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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Project Oversight

Project oversight, while providing administrative support to participating scientists in implementing their STCU projects, also provides STCU management, auditors, and donor country representatives the opportunity to inquire into the progress and status of any project—from the time a short form is submitted to submission of the final report.

The senior specialist administering any given project works "accompanies" that project throughout its lifetime: from the submission and review of proposals through the submission of the final project report. The senior specialist works with the project manager (or persons on the project team authorized to act on the manager's behalf) in clarifying issues related to the technical portion of the project (including sustainability planning), and is generally considered the first point of contact for any project implementation issue. This primarily concerns tracking the timely submission of the project progress reports (quarterly, technical (phase or stage completion), annual, and final), but also includes reviewing redirection letters before processing by the STCU project accountant or procurement officer.

The project procurement officer reviews and processes letters of redirection and payments related to material & equipment purchases as well as other direct costs.

The project financial accountant reviews and processes overhead and grant-payment (time card) issues.

The travel department processes all travel requests and works closely with the other project officers on travel-related redirection issues.

Project monitoring is an important means by which the STCU, on behalf of the funding parties, monitors and reviews implementation of projects. A senior specialist and financial accountant travel to the institutes or institutes to interview project participants and to check on the status of equipment purchased through a given project. Questions are answered, implementation issues are addressed, feedback is provided to project managers, and a report is written so that STCU management is made aware of any issues—successes as well as shortcomings—that may require follow-up or specific actions. Particular attention is paid to evidence of work-performed in support of the project (recorded in laboratory notebooks) as checked against time cards, progress reports, work plan schedule requirements, and deliverables. Monitoring missions are schedules as follows: six months after the effective start date of a given project and then at one year intervals until the end of the project, whereupon a final monitoring is conducted.