Third Step: CEO Endorsement
After a Project Identification Form (PIF) is approved by the Council, Agencies and countries have a maximum of 18 months to prepare the project and secure CEO endorsement. When a project is fully prepared and meets the conditions for CEO endorsement, the Agencies are to transmit to the GEF Secretariat a request for CEO endorsement, as well as the final project document (which is the same document that the Agencies prepare for their respective internal approving authorities). Agencies have to simultaneously copy the endorsement template and final project document to all Agencies, the relevant convention secretariat(s), and the STAP for their information. The final GEF grant amount is confirmed by the CEO at endorsement.
Conditions for CEO endorsement include in addition to a well-prepared final project document, the following criteria: (a) compliance with the agreed elapsed time of submission; (b) meeting the review criteria for GEF projects at CEO endorsement stage; (c) the submission of confirmed cofinancing letters from cofinanciers; and (d) completed tracking tools.
In its request for CEO endorsement, the Agency is to report on how it has responded to any Council comments and to concerns identified by STAP. The Secretariat is to request revisions to proposals that it deems are not in compliance with the conditions for endorsement specified during PIF approval. The Agencies, working with the countries, are to revise and resubmit those proposals for Secretariat review.
In cases where the final project document submitted for CEO endorsement does not meet one or more of the endorsement conditions,the CEO may determine, in consultation with the country and the Agency concerned, to stop further project preparation and cancel the project from the GEF pipeline.
Projects that meet conditions for endorsement are endorsed by the CEO and posted on the GEF website for information.
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. 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.