Global Good Investment Process

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This page will outline the overall process for selected applicants for global good investment(s). As the institution hosting Digital Square, PATH is the prime recipient of Digital Square awards (see grant and contract basics for an introduction to vernacular). Therefore, Digital Square Investments in Global Goods is provided through subawards from PATH (e.g., subagreements or subcontracts for grant or contract type funding, respectively). Due to the collaborative nature of engagement with subawardees, PATH frequently employs a cost-reimbursement payment type in order to allow for more significant modification over the term of the subaward, if required. There are four key phases in the subaward life cycle, as further detailed below.

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Procurement Process

Digital Square will pursue competitive Procurement Processes to facilitate investment in global goods [1]. The funder will work with Digital Square to select the appropriate procurement process. Upon funder or Governing Board selection of successful applicant(s), Digital Square will notify selected applicant(s) to begin the subaward process.

Pre Subaward

Digital Square will assign a technical and operational manager to successful applicant(s). At this time, Digital Square will begin two workstreams: technical and operational.

Technical

The Digital Square technical manager will work with the selected applicant(s) to validate the scope of work for the subagreement or subcontract. Digital Square requires quarterly and final narrative reporting, at a minimum, for subawardees, in addition to endline maturity matrix evaluations. This will be reflected in the deliverable schedule in the scope of work.

Operational

The PATH project administrator will work with the selected applicant(s) to obtain necessary information for contracting depending on the funding type.

Subaward Intake Form

This online form requests information related to contacts, billing, tax information, and financial reporting. It also provides information about PATH’s indirect cost acceptance policy and space to respond to feedback that the evaluation committee would like addressed prior to the finalization of the subaward.

Subrecipient Financial Risk Assessment (Subagreement Only)

The subrecipient must first complete the financial questionnaire and return it to PATH electronically. PATH project administrators will then score the questionnaire and determine areas in need of capacity building to ensure the subrecipient’s success. This process helps Digital Square to deploy the additional Digital Square resources required when granting a subagreement to a particular organization. An organization classified as “High Risk” can still be granted a subagreement but will require higher levels of monitoring and capacity building.

Budget

The PATH project administrator will work with the subawardee to obtain a revised budget and request additional cost-basis validation, as needed. The subawardee must obtain written approval from PATH prior to the execution of any third-tier subaward under a subaward. If the subawardee must pass through funds to another entity in order to accomplish the proposed scope of work, such entities must be named in the budget under the respective subaward or consultant budget categories. With such third-tier subawards, PATH expects that the subawardee will comply with the following:

1.Require each subawardee to agree in writing to comply with the applicable terms of the subagreement.
2. Remain liable for the performance of any work so subawarded. All such subordinate agreements shall be in compliance with the provisions of the subagreement. The subawardee shall not assign any rights or duties hereunder without the prior express written consent of PATH.

Contracting Vehicle

The contracting vehicle will largely be informed by the funder: their expectations out of the technical scope, their contracting vehicle with PATH (either grant or contract), and their preferred solicitation release (e.g., request for application or request for proposal). For more information, please review the grant and contract basics. The most common contracting vehicles are listed here for your information.

Cost Reimbursement
A cost-reimbursable subaward provides payment of actual costs according to financial reports and is validated by supporting receipts. Cost-reimbursement types of subawards provide for payment of allowable incurred costs, where the subawardee establishes an estimate of total cost for the purpose of obligating funds and establishing a ceiling that the subawardee may not exceed (except at its own risk) without approval.
This contracting vehicle allows for greater flexibility in determining a co-created and/or variable scope of work due to environmental, political, and technical realities.
Fixed Firm Price Contract or Fixed-Amount Award
A fixed firm price (FFP) subcontract provides for a price that is not subject to any adjustment on the basis of the subcontractor’s cost experience in performing the subcontract. This contract type places upon the subcontractor maximum risk and full responsibility for all costs and resulting profit or loss. It provides maximum incentive for the subcontractor to control costs and perform effectively, and imposes a minimum administrative burden upon the contracting parties.
A fixed-amount award (FAA) is a subgrant agreement where payment is based on the achievement of milestones, as opposed to the actual costs incurred by the subrecipient. This type of award reduces some of the administrative burden and record-keeping requirements for both the subrecipient and PATH. Accountability is based primarily on performance and results. It is essential that the program scope is specific and that adequate cost, historical, or pricing data are available to establish an FAA with the assurance that the subrecipient will realize no increment above the actual cost. PATH will award an FAA when programmatic accomplishments and results are easily quantified into benchmarks or deliverables.
A fixed-price contracting vehicle provides payment(s) for activities and/or items according to prices/payment amounts negotiated during the pre-award phase on the basis of full budgets with associated cost basis and historical costing/pricing data. Digital Square performs price and cost analyses on all budgets prior to signature (including rate-based labor). Payments are not dependent on actual resources used or time expended; rather, they are based on the discrete delivery of the identified output, regardless of whether it takes more or less resources than expected. This payment type is recommended for a short-term subcontract, where changes to the scope and budget are extremely unlikely. Advances are not allowable and modifications may only address the timeline in the payment and deliverable schedule. An amendment may not add or delete deliverable(s) nor change the subcontract value because the budget is negotiated and costs are analyzed prior to signature.

Negotiate Terms of the Subaward

PATH’s Office of Grants and Contracts will prepare a draft subaward tailored to the inputs provided through the documents above. The PATH project administrator will share a draft subaward for the subawardee’s technical and organizational review. The subawardee should review all terms and conditions to ensure its ability to comply. The subawardee should comment directly in the draft to indicate areas where the terms may conflict will the subawardee’s internal policies and procedures or their ability to comply, in order to facilitate further discussion with the technical or operational teams as appropriate.

Facilitate Signature of the Subaward

Upon resolution of all comments in the draft subaward, the PATH project administrator will share the draft with the Office of Grants and Contracts to prepare a final subaward for signature. PATH’s practice is that our partners initiate the signature process. This may be through paper or electronic signature.

  • Paper: The project administrator will share a copy of the subaward with the subawardee. The subawardee will facilitate organizational signature and return to the project administrator, who will facilitate PATH countersignature and will return a fully executed copy to the subawardee as available.
  • Electronic: The Office of Grants and Contracts will share a copy of the subaward through DocuSign with the designated subawardee and PATH signatories.

Implementation and Management

Digital Square will host a kickoff meeting to bring together the technical and operational workstreams from PATH and the subawardee to discuss the subaward and thus ensure clarity on the terms and conditions. Digital Square will maintain two integrated workstreams throughout subaward implementation, although the level of engagement will vary by context.

Technical

The Digital Square technical manager will provide relationship and implementation management through regular touch points with subawardees, as defined in the subaward. S/he will receive all technical workstream deliverables and will be responsible for reviewing technical deliverables for accuracy and completion and financial deliverables for congruity with technical deliverables.

Operational

The PATH project administrator will receive all operational workstream deliverables and will be responsible for reviewing financial deliverables for accuracy and processing payments. The project administrator will also respond to contractual questions and provide guidance related to the application of PATH and funder terms and conditions.

Digital Square may also provide communication support, including training on strategic communications; guidance on best practices in writing articles and social media posts; inclusion in the Digital Square Global Goods Guidebook ; development of an article for the Digital Square website; and amplification of announcements on Digital Square’s channels.

Closeout

Subaward closeout is a process employed to certify compliance with all terms and conditions of the subaward at the conclusion of the project. Terms and conditions include: all required deliverables have been submitted to PATH; there are no outstanding programmatic or financial issues pending; and the subawardee received all payments according to each specified deliverable from PATH under the subaward, and there are no further obligations by either party with respect to the subaward. PATH employs this process by issuing a final amendment that validates the above.


  1. PATH, as an organization, and Digital Square, as an initiative, are committed to the requirements of our donors as well as our own procurement and selection policies. To that end, we will strive to maintain a fair, free, and equitable competitive process for any release of funds through the initiative, however, issuance of this RFA/RFP/Notice does not constitute an award commitment on the part of PATH. Nor does it commit PATH to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of an application.