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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
Operating Expense Budget

The Agency's Congressional appropriated funds for administrative support expenditures for a specified fiscal year (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 527).

Operating Expenses (Oe)

Costs related to personnel, other administration costs, rental, and depreciation of fixed assets (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200-203, 548).

Operating Materials And Supplies

Operating materials and supplies consist of tangible personal property to be consumed in normal operations. Examples are computer paper and general office supplies for operating materials and supplies held for use and tents, blankets, cots, and contraceptive materials for operating materials held for future use (source: SFFAS 3) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 629).

Operating Unit

An operating unit is the organizational unit responsible for implementing a foreign assistance program for one or more elements of the Foreign Assistance Framework. The definition includes all USG Agencies implementing any funding from the relevant foreign assistance accounts (the 150 accounts). For USAID, it includes field Missions, regional entities and USAID - Washington offices that expend program funds to achieve Foreign assistance objectives (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200-203).

Operating Units

USAID field Missions, regional entities, and USAID - Washington Offices that expend funds to support Agency program objectives. This definition particularly includes operating units performing the functions of formulating policy, strategic and budgetary planning, achieving results, procurement, personnel management, financial management, and statutory requirements (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200-204, 260, 623).

Operational Controls

Security methods that focus on mechanisms that are primarily implemented and executed by people. {Source: NIST SP 800-18} (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 545).

Operational Costs

That portion of a program's costs that cover personnel and other administrative costs, depreciation of fixed assets, and loan losses (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 219).

Operational Efficiency

The extent to which an organization succeeds in minimizing its operational costs, given the target population with which it is working. Measured by the ratio of the organization's operational costs to the average value of its outstanding portfolio (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 219).

Operational Plan

An Operational Plan provides details on the use of foreign assistance funding for a specific fiscal year. It identifies where, and on what, programs funds will be spent, which USG agencies will manage the funds, and who will implement the programs. A primary objective of the Operational Plan is to ensure coordinated, efficient, and effective use of all USG foreign assistance resources in support of the transformational diplomacy goal and related foreign policy priorities (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200-203).

Operational Self-Sufficiency

A situation in which an organization generates sufficient revenues from clients to cover all of its operational costs (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 219).

Operational Units

USAID missions and organizations at the office level or above that expend program funds to achieve assistance objectives (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 216).

Operational Year Budget

Financial plans for the current fiscal year (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 634).

Operations Policy

Program procedures, rules, and regulations affecting the management of USAID internal systems, including budget, financial management, personnel, procurement, and program operations (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200-203).

Opportunity Costs

In general, the value of a given set of resources in their best alternative use. As applied to a microenterprise development program, refers to the market value of the resources used to carry out that program. In particular, calculating the opportunity costs of a program requires that any funds or other resources received in the form of grants or low-interest loans be evaluated according to what the institution would have had to pay for those funds had it raised them in private financial markets (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 219).

Opportunity Period (Civil Service)

The period during which an employee is given a reasonable time to demonstrate acceptable performance, where the performance had been determined to be unacceptable (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 462). The period during which an employee is given a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate acceptable performance after having job performance in one or more critical elements appraised as unacceptable. Typically, the minimum opportunity period is 30 days (See also ADS 462.4) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 489).

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