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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
Acquisitions Liaison

A designee of each operating unit and contractor or grantee who assists the Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC) Acquisitions Coordinator to capture USAID development experience documentation for the Development Experience System (DEXS) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 540).

Active Collection

The debt is being collected through the use of all appropriate debt collection remedies, including but not limited to, demand letters, credit bureau reporting, offset, garnishment, foreclosure, litigation, and referral to the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) for collection (known as cross-servicing) (TFM - DMS Managing Federal Receivables) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 625).

Active Duty Period

The portion of the RIF notice period in which an employee is in work status (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 454).


An activity is a structured undertaking of limited duration and narrow scope. It mobilizes inputs such as commodities, technical assistance, training or resource transfers in order to produce specific outputs that will contribute to achieving an assistance objective. It is developed through the same administrative analytical and approval processes as a more complex project (See also project) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200-203).

Activity Approval Document

(AAD). A document that approves one or more activities for implementation. An AAD is required prior to obligating funds (See ADS 201.3.6, Activity Planning). - (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200–203).

Activity Manager

Member of an assistance objective (AO) team or subteam who is responsible for the day-to-day management of one or more specific activities. The Activity Manager is selected by the AO Team, and may or may not also have the delegated authorities of a Cognizant Technical Officer (CTO) whose authority to carry out contract management functions are designated by a Contracting or Agreement Officer (See Cognizant Technical Officer - CTO) (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapters 200-203, 306, 591, 592, 621).

Actuarial Reduction

The reduction applied to an annuity if a redeposit is owed and not repaid. The base for reduction is the numeric age factor multiplied by the amount owed (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 494).

Additional Help

An additional help document provides non-mandatory guidance intended to clarify Agency policy and its application contained in the ADS. For example, these may include how-to guidelines and non-mandatory reference material created internally or externally. These documents may repeat policy, but do not contain new policy. Additional help documents are optional reading (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 501).

Additional Project

An economically justified activity is also an activity that is additional. A project is additional if it would not go forward on comparable terms without the support of a DCA guarantee (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 249).

Adequate Quarters

Housing that is comparable to what an employee would occupy in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area, with adjustments for family size and locality abroad (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 535).

Adjusted Return On Operations

The core measure used by USAID to assess the financial sustainability of a microfinance institution. A value of one or greater implies full financial sustainability (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 219).

Adm Usaid

This term refers to USAID administrative messages. These messages are clearly of interest to USAID only such as: Administrative Audit - Purchasing, Contracting Support, Travel, Operating Expenses (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 549).

Administrative Approval

The initial approval of an invoice or voucher received for payment. The approving officer is an employee (normally the CTO) directly concerned with acceptance of the supplies, services, etc. billed. The approval is necessary before the invoice or voucher is certified for payment by the authorized certifying officer, except as may be specifically exempted by USAID (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 630).

Administrative Charges

Additional costs incurred in processing and handling a debt because it has become delinquent. Charges should be based on actual costs incurred or cost analyses that estimate the average of actual additional costs incurred for particular types of debt at similar stages of delinquency. Administrative charges must be accrued and assessed from the date of delinquency (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 625).

Administrative Error

An error due to the failure to follow Agency policies and essential procedures that results in loss of annual leave through no fault of the employee, or an error made on official leave records (USAID Automated Directives System - ADS - Chapter 480).

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