Third Step: CEO Endorsement
The third step in the GEF project cycle is the GEF CEO’s endorsement of the projects before such projects are approved by the GEF Agencies. The final GEF funding amount is confirmed by the CEO at this point. The Agencies will transmit for CEO endorsement the same documentation that they submit for approval by their respective internal approving authorities, plus a Request for CEO Endorsement that summarizes key information of the project. The project proposals will be reviewed by the Secretariat for compliance with the following conditions for endorsement:
- High likelihood that the project, as designed, will deliver its outcomes and will generate appropriate global environmental benefits that are consistent with Focal Area strategies, with an adequate explanation for any changes in expected global benefits since PIF approval
- GEF funds are used cost-effectively, focusing on among others, the review of project budget, which includes project cost tables for project components, project management, and consultants
- Compliance with GEF’s M&E policy
- Project preparation grant has been used in a cost-effective way, as explained in the project preparation grant status report (which is included as an annex attached to the Request for CEO Endorsement).
Within 10 business days of receiving a draft final project document for endorsement, the Secretariat will review the proposal and the CEO will determine whether the proposal is in compliance with the conditions for endorsement. As soon as the CEO has determined that the project proposal meets the conditions for endorsement, the Secretariat will circulate to Council Members the draft final project document. Within four weeks of receiving such a document, Council Members may transmit to the CEO any concerns related to technical, procedural ,or policy issues or inconsistency with the GEF Instrument that they may have regarding the proposal before CEO endorsement and final approval by the Agency concerned.
The CEO has discretion to endorse or not to endorse a proposal. The CEO will take into account any Council Member’s concerns before endorsement and work to address them with concerned parties, following which the CEO will re-circulate the proposal, as needed.
The CEO will post those concerns on the GEF Web site, will notify Council Members within two days, and will update the status of the project proposal in the management information system to indicate that endorsement will be delayed pending resolution of the concern expressed by the Council Member. Endorsed final project documents will be posted on the GEF Web site.
The Trustee will make commitments of funding to GEF Agencies for projects and fees upon CEO endorsement. The commitments will be made based on the amounts endorsed by the CEO, as indicated in the endorsement letter from the CEO to GEF Agencies. In the case that the amount endorsed by the CEO is reduced from the amount approved by the Council for the project or fee, the Trustee will release the reduced amount of funds, which were previously set aside for the project/fee, back to the GEF Trust Fund to be made available for other projects, activities, or fees (3).
In all cases, transfer of funds from the Trustee to Agencies will be made after commitment by the Trustee and subsequent Agency approvals of the projects/activities, where relevant, following the procedures agreed between the GEF Agencies and the Trustee.
For MSPs the project cycle is shorter. The PIF has to be submitted to the GEF Secretariat for CEO approval. Once the PIF is approved, the Agency can start preparation of the MSP until a final MSP project document is ready for CEO approval. A project preparation grant maybe approved by the CEO for the project, if necessary, upon CEO approval of PIF. After the CEO clears the MSP final project document, it will be posted on the GEF Web site for a two-week period and a notification is sent to the Council for comments. At the end of the two-week circulation period, CEO will send an approval letter to the Agency indicating the approval of the project, the grant amount, and the associated Agency fee. If comments are provided by Council, Agencies should address the comments and notify the GEF Secretariat of their responses to and whether their responses have any effect on the final project document. As necessary, a revised project document maybe resubmitted and CEO may approve the project based on the final submitted project document.
EAs under expedited procedures (up to $500,000 in GEF financing, but varies across Focal Areas) do not need to submit a PIF (4). EA project document will be approved by the CEO and will be accessible on the GEF database through the GEF Web site. For EAs that are not under expedited procedures, processing will be the same as for FSPs. The Secretariat will ask Agencies to revise proposals that it deems not to be in compliance with the specified conditions for approval and resubmit them for review, with another 10-day review period being applicable. The CEO may also determine, in consultation with the country and the Agency concerned, to stop further project preparation and cancel the project from the GEF pipeline.