. The principal purpose of this initial monitoring is to allow STCU the opportunity to ensure that the project has begun appropriately and that any deviations from requirements are corrected early. The monitoring team should consist of the appropriate Project Coordinator and Project Accountant.
- Intermediate Monitoring - Intermediate monitorings will be performed at approximately one-year intervals following the initial monitoring. This will mean that there will be one intermediate monitoring on two-year projects and two intermediate monitorings on three-year projects. The principal purpose of the intermediate monitorings is to allow STCU the opportunity to ensure that the project is continuing appropriately and to allow identification of any situations that need to be corrected prior to the completion of the project. The monitoring team should consist of the appropriate Project Coordinator and Project Accountant.
- Special Circumstances - If, during the life of the project any significant problems arise, additional monitorings may, with the approval of the Executive Director, be performed. Composition of the project team will be determined based on the nature of the special circumstances
- Deputy Executive Director Participation - It is not a requirement for Deputy Executive Directors to attend every monitoring mission, however it is recommended that the DED perform at least one on-site monitoring during a project's lifetime. The Deputy Executive Directors are required to ask each Institute Director(s) if they would be willing to disclose how the Institute(s) utilizes the overhead (i.e. utilities, etc.) provided to the project by the STCU. This question is not required to be answered by the Institute Director(s), and should only be answered on a voluntary basis. This question is required to be asked once during the life of a project
- Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer Participation - It is not a requirement for the Chief Financial Officer / Chief Administrative Officer to attend monitoring missions, however it is recommended that the CFO/ CAO participate in a special circumstances additional monitorings.
- Monitoring Schedule
Monitorings will be scheduled within a 3 month window (45 days before or after) of the monitoring due date -see Point A. above. The Deputy CFO should, to the best of his or her ability, attempt to group together on-site project monitorings for those projects that are located outside of Kyiv. For example, Kharkiv projects that are scheduled to be monitored January 1st, may be scheduled to be monitored together with projects that are scheduled to be monitored on December 1st or February 1st. The grouping of projects outside of Kyiv, will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of Center resources (human and financial).
The monitoring schedule will be prepared on a rolling one year basis (as one month finishes, the next month, twelve months later, will be added). The Deputy CFO will work with the PCs and PAs to present the new month to be added to the CFO/ CAO by the 15th day of the first or current month of the calendar. For example, if the current month is March 2015, the schedule for February 2016 is due by March 15th 2015. Once the monitoring schedule has been issued, the first three months of the schedule are "frozen", and all Project Coordinators should issue letters to the Project Managers to inform them of the date of the monitoring, names of the STCU individuals scheduled to conduct the monitoring (PC, PA, DED, CFO/CAO, etc.), and institutes to be visited. The last nine months of the monitoring schedule are not "frozen", because as new projects are signed they will be scheduled approximately six months (typically within months 6, 7, or 8 of the schedule) after the date of signature.
- Exceptions to the Approved Monitoring Schedule
- Changes at the Request of the Project Manager - Any request to modify the approved monitoring schedule initiated by the Project Manager should be made in writing to the Project Coordinator. Upon receipt, the PC should provide a copy of this request to the responsible PA(s) (the PA scheduled to perform the monitoring and the PA responsible for the project, DED, and CFO). If the change is deemed acceptable, the Deputy CFO will work with the responsible DED, PC, and PA to reschedule the monitoring of the project.
- Changes at the Request of the STCU - Any request to modify the approved monitoring schedule initiated by the STCU (PA, PC, DED, etc.) should only be in extreme circumstances. Situations such as cancelled flights or trains, last minute (the night before the monitoring) occurrences, etc., qualify as extreme circumstances. Unavailability (illness, schedule conflict, etc.) of STCU staff, unless last minute, is not an acceptable reason for rescheduling a monitoring. Substitute PCs (even if the substituted PC is not the PC responsible for the project) and PAs should be named by the responsible DED and CFO whenever possible, in order to complete the monitoring as scheduled.
- Scheduling Projects with Multiple Institutes - Projects with multiple institutes will be scheduled utilizing the following guidelines:
- Lead Institutes -Lead Institutes will always be monitored based on Point A outlined above.
- Lead Institutes in Multiple Countries - Lead Institutes in multiple country projects will always be monitored based on Point A outlined above.
- Restrictions on Participating Institutes - Participating Institutes that do not contain at least 20% of the total budgeted costs (grants, non-labor, and overhead) for the project, and are budgeted to contain less than $30,000 of project costs, will be scheduled for the initial six (6) month monitoring only during the life of the project. The STCU believes that participating institutes that fit this category are not material enough to warrant multiple monitorings. Thus, the STCU will schedule these participating institutes for only the initial six (6) month monitoring, considered to be the most critical monitoring.
This procedure is effective 1 October 2015.
Curtis Bjelajac Executive Director