Validation of Timelines

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What is the Timelines' tab of a project? Top

The Timelines tab of a project determines the different assurance mechanisms and requirements that will be applied to the project during its implementation phase. Timelines are set and validated at Budget Clearance stage and are reflected in Annex B of the Grant Agreement.

The Timelines tab includes:

  • Reporting instances :
    • Interim Financial Report
    • Final Financial Report
    • Progress Narrative Report
    • Final Narrative Report​​
  • Monitoring instances:
    • Financial Spot Check (FSC)
    • Field Visit
    • Remote Call
    • Web-based survey
    • Third Party
    • Peer Monitoring
    • Ad hoc visit
The above instances must be created and activated by the HFU for each project through the Timelines Tab of the Project , according to the Partner’s risk level and the project’s characteristics as set by the CBPF’s Operational Modalities.
 
TIMELINES' WORKFLOW 
 
THE TIMELINES AND THE OPERATIONAL MODALITIES (OM) 
The Timelines configuration is based on the Operational Modalities validated by the Advisory Board and inputted in the GMS. To access the Operational Modalities in the GMS, please go to System Setup -> Configuration Setup -> Operation Modality Configuration.
 

 
 
The below screenshot illustrates the Operational Modalities module. Click on [view] of one of the Template lines to access the detailed modalities.
 
The detailed operational modalities list the reporting and monitoring requirements according to the projects’ characteristics.
 

When the HFU opens the Timelines tab of the project’s , the first section, entitled ‘Operation Modality Details’ captures the assurance requirements that will be applied to the project, as entered and saved in the Operational Modality module on GMS. It also indicates the Operational Modality line linked to the project under the green box: Linked OM ID. The first part of the code represents the OM Template Code, and the second part of the code represents the operational modality line inside the template.

If the Operation Modality Details do not show any Linked OM Id to the Timelines, it means that either the duration or the budget of the project are out of range with respect to the CBPF operational modalities. To learn more about this case, please refer to this section of the article.

Users can also hover over the information icon  of this green box to know the title of the Operational Modality template.

The OM ID and the template’s name provided enables the users to check the modality line in the Operation Modality module of GMS (in our case example, the project is linked to OM ID 914 of the Template TUR004 or ‘Operation Modality – Turkey – 2019’).
 
The required instances (disbursement tranches, reporting and monitoring) specified in the OM are captured under the ‘Operation Modality Details’ section of the Timelines’ tab.
 
*Please note, we are currently updating this tab. As of today, only the Progress Narrative report and the monitoring instances are linked this way. 
 
 

 When and How to fill in the Timelines of a project? (Mandatory for and prior to the Generation of a Grant Agreement) Top

To set up and validate the Timelines of a project, the project’s budget must have been approved.
 
Once the project reaches the “Budget Cleared” step of the project’s workflow, go to the project’s page, and click on the [Timelines] Tab.

Timelines task list
You can also directly access the Project’s Timelines tab through the Timelines’ Task list available on your Home Page.

CREATING AN INSTANCE 

User Role: All HFU staff

HFU officers are required to either create or waive the instances based on the OM indicated in the Operation Modality Details section.

To create an instance, go to the relevant instance section, and click on [Add].

Fill in all the fields and click on [save].

Field Description:

  • Report/Monitoring Type: please select the report type you wish to create.
  • Due Date: Please enter the due date for the report/monitoring instance.
  • Active Date: Please enter the date at which the system will send an alert to the Partner/HFU to complete and submit the report/monitoring instance
  • Is Mandatory: Tick this box if the instance is mandatory

Upon saving the instance, if the instance is ticked ‘Is mandatory’, the system will label it ‘OM Compliant’. When the OM Compliant instance is created, the error icon   on the right-hand side of the instance in the Operation Modality Details section disappears.

 

SETTING UP THE DISBURSEMENT TRANCHES 

User Role: all HFU staff.

In the Timelines' tab of the project, the HFU also has to set up the disbursement tranches, as indicated by the Operational Modality applicable to the project. 

You can find a reminder of the percentages of disbursement tranches under the “Operation Modality Details”, in the top section of the Timelines’ tab.

To add a tranche, click on [Add tranche], in the Disbursement tranches section of the Timelines’ tab. After adding all tranches, click on [Save Disbursement Tranches].

 

SUBMITTING THE TIMELINES TO THE FUND MANAGER FOR AUTHORIZATION AND INSERTION OF WAIVERS

When all required instances and disbursement tranches are created in the Timelines tab, HFU officers can send the Timelines to ‘Under Authorization’ by the Fund Manager by clicking on [Send to Under Authorization].

Important note:  If an OM Compliant instance is not necessary or not applicable for any reason, and will not be required from the Partner, it will need a waiver on the GMS. Only the Fund Manager business role can add waivers in the Timelines tab. If a waiver is required, insert a comment in the page for the FM and click on [Send to Under Authorization].

Adding a waiver in the Timelines Top

User Role: Fund Manager only

In the case where an instance is not required or cannot be conducted due to contextual factors (e.g. an area is difficult to access and the monitoring visit is unsafe), it is possible to cancel it by adding a waiver.

*Please note, the Fund Manager is accountable for all waivers saved in the system. Therefore, only the Fund Manager has the system rights to add waivers in the Timelines. To learn more about system rights, please refer to this section of this article.

To provide a reason for not creating an instance (i.e. a waiver), click on [Add] of the red box labelled ‘Provide reason for Non-Compliance’ of the relevant section.

The below pop-up window will appear. Fill in all the fields and click on [Save].

Field Description :

  • Reason for Cancellation: Please select one reason for cancellation from the drop-down list.
  • Comments for cancellation: Please insert your comments and explanation regarding the cancellation of the instance.
  • Upload Supporting documents (optional): Users can upload justification documents if needed.

*Please note, the figure in black inside the yellow square represents the number of waivers saved in this section. 

 GMS Focus: the project has not been linked to any Operational Modality line

If a project is approved with a budget or a duration that exceeds the threshold as defined by the OM, the system will not link the project to any modality line. Fund Managers are requested to provide a waiver, giving the reason why the project’s budget or duration excess has been approved.
To do so, click on [Add] of the red box labelled ‘Provide reason for project Non-Compliance’, at the top of the ‘Operation Modality Details’ section.

Only the Fund Manager business role will be able to see this icon on the system.

Fill in all the fields and click on [Save].

Field Description:

  • Reason for Cancellation: Please select one reason for cancellation from the drop-down list.
  • Comments for cancellation: Please insert your comments and explanation regarding the cancellation of the instance.
  • Upload Supporting documents (optional): Users can upload justification documents if needed.

The saved waiver is indicated by the yellow square at the right-hand side of the section’s title. Once it is saved, the system automatically picks up the most relevant modality line of the Operation Modality Template linked to the project.

Once the Modality line has been linked, the requirements are indicated and HFU officers can create or waive the instances following the method described above.

 

 

Authorizing the TimelinesTop

User Role: FM and Programme Officer business role only

Only the Fund Manager and the Programme Officer Business Roles can authorize the Timelines.

If necessary, the Fund Manager and Programme Officer also have the possibility to send the Timelines back to re-draft by clicking on [Back to Timelines Active].

When the Fund Manager/Programme Officer business Role is ready to authorize the Timelines, they can go to the top of the page. The 'Operation Modality Details' authorization section should be green, and without any error icon. The Fund Manager or Programme Business Role can then confirm and authorize the Timelines.

To authorize the Timelines, the Fund Manager/Programme Officer must tick the box [I confirm and authorize the Operation Modality generated below] and click on [Save].

OR, alternatively, you can click on [Authorize Timelines]. The result will be the same; e.g. the Timelines will be validated in the system.

Managing the Timelines’ instances after validation Top

ACTIVATING AN INSTANCE 

User role: All HFU staff

The Timelines’ reporting and monitoring instances are automatically activated by the system at the date saved in the ‘Active date’ field.
You can also click on [Activate] to activate the instance. This action will override the active date previously saved, and the instance will be active immediately.

Once the report is activated, click on [Save].

EDITING AN INACTIVE INSTANCE'S TYPE AND DATES 

User role: All HFU staff

*Please note, it is not possible to edit the type or active date of an active instance. To do so, the HFU should first deactivate the instance, and only then edit the instance’s type or active date.

You can edit the type, the active and due dates of INACTIVE instances, even if they are labelled OM Compliant.

In the case of an inactive OM Compliant instance, the HFU will only be able to change the type within the same category.

For example, user will be able to change the report type of a “Final Financial Report” to “Category Final Financial Report”. However, user will not be able to change report type from “Final Financial Report” to “Interim Financial Report” as it would cause conflict in the OM.

After editing the instance, do not forget to click on [Save (instance) Timelines].

DEACTIVATING AN INSTANCE 

User role: all HFU staff

HFU staff can deactivate an active instance, even labelled OM Compliant, by clicking on the  icon. By clicking on this icon, all data linked to this active instance will be deleted from the GMS. Please press this button with utmost care as all data saved in this instance will be erased.

Don’t forget to click on the [Save] button of the amended section to save your changes.
*Please note, you cannot deactivate an instance that has been approved.

DELETING AN INSTANCE 

Deleting a non-OM Compliant instance 

User role: all HFU staff

To delete a non-OM Compliant instance, even if it is active, click on the red cross at the right-hand side of the instance’s line.

*Please note that it is not possible to delete an Approved instance.
This action does not require a re-validation of the Timelines.

Do not forget to click on [Save] after deleting the instance. 

Deleting an OM Compliant instance 

User Role: Fund Manager only

The Fund Manager has the possibility to delete an OM Compliant instance, even if active, provided he/she inserts a waiver justifying this action. To do so click on the red cross at the right-hand side of the instance’s line, then add the corresponding waiver and click on [Save].

In this case, the Timelines will need to be re-authorized. Please refer to this section of the article.

*Please note that it is not possible to delete an Approved instance.

Field Description:

  • Reason for Cancellation: Please select one reason for cancellation from the drop-down list.
  • Comments for cancellation: Please insert your comments and explanation regarding the cancellation of the instance.
  • Upload Supporting documents (optional): Users can upload justification documents if needed.

CHANGING THE OM COMPLIANT STATUS OF AN INSTANCE 

User Role: Fund Manager/Programme Officer business roles only

A feature has been introduced on GMS to allow the Fund Manager or Programme Officer business to delete an incorrect instance without necessarily inserting a waiver.
To do so, the Fund Manager or Programme Officer have the possibility to change the OM Compliant status of reports/monitoring instances by ticking and unticking the OM Compliance green check.

*Please note, it is not possible to tick/untick the green checkboxes of approved instances. Only instances that have not yet been approved can be marked/unmarked OM Compliant.
After ticking/unticking the box, click on the [Save] button of the amended section.

Once an instance is no longer OM Compliant, it is possible to delete it without adding a waiver.

Please be aware that if you untick an OM Compliant instance and save the section without adding a new instance, the system will pick up the fact that the Timelines are missing an OM Compliant instance.

Hence, the Timelines will be unauthorized and an error icon will appear in the Operational Modality top section.

In order to fill the OM requirements, you will have to either create a new instance, that would be replacing the unmarked one, OR mark another similar instance as OM Compliant in replacement. Once the Timelines match the Operational modality requirements, the system will automatically re-authorize the Timelines. 

Managing the Timelines’ waivers after validation  Top

EDITING A WAIVER 

User role: Fund Manager/Programme Officer Business roles only

It is possible for the Fund Manager and the Programme Officer business roles to edit the inserted waivers.
To edit a waiver, click on the yellow square near the section’s title. In the pop-up window, click on the edit icon. Edit the information, then click on [Save].

DELETING A WAIVER 

User role: Fund Manager Business role only

To delete a waiver, the Fund Manager must click on the yellow square near the section’s title. In the pop-up window click on the red cross. Then, insert the reason why they wish to delete this waiver, and click on [Confirm].

The system will keep a trace of all deleted waivers. To access the deleted waivers’ history log, click on this gray icon next to the section’s title.

Please be aware that deleting a waiver and saving the section will unauthorize the Timelines and an error icon will appear next to the missing instance type which waiver you just deleted.
In this case, you will be requested to either create the missing instance, or add a new waiver, before re-authorizing the Timelines.

RE-AUTHORIZING THE TIMELINES 

User role: Fund Manager/Programme Officer business roles only

After editing the Timelines, you might need to re-authorize them.

This happens when you delete/remove an OM Compliant instance or a linked waiver. In this case, the system will have automatically shifted the Timelines from ‘Authorized’ status to ‘Under Re-Authorization’.

First, set the Timelines right by creating the missing OM required instances or providing waivers. Then, when the Operation Modality top section is green, and there are no error icons, check whether the Timelines have been re-authorized automatically by the system.

If not, you can tick the ‘I confirm and authorize the Operational Modality generated below’ box, click on [Save], OR click on [Authorize Timelines].

GMS Focus: WHO can do WHAT in the Timelines' tab? 

For accountability reasons, only specific HFU users have full editing rights on this tab.

While any HFU user can create/activate an instance or edit the due dates in the Timelines tab, all actions related to waivers and authorizing the Timelines are restricted to specific GMS Business Roles: Fund Manager and the GMS Programme Officer.

All HFU staff can, at any time in the Timelines tab:

  • Add a new instance;
  • Activate an instance;
  • Edit the due date of an instance;
  • Deactivate an instance;
  • Edit the active date of an instance;
  • Edit the instance type of an instance.

The Fund Manager is accountable for all waivers and Timelines saved in the system.

Therefore, the Fund Manager can, at any time in the Timelines tab, in addition to the basic HFU system rights:

  • Add waivers for missing OM-compliant instances;
  • Delete an OM compliant instance by providing a waiver;
  • Add waivers to the top section if the linked OM line has not been identified by the GMS (in case the duration and/or budget of the project exceeds the maximum set by the operational modalities),
  • Edit or delete a waiver;
  • Mark/Unmark the OM Compliant checkbox of report/monitoring instances;
  • Authorize the Timelines.


The HFU Programme Officer Business Role can, at any time in the Timelines tab, in addition to the HFU basic system rights:

  • Edit a waiver;
  • Mark/Unmark the OM Compliant checkbox of report/monitoring instances;
  • Authorize the Timelines.

Only the Fund Manager and Programme Officer business roles can authorize/re-authorize the Timelines on GMS. 


 

How to Re-Authorize the Timelines in case of a Project Revision? Top

 

When the project undergoes a revision, the Timelines can be impacted, more specifically if it includes a No Cost Extension (NCE).

In order to generate the Grant Agreement Amendment, the Timelines must be verified, and edited if necessary. When the revision is under ‘Grant Agreement Amendment Preparation’, go to the Timelines tab of the project. 

The first thing to do is to check whether the revised duration in the NCE changes the assurances required as per the operational modalities. Refer to the OM Template to see under which modality line the project falls within its new duration.

If you notice that the project now falls under a different modality line and that additional assurances are required, create them in the Timelines tab of the project by clicking on [add].

*Please note, These additional instances will not be labelled OM Compliant at this stage. They will automatically be labelled OM Compliant when the project is overwritten with the revision. Similarly, the modality line linked to the project will be updated in the Timelines tab only when the project is overwritten with the revision.

When all instances have been created, HFU officers can generate the Grant Agreement Amendment and send it for signature.

At the end stage of the revision, when HFU officers click on [Overwrite], the Timelines are automatically updated to the most relevant Operational Modality line under which the revised project falls. It might have changed or stayed the same.

 

In all cases, check the new data in the Timelines tab of the project, and if relevant, verify that the new OM ID corresponds and that additional instances have been labelled OM Compliant. After verification, the Fund Manager can re-authorize the Timelines by ticking the box ‘I confirm and authorize the Operational Modality generated below’ and clicking on [Save].

*Please note, in the case of a No Cost Extension, if the revised duration goes above the duration threshold defined by the Operational Modalities, the Fund Manager is requested to add a waiver at the top section before being able to re-authorize the Timelines.

 

The Timelines’ impact on OCHA Assurance Top

OCHA Assurance Dashboard on GMS is closely linked to the projects’ Timelines, as its data comes directly from the Timelines tab of the project proposals.

The OCHA Assurance Dashboard reminds the users of all the projects’ required instances. It indicates whether these instances have been conducted or not, on time or late, waived or validated.

*Please note, only the Monitoring and FSC sections of the Dashboard indicate the waived instances, which will appear under ‘Monitoring visits not required’and ‘Spot checks visits not required’.