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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
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Customers, peers, other managers, subordinates, and other individuals with whom or for whom an employee may have worked who can provide feedback, from their various perspectives, about an employee's performance during any period of performance currently being evaluated(USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - (Chapters 461, 462).

401(k) Defined Contribution Pension Plan

A pension plan that requires the employer to specify an amount to contribute but does not specify the amount that may be paid as a benefit to the participant(USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 637).

656 Committee

Interagency Federal Energy Policy Committee, the group designated in section 656 of the DOE Organization Act to provide general oversight for interdepartmental FEMP matters. It is chaired by the Under Secretary of DOE and includes the designated Assistant Secretaries or Assistant Administrator of the Department of Defense, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Agriculture, Interior and the U.S. Postal Service and General Services Administration, along with similar level representatives of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Veterans Administration (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 528).


Refers to a family of specifications developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for wireless network technology. 802.11 specifies an over-the-air interface between a wireless client and a base station or between two wireless clients. The range between units can be a few meters to over 450 meters. The IEEE accepted the specification in 1997 (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 545).

A And B Rolls

Negative rolls of motion picture film, usually 16 mm, in which the shots are distributed between two rolls to permit special effect on printing (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 502).

Abolished Position

An SES position which is surplus to the needs of the Agency due to any of the following reasons: (1) lack of work or curtailment of a function, (2) shortage of funds, (3) reorganization, (4) determination that the appointee's position no longer meets the definition for inclusion in the SES because of a change in duties or responsibilities, or (5) another action which results in the elimination or modification of an SES position (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 455).


Use of a Government charge card to buy authorized items, but at terms (e.g., price, quantity) that are excessive, is for a questionable Government need, or both. Examples of such transactions include the purchase of a day planner costing $300 rather than one for $45. allowable refreshments at an excessive cost, and, year-end bulk purchases of computers and electronic equipment for a questionable Government need (USAID Worldwide Purchase Card Program Manual, A Mandatory Reference for ADS Chapter 331).

Academic Training

Includes any program at a college or university leading to a degree (such as an Associate of Arts - Science, Bachelor of Arts - Sciences, Masters of Arts - Sciences, or doctorate). Academic training can also include post-doctoral studies (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 253).

Accelerated Payment Methods

A group of payment methods authorized under the Prompt Payment Act Implementation that, in certain instances, allows payment to be made to vendors prior to the normal 30 day waiting period. Accelerated payments have been expanded to include Fast Pay, payments for invoices under $2,500, payments to small businesses, and payments related to emergencies, and disasters. Accelerated payments may be made to any small business if the Bureau or Mission Director determines that such early payments are necessary (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 630).

Acceptable Level Of Competence

For the Civil Service, an acceptable level of competence means effective performance by an employee of the duties and responsibilities of their assigned position which warrants advancement of the employee's rate of basic pay to the next higher step of the grade of their position (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 462). See 5 CFR Sec. 531.403 (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 471).

Acceptable Performance

Performance that meets an employee's performance measure(s) at the Needs Improvement level (or higher) in the work objective(s) at issue (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 489).


The process of making a record available to an individual who is the subject of the record to inspect in person or by providing a copy of the record by mail (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 509). The ability and opportunity to obtain knowledge of classified information. An individual is considered to have access by being in a place where national security information is kept, processed, handled, or discussed, if the security control measures that are in force do not prevent that person from gaining knowledge of such information (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 562, 566, 567, 568).

Access - Ais

The ability and the means necessary to read, store or retrieve data, communicate with, or make use of any resource of an automated information system (AIS) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 562).

Access Control - Ais

The process of limiting access to the resources of an AIS system only to authorized users, programs, processes, or other AIS systems (computer networks). Synonymous with controlled access, controlled accessibility (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 562).

Access Control - Physical

Security hardware, equipment and procedures designed to limit, control or prevent access to offices through the use of physical barriers, locking hardware, electronic systems and guard forces (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 562).

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