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Procedure for Issuing and Review of Grants
G. Worboys, reviewed by Phil Shrimpton and Committee, September/October 2004

"Grants" are funds put forward to progress the development of specific projects. Some projects are specifically ongoing, such as code review, others will have a specific end result (even if the duration is not immediately predictable).

The procedure outlined here is not in the Foundation rules, it is a guideline and not necessarily fixed. It may have to be adapted and updated as circumstances dictate.

Authorisation of grant funds to developers provided by the committee must be undertaken seriously; it is the committee’s legal responsibility to see that the funds are spent according to the Foundation's objectives.

New Grants/Projects
  • Small projects (total cost less than US$1000) can be authorised without further stipulation (beyond the caution mentioned above).
  • Larger or ongoing projects (cost greater than US$1000) must go through an initial grant and review phase.
The initial grant authorised must not exceed US$1000 and its initial duration should not exceed 2 months (whichever happens first). The committee must review the progress of selected developer after this initial phase to verify that the work has been acceptable and that sufficient progress has been forthcoming.

If the project is not specifically an ongoing project the initial grant period should be used to try and determine the expected overall cost of the project and to generate a project plan (if this is not known in advance). This information can be used in review to allow committee members to decide if the project is worth pursuing further.

Large and Ongoing Grants/Projects
  • All large and ongoing projects should be reviewed by the committee at least every six months or more often if there is reason for concern. Authorisations given to continue a project should not exceed 6 months.
Foundation Obligations to Grantees
  • The Foundation will not undertake a grant allocation unless it is certain that the funds will be available in cash or underwriting to cover the period for which the allocation is made.
  • Where possible, grant payments will be made in advance not later than one week after the start of the period to which the payment applies. However, the committee can not undertake to resolve delays that occur after its side of a funds transfer has been completed.
  • The committee will notify each grantee at the start of a new grant of the hours and rate on which the grant proposal was estimated and approved and of the date when the allocation will be reviewed.
Existing grantees who have not received such notification regarding their current allocations will be notified retrospectively.
  • Grantees will be asked to respond to such notifications indicating their acceptance of the grant and its terms before the first payment is sent.
Grantee Obligations

The following obligations are placed on grantees. Repeated failure of any grantee to meet these obligations satisfactorily may lead to an early review of the grant in question.
  • To ensure work agreed in the grant offer is carried out to the best of the grantee's abilities.
Whilst in general the committee will not review the work of a grantee, any comments by other active project members on the quality of work will be considered seriously.
  • To ensure any minimum time agreed for grant is spent on the project.
The committee considers and approves estimates for grant allocations on the basis of the amount of time per week that a grantee undertakes to commit to the funded work and a nominal hourly rate that has been negotiated as acceptable to the proposed grantee. Estimates take into account that most grantees have "day jobs", and available time can vary dramatically from week to week. However, by the end of each instalment period the grantee is expected to have devoted to the funded project no fewer than the committed hours on which the estimate was based and for which the grantee accepted payment in advance. When circumstances prevent the grantee from fulfilling this obligation, the grantee is expected to inform the committee of any shortfall for which adjustment needs to be made.
  • To report to the committee a summary of work done during the period applicable to each grant payment instalment and work expected to be done during the ensuing instalment period.
    • Care should be taken to provide a report that adequately summarises the target tasks and shows the progress and status of the tasks since the previous report or, in the case of the initial report, since the period of grant assistance began.
    • The report need not be at a high level of technical detail. A simple bullet point list outlining the landmarks of each task would be considered adequate.
    • If previously stated targets are not met, a brief, informative statement should be included to explain the reason, to assess the prospect of recovering the lost ground and, if applicable, any request or recommendation the grantee may have for assistance to catch up.
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