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Glossary of Terms Used for USAID's Automated Directives System (ADS) - Updated 07/15/2011 Partial Revision

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Term Definition
Objectivity

Involves two distinct elements, presentation and substance. 1.Objectivity includes whether disseminated information is being presented in an accurate, clear, complete, and unbiased manner. This involves whether the information is presented within a proper context. Sometimes, in disseminating certain types of information to the public, other information must also be disseminated in order to ensure an accurate, clear, complete, and unbiased presentation. Also, the agency needs to identify the sources of the disseminated information (to the extent possible, consistent with confidentiality protections) and, in a scientific or statistical context, the supporting data and models, so that the public can assess for itself whether there may be some reason to question the objectivity of the sources. Where appropriate, supporting data should have full, accurate, transparent documentation, and error sources affecting data quality should be identified and disclosed to users. 2. In addition, objectivity involves a focus on ensuring accurate, reliable, and unbiased information. In a scientific or statistical context, the original or supporting data must be generated, and the analytical results must be developed, using sound statistical and research methods. 1. If the results have been subject to formal, independent, external peer review, the information can generally be considered of acceptable objectivity. 2. In those situations involving influential scientific or statistical information, the results must be capable of being substantially reproduced, if the original or supporting data are independently analyzed using the same models. Reproducibility does not mean that the original or supporting data have to be capable of being replicated through new experiments, samples, or tests. 3. Making the data and models publicly available will assist in determining whether analytical results are capable of being substantially reproduced. However, these guidelines do not alter the otherwise applicable standards and procedures for determining when and how information is disclosed. Thus, the objectivity standard does not override other compelling interests, such as privacy, trade secret, and other confidentiality protections (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 578).

Obligated Balance

The amount of unliquidated obligations applying to an appropriation minus the amount collectible as repayments from other Federal agencies that will be credited to the appropriation or fund as offsetting collections rather than receipts. Amounts that will be credited to receipt amounts will be excluded (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 621).

Obligating Official

USAID officials with the delegated authority to sign obligating documents. This includes the authority to negotiate, execute, amend, and administer agreements obligating USAID funds. The Obligating Official may be an Agreement Officer, Contracting - Agreement Officer, Executive Officer, Assistant Administrator, Deputy Assistant Administrator, or other official (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 603 and 621). USAID officials with the delegated authority to sign obligating documents. This includes the authority to negotiate, execute, amend, and administer agreements obligating USAID funds (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 634).

Obligation

A term of appropriations law that means some action that creates a definite commitment, which creates a legal liability of the government for the payment of funds for specific goods or services ordered or received. It includes a range of transactions, e.g., contracts, grants, loans, guarantees, wages, and travel (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 621).

Obligation Manager

The individual responsible for managing a specific obligation. The Obligation Manager may be the Cognizant Technical Officer, activity manager, assistance objective team leader, executive officer, or other official (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 202, 303, 603, 621, 631).

Observation Tours

Scheduled visits to one or more facilities to learn a process, method, or system through observation and discussion. Observation training emphasizes the acquisition of development ideas, approaches, and values. Participant teams with homogeneous interests and levels of responsibility are often suited for observational training (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 253).

Occupancy Agreement (Oa)

A written agreement that describes the financial terms and conditions under which GSA assigns, and a tenant occupies, GSA-controlled space (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 517).

Occupant Emergency Plan (Oep)

A detailed evacuation program that identifies procedures to be used and identifies building participants to assist in the orderly evacuation of a building during an emergency (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 529).

Occupational Disease Or Illness

A condition produced in the work environment over a period longer than one workday or shift by such factors as systemic infection. repeated stress or strain, or exposure to hazardous elements such as, but not limited to, toxins, poisons, fumes, noise, particulate or radiation, or other continuing conditions of the work environment (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 442).

Office

An organization unit within a Bureau or Mission. a Level II (Bureau-level) or III (Mission-level). organization. An office is responsible for the conduct or management of a program and - or activities that constitute the line function of an organization (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 102, 501).

Office Heads

For the purposes of ADS Chapter 501, an office head is a Supervisor, Division Chief, Director, AA, or someone delegated by the Division Chief, Director, or AA to sign the USAID Directives System Issuance Request form (AID 3-252) and who has oversight authority for the ADS material (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 501).

Office Of The Usaid Representative

An overseas bilateral organization, previously included with the small Missions, that has two or fewer U.S. Direct-Hire employees. The principal officer at such an organization is called the USAID Representative. These organizations have all the characteristics of small Missions and rely on full and full support Missions for many essential services (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 102).

Official Agency Information

For the purposes of this chapter, official Agency information is narrative, graphics, multimedia, or other information that seeks to provide an understanding of Agency goals, objectives, results, operations, or organization above the project-specific level and - or speaks authoritatively on behalf of the Agency or the United States Government (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 557).

Official Development Assistance (Oda)

Grants or loans to countries and territories on Part I of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). List of Aid Recipients (developing countries). That are undertaken by the official sector, with the promotion of economic development and welfare as the main objective, and at concessional financial terms (if a loan has a grant element of at least 25 percent) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 221).

Official Development Assistance (Oda) To Nongovernmental Organizations Ngos

Official funds paid over to national and international non-governmental organizations for use at the latter's discretion. Official funds made available to NGOs for use on behalf of the official sector, in connection with purposes designated by the official sector, or known to and approved by the official sector (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 221).

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