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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
Gao Products

Briefing reports, letter reports, fact sheets, reports with or without recommendations, and testimony (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 593).


Gender is a social construct that refers to relations between and among the sexes, based on their relative roles. It encompasses the economic, political, and socio-cultural attributes, constraints, and opportunities associated with being male or female. As a social construct, gender varies across cultures, is dynamic and open to change over time. Because of the variation in gender across cultures and over time, gender roles should not be assumed but investigated. Note that gender is not interchangeable with women or sex. (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200-203).

Gender Equality

A broad concept and a goal for development. It is achieved when men and women have equal rights, freedoms, conditions, and opportunities for realizing their full potential and for contributing to and benefiting from economic, social, cultural, and political development. It means society values men and women equally for their similarities and the diverse roles they play. It signifies the outcomes that result from gender equity strategies and processes (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200-203).

Gender Equity

The process of being fair to women and men. To ensure fairness, measures must often be available to compensate for historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from otherwise operating on a level playing field. Equity leads to equality (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200-203).

General Accounting Office (Gao)

The legislative branch agency responsible for auditing and evaluating programs, activities, and financial operations of the executive branch (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 593).

General Agreements

Overall agreements with Participating Agencies to establish policy for working relationships with those agencies for the provision of services, but shall not in themselves provide such services, which are provided by implementing PASA's and RSSA's. They are authorized pursuant to Sections 621 (a) and 632 (b) of the FAA. They have been executed with those Federal agencies most often called upon for assistance: the Departments of Agriculture (USDA) Commerce, Health and Human Services (HHS) Interior, and Labor, and the General Services Administration (GSA) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 306).

General Average

A doctrine of marine law applicable to all ocean shipments whereby, when part of a marine cargo or part of the ship is deliberately sacrificed in the interest of saving the whole, owners of the sacrificed portion are entitled to contributions from the owners of the saved portion of the cargo and the ship (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 322).

General Operations

World-wide Federal agency operations, other than building operations, and includes services. production and industrial activities. operation of aircraft, ships, and land vehicles, and operation of Government-owned, contractor-operated plants (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 528).

General Position

An SES position that may be filled by any type of SES appointee (i.e career, non-career, limited term, or limited emergency) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 423).

General Records Schedules (Grs)

A National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) issued schedule governing the disposition of specified records common to several or all agencies (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 502).

General Rif Announcement

An Agency-wide announcement of the need or possible need for a RIF. This general notice contains information on the scope of any RIF, including the number of employees to be released, the competitive levels from which they are to be released, and the probable timing of the RIF as proposed at the time of the Agency's decision (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 454).

General Services

Services provided in the areas of travel, transportation, supply, property, management, procurement, security and housing - office management (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 527).

General Support System (Gss)

An interconnected set of information resources under the same direct management control which share common functionality. A GSS normally includes hardware, software, information, data, applications, communications, and people. A GSS can be, for example, a LAN including smart terminals that supports a branch office, an agency-wide backbone, a communications network, a departmental data processing center including its operating system and utilities, a tactical radio network, or a shared information processing service organization. {Source: NSTISSI No. 1000. cites also OMB A-130} (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 545).

General Transportation

Use of vehicles for over-the-road driving as opposed to vehicles designed for off road conditions, and the use of aircraft and vessels. This category does not include special purpose vehicles such as combat aircraft, construction equipment or mail delivery vehicles (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 528).

Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (Gagas)

The standards, issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, for audit of Government organizations, programs, activities, and functions, and of Government assistance received by contractors, nonprofit organizations, and other nongovernmental organizations (also called Government Auditing Standards (GAS) or U.S. General Accounting Office Yellow Book standards) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 590, 591, 592, 594).

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