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Fiscal Year Operating Plans Due Sept. 12.
As noted in the July 30 MaDCaP, you need to complete your plan with your ITA team by the middle of this month. If you and your ITA team can agree on the plan by Sept. 12, your ITA team leader will have another week to flesh out some of the details needed to complete the plan and submit it to the MDCP Manager by Sept. 19. Here is the operating plan spreadsheet. (This file has been updated since the original 2008 posting date.) Note that information in green comes from you the cooperator. Information in red will come from the ITA team leader and other members of the ITA team working with you. You do not need to fill out the spreadsheet yourself. Just consult with your ITA team. Your team leader can enter it into the spreadsheet.

What We Need from You: Short List of Activities & Rough Cost Estimate.
What we need from you is a short list of activities and major undertakings planned for October-September. We don't need much detail. Boil down your coming 12 months of activity to three to eight entries. Any more than that is going to be more detail than is needed. Include a rough estimate of the cost of each activity entry. The cost should include everything: personnel, in-kind contribution, etc. Do not distinguish between cost covered by the federal MDCP award and costs you cover directly or through in-kind contribution. Count it all together. You can probably glance at your budget and estimate something to the nearest $5,000. The purpose of the estimate is to roughly gauge the magnitude of your effort. We do not cross-check these estimates to your quarterly financial reports. We only use them to compare to the administrative funds your team leader requests to ensure that their request is proportional to the magnitude of effort you estimate.

What ITA Adds: Admin Funds for ITA Team and Mutual Benefit.
In addition to including a list of your planned activities, the operating plan includes a request by your team leader for administrative or "admin" funds. These are internally-administered funds that ITA uses to support the activities of your ITA team. They have nothing to do with your award funds or your project budget. For example, if you need a federal team member to participate in technical seminar in Bangalore, admin funds could cover their travel expenses. The guiding principle governing these expenses is mutual benefit. Only activities that benefit both you the cooperator and the ITA-led federal team may be paid with admin funds. Admin funds become available at the beginning of each fiscal year and must be used during the fiscal year. This is why we ask you each year to restate your scheduled activities in terms of the federal fiscal year, October to September.

Appropriate Non-Travel Uses of Admin Funds.
Admin funds can be used for more than just travel expenses of federal team members. Some examples of uses that oftern pass the mutual benefit test include translating key documents and commissioning detailed market research. However, with the exception of market research, admin funds may not be used to pay for Commercial Service products such as Gold Keys. Also, admin funds may not be used to pay for hospitality such as food and drink.


ITA's admin funds were used to pay for FCC expert Alan Stillwell to participate in a technical high definition television seminar in Brazil. He is pictured here sitting next to Robert Graves, of ATSC Forum, an MDCP cooperator.


If you missed the previous edition of MaDCaP, here it is as released on July 30.




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