oasseal.jpg (2698 bytes)

G E N E R A L      S E C R E T A R I A T


I. By decision of the Secretary General, the following provisions are established on the subject indicated above:


1.1 The principal purpose of these provisions is:

(a) To define the policies that should be applied in relation to:

-- Advances;
-- Non-reimbursable technical assistance;
-- Grants

(b) To simplify and consolidate the procedures for authorizing and processing such disbursements.

1.2 OAS Form 328 (2-79) in Annex A summarizes the applications and reports required for advances, non-reimbursable technical assistance, and grants. The provisions of this memorandum are not applicable to the salary advances to staff members since they are not subject to a rendering of accounts.

1.3 All activities for which a disbursement is contemplated should appear in the duly approved Plans of Operations. These provisions apply to all the funds administered by the General Secretariat.


2.1 These provisions complement but do not annul the following regulations:

(a) The General Standards;
(b) The Staff Rules and Operations Manuals;
(c) The Budgetary and Financial Rules and Budgetary and Financial Procedures for activities away from Headquarters;
(d) The Standard Contracting System


3.1 Advances

(a) Disbursements, subject to rendering of accounts, authorized for actions to be taken by staff members or third parties. They consist of:

-- Travel advances, governed by the provisions of the staff Rules (Rule 108.21) and Operations Manual Vol. III (Chapters VIII, XVII, XVIII, and XIX); and

-- Advances for performing an official representation and advances to projects in lieu of direct payments to suppliers when so requested by the project director.

(b) Reporting. Original evidence is to be submitted at the end of the mission or official representation. Additional advances will not be granted when rendering of accounts has been pending for more than 30 days counting from the date on which they should have been presented. Reports are to be submitted on OAS Form 388 (Rev.1, 1-79) set forth in Annex B.

3.2. Non-Reimbursable Technical Assistance

(a) Disbursements made to centers, institutions, universities, and public or private agencies responsible for the execution of projects, in accordance with approved plans of operations, subject to verification that the result for which they have been granted has been achieved through the periodic presentation of a technical report and a financial report indicating the use and disposition of the resources received.

(b) The purpose of non-reimbursable technical assistance is to increase the efficiency and flexibility of the operation of a project; to simplify the administrative procedures, and to grant more authority and responsibility to the directors and/or coordinators of projects in the field.

(c) Non-reimbursable technical assistance will be authorized when the plans of operations of the project allow this type of delivery of funds, on prior recommendation by the responsible technical office, which shall base this recommendation on the nature of the project and on its knowledge of the administrative accounting and auditing procedures in the executing institution.

(d) These shall be carried out through partial disbursements correlated with the stages of advances of the project, in accordance with the plans of operations.

(e) Non-reimbursable technical assistance shall be authorized only to centers, institutions, universities, and public and private agencies. In the case of the projects carried out on an individual basis and not subject to administrative-financial supervision by a center, institution, or public or private agency, the funds may be delivered as advances when the Office of the General Secretariat Away from Headquarters is unable to make direct payment to suppliers at the request of the project.

(f) Disbursements for non-reimbursable technical assistance will take place according to the plans of operations which may permit disbursements:

(i) On predetermined basis, in which case disbursements will be made by the national office or the Office of Financial Services, according to the schedule in the plan and, in the case of consecutive disbursements, upon the receipt of satisfactory technical and financial reports relating to prior disbursements pursuant to paragraph 4.5 b below; or

(ii) Against documentation which justifies the expense.

(g) Financial reporting required for non-reimbursable technical assistance is summary reports certified by an authorized official of the recipient institution, pursuant to the model of OAS Form 388 (Rev 1, 1-79) set forth in Annex B. Receipts for expenses will not be required unless specifically requested for the purpose of auditing accounts.

3.3 Grants

(a) Granted to natural or juridical persons, whether in money or in kind of property owned or purchased by the Organization for a specific purpose or project.

(b) Grants may be made in accordance with a mandate from the General Assembly or one of the Councils; or also:

(i) With the authorization of the General Assembly, when it is a case of a grant of real property of the Organization.

(ii) With written approval by the Secretary General containing the information set forth in Annex C (OAS Form 329, 2-79) or by an Executive or Assistant Secretary, if he has received express delegation of such authority from the Secretary General, provided it is in execution of a regular or special project, with a duly approved plan of operations.

(iii) Grants of OAS inventoried equipment supplied to special projects after such projects have been in operation for a period of time determined by the Secretary General. In those cases, the equipment will be accompanied by a Memorandum of Certification (OAS Form 330, 2-79) as set forth in Annex D, signed by the authorized officials of the Secretariat and the recipient institution. OAS Form 331 (Annex E) listing equipment in question should accompany the Memorandum of Certification.

(c) All grants shall be reported annually to the General Assembly.


4.1 Originating Office

(a) To take the initial decision to process an advance, non-reimbursable technical assistance, or grant since: it is familiar with the objective of the program or project and the nature of the mission or official representation; it is duly informed of the operational circumstances of each project; it has access to information on the legal regulatory requisites of each member State; and possesses the background information related to the project and the approval of its corresponding plan of operations; and

(b) To exercise or authorize the delegation of technical supervision of the project.

4.2 Administrative Services Unit

(a) To process the requests the Unit receives from the originating offices;

(b) To verify all the data and information included in the corresponding forms;

(c) To comply with and verify compliance with all the pertinent regulatory provisions, especially those related to the availability and obligation of funds;

(d) To report monthly to the originating offices on the status of advances pending rendering of accounts;

(e) To suspend advances or disbursements on non-reimbursable technical assistance at the request of the originating offices; and

(f) To request the Office of Financial Services or to authorize the Offices of the General Secretariat Away from Headquarters to disburse advances, non-reimbursable technical assistance, or grants, with specific indication of the conditions under which the disbursement is to be delivered.

4.3 Office of Financial Services

(a) To arrange monthly, in order of antiquity, all the advances pending rendering of accounts;

(b) To report periodically on the status of the authorized advances, disbursements on non-reimbursable technical assistance, and grants;

(c) To bring together all cases of rendering of accounts pending for more than three months, and to determine the follow-up actions to be taken;

(d) To make the disbursements under the actions requested at Headquarters for advances, non-reimbursable technical assistance, and grants; and

(e) To inform the General Assembly of the grants made during each year of the biennium.

4.4 Offices of the General Secretariat Away from Headquarters

(a) To disburse advances for non-reimbursable technical assistance and grants against the signing of the corresponding receipts or appropriate documentation;

(b) Not to disburse advances when there are renderings of accounts that have been pending for more than 30 days, counting from the date by which they should have been presented;

(c) To request of the recipient institutions the rendering of accounts within the time periods established by the General Secretariat;

(d) To receive and transmit to the responsible technical offices the technical reports received from projects;

(e) To review and transmit to the Office of Financial Services the financial reports they receive on advances and non-reimbursable technical assistance;

(f) To withhold advances or disbursements for non-reimbursable technical assistance when the reports required pursuant to paragraph 4.5.b below, have not been received; and

(g) To determine and inform the Office of Financial Services of the external auditing performed on funds delivered by the General Secretariat to centers, institutions, universities, etc.

4.5 Those Responsible, as Appropriate (Directors, Coordinators, National Liaison Agencies and/or the Institutions Executing the Field Projects):

(a) To present and bring up to date, annually, the plan of operations of the project, which should stipulate in detail the activities that will be carried out during each year of the fiscal period;

(b) To present to the responsible technical office in the General Secretariat the technical financial progress reports on the execution of the project in the form and by the date ordered by the General Secretariat (see above paragraphs 3.2.f and 4.4 f);

(c) To adjust the activities of the project to the Letter of Agreement.

II. Annulment or amendment of previous decisions: In view of the nature of this Administrative Memorandum, all its provisions are complementary to and/or regulatory of all the provisions in effect, but do not annul them.

III. Effect: This revision shall take effect on March 1, 1979.



Assistant Secretary for Management


Date: February, 1979