On 10-11 May 2012, the Global Fund Board held its 26th meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. GFO was present, with observer status. The main decisions made at the meeting, in chronological order, were as follows. (For precise wording of what the Board agreed, see the decision points document posted at www.theglobalfund.org/en/board/meetings/twentysixth. Background documentation will also, in time, be posted by the Global Fund at the same location.)
Delegation of authority to FOPC for operating budget. The Board decided that the Finance and Operational Performance Committee has the authority to approve operating expenditures that do not result in an increase in the amount of the Board-approved operating expenses budget for any financial year. The Board also authorised the FOPC to establish a framework to determine, within limits, when decisions on adjustments, reallocations or additions to the operating expenses budget may be taken by the Secretariat or the FOPC. [See Decision Point 4.]
Delegation of authority to Secretariat for grant management. The Board authorised the Secretariat to approve - in limited circumstances - extensions of up to three months to the time period for signing grants (currently 12 months from when the proposal is approved). This authority applies to all future proposals; the Board had previously granted the Secretariat this authority for Round 10 proposals. The Board also granted limited authority to the Secretariat to make other decisions concerning grant management - for example, determining the start date of a grant, and approving extensions to the implementation period of a grant. [See Decision Point 5.]
New funding opportunities. See Article 1 in this issue.
Modification of rules governing grant renewals. The Board noted that the 55% rule has had some negative impact on the achievement of targets in the Global Fund Strategy. (The 55% rule says that in each annual funding window, 55% of all funding must be directed to low income countries.) Consequently, the Board asked the Secretariat to conduct further analysis of this rule, in consultation with the Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee, and to present a recommendation to the Board before its meeting in November 2012. In the meantime, the Board decided to freeze the implementation of the 75% ceiling on grant renewal funding for countries classified as lower-middle-income and above. (This ceiling had been adopted as one way of trying to implement the 55% rule.) This decision applies retroactively to four renewals already approved that were affected by this ceiling. GFO will report on issues related to the 55% rule in a future issue. [See Decision Point 7.]
Executive Director selection. See Article 4 in this issue.