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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
Covered Participant

USAID-financed participant (including in-country) receiving a scholarship, fellowship, or other structured training of more than six hours but only where USAID specifically approves the individual participant. In the case of agreements with Public International Organizations (PIO) covered participant refers only to participants who are specifically designated by USAID (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 206).

Credit Reporting Agency

A credit reporting agency (also called a consumer reporting agency or credit bureau) is any person (or organization). That regularly engages in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer credit reports to third parties (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 625).

Credit Review Board

The Credit Review Board (CRB) is an internal advisory committee reporting to the USAID Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Pursuant to the CRB Charter, the CRB has the responsibility to recommend, for the CFO's final determination, the credit subsidy cost of each proposed DCA activity. The Charter further provides that the CRB recommends policies and procedures designed to ensure the financial soundness of all USAID credit programs, including DCA (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 249, 250).

Credit Subsidy - Reserve

In accordance with the Credit Reform Act of 1990, a credit subsidy (i.e a loan loss reserve) must be estimated (under an overall FY appropriation for this purpose) for each Housing Guaranty authorization. OMB Circular No. A-34 (revised annually). outlines the procedures for credit subsidy estimates. For sovereign risk borrowers, the credit subsidy is determined by utilizing an OMB computer software model based on U.S. inter-agency (ICRAS) ratings for country risk. For non-sovereign risk borrowers, the credit subsidy is calculated utilizing a non-sovereign risk software model developed for the Housing Guaranty Program and approved by OMB. This model is based partially on country risk and partially on financial analysis of the borrowers (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 250).

Crediting Plan

A plan containing weighted criteria used to measure the value of a candidate's qualifications (e.g., experience, education, training, honors, awards, and outside activities) against the knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs) and other characteristics required by the vacant or new position (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 418).

Creditor Agency

The Federal agency to which the debt is owed, including a debt collection center when acting on behalf of a creditor agency in matters pertaining to the collection of a debt (source: 5 CFR Part 550) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 625).

Critical Assumption

A general condition under which the development hypothesis or strategy for achieving the objective will hold true. Critical assumptions are outside the control or influence of USAID and its partners (i.e they are not results) but they reflect conditions likely to affect the achievement of results in the Results Framework, such as the level of world prices or the openness of export markets (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200-203).

Critical Element

A work objective that contributes to accomplishing organizational goals and objectives and is of such importance that unacceptable performance would result in unacceptable performance in the position (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 462, 489).

Critical Functions

Agency-level functions that are deemed so important to the survival and continuance of the Agency that they must continue to be performed during the crisis (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 531).

Critical Letter

Critical letters are issued to Rating Officials and Appraisal Committee members by the Performance Boards when a current evaluation is so deficient that the Performance Board's ability to make confident judgments on the employee's competitive standing has been affected, disadvantaging the employee. Critical letters are placed in the Rating Official's and Appraisal Committee members' Performance Evaluation File for two years (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 463).

Critical Threat Post

A posting which is located in a region where local treats such as social, political and natural disaster are (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 545).

Critical-Sensitive Positions

See 3 FAM 695 3-3 (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 408).


The process whereby agencies refer delinquent Federal non-tax debts to FMS for collection. FMS applies a variety of collection tools once agencies refer their debts (TFM - DMS Managing Federal Receivables) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 625).

Cumulative (Multi-Class) Tic Limitation

It is the time period in which the employee must be promoted up through a series of classes to a specified higher class. For example, a career employee has 25 years to be promoted from Class 4 to the Class of Counselor, or the Agency must separate the employee due to expiration of TIC (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 440).

Currently Not Collectible (Cnc) Debt

Debt that has been written off and thereby removed as an active receivable. A record of the account may still be held by the organization unit for possible future offset or collection as well as for future credit prescreening purposes (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 625).

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