Requirements and Guidelines for General Case Reviews


Section 1: Review Requirements. Thorough reviews are periodically conducted to ensure accurate and timely status of customer programs. These reviews represent a significant investment of FMS resources, in terms of both time and funding. As such, the FMS reviews are a key source of information for communicating agreed upon decisions impacting cases. FMS reviews may be driven by a number of requirements, to include the following:

  1. Purchaser Requirements. A purchaser's internal policy or legislation may require periodic information on the status of country accounts, issues, cases and programs. Care must be taken to ensure that purchaser expectations or precedence complement the review value process; on the other hand, having a review every quarter for the past three years is not in and of itself sufficient. An exception would be Program-level reviews that are following an established milestone plan. In addition, while technologies such as Video Teleconference (VTC) should be explored whenever feasible, in person dialogue may be imperative for some purchasers.

  2. USG Requirements. The USG has many of the same needs as those in the "Purchaser Requirements" section above. In addition, FMS reviews are a beneficial opportunity for advising the purchaser on updated policies and laws and current events/issues. Reviews can demonstrate U.S. advocacy, as well as timely resolution and closure of issues and actions. They show USG commitment and desire to be effective/efficient stewards of the purchaser's FMS resources. In addition, preparing for FMS reviews qualifies as an event that satisfies the annual case review requirement.

  3. Long-Term Investment. The FMS review forum may be viewed as a valuable opportunity to promote USG interests and strengthen our sovereign relations with other countries. This is an intangible yet potentially important value determinant.

  4. Purchaser Sophistication/Reliance on USG. This can be an important factor, especially when an FMS review involves a purchaser unfamiliar with the FMS "language", policies and procedures. Usually, these purchasers require closer USG involvement and more intensive management. These reviews would also be prime venues for educating purchasers on the FMS process. Conversely, highly sophisticated purchasers can benefit from reviews by helping to maintain open communications. Customers may also be comfortable using technologies (VTC) as a substitute for in person reviews.

  5. Purchaser Preference. The preferences and desires of the purchaser regarding the conduct of reviews should be accommodated by the USG to the fullest extent possible. However, when those preferences are not practical and/or logical, the USG review component lead is responsible for offering sound and reasonable alternatives. The key is to find mutually agreeable solutions that make sense.

  6. Uniqueness. A number of reviews have evolved to accommodate unique requirements on the part of the purchaser or an applicable weapon system, etc. These unique arrangements already in existence should continue to be honored provided they continue to provide benefit. However, review components are invited to introduce common data element usage, standardized definitions and reporting formats to the extent agreeable by the FMS purchaser.

  7. USG attendees. USG attendees should be selected to reflect the FMS review type that applies and the corresponding level of detail involved. Each attendee must have a distinct and active role in the FMS review. The applicable USG chair is responsible for ensuring that each attendee is performing separate roles. Every effort should be made to minimize the number of attendees while ensuring full coverage of all agenda topics. The review's location may impact the number of attendees that can be present. Attendees must be fully prepared to address all agenda topics submitted in advance, and those logically anticipated to arise during the course of discussions. "Contingency" representatives are not authorized. The USG chair is responsible for ensuring that all invited activities have the agenda topics being addressed. Attendees must be able to effectively represent their organization, not just the specific office or activity to which that attendee reports, and to speak to the issues at hand. Understandably, actions may arise for issues not known in advance and which are outside the attendee's activity per se. In those instances, the attendee must take responsibility for ensuring follow-up with the appropriate organizational component. That said, the attendee must be knowledgeable about all issues known beforehand that pertain to the overall organizational component, and have the ability to clearly articulate discussion topics.

Section 2: Guidelines for Reviews. An FMS review is a culmination of extensive preparations and planning, and sets the stage for important follow-on requirements. The following guidelines apply to all reviews, regardless of participation level or hosting organization:

  1. Preparation. The first step in planning for a review is to identify the objectives and deliverables. Subsequent preparation requirements are determining the review purpose, performing an internal FMS review planning meeting, establish planning milestones to include data "cut-off" date, formal announcement of the review, establishment of an agenda, determination of attendees/purchaser audience and determining the review date and logistics (i.e., location, transportation arrangements, etc.). In addition, agenda topics must be developed and delivered to all attendees, development and publishing of briefings/papers must be completed and reporting formats and quality control checklists must be developed and disseminated. The final items are development of guidelines for the documentation of minutes, confirmation of how the review will be funded, and administrative duties such as local security measures, disclosure review, lodging and transportation, social events, cultural primers, audio/video requirements, etc. For reviews hosted by the purchaser, SCOs are expected to coordinate all administrative arrangements, secure lodging and transportation, and accommodate the visiting CONUS team, when practical.

  2. Follow-on. It is expected that action items shall be tasked and other information shall be required, as a result of an FMS review.

    1. Minutes preparation. The USG chair is responsible for ensuring the timely preparation of all minutes associated with that review. This entails oversight of and, as necessary, direct involvement with the minutes preparation, coordination and distribution. The following applies:

      1. Action item assignments should be distributed with the minutes and contain the following information: who has the action (Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR)); what is the action; when is the action due; and what is the reference number.

      2. Action item follow-on reports should be sent on a regular basis to update all OPRs on status of actions tasked during the review.

      3. Actions are to be completed in a timely manner; any delays must be identified by the OPR with a reason and revised estimated completion date.

      4. Trip reports and other internal summary reports may be required.

      5. Tentative dates/location for the next review should be provided, if appropriate, and information forwarded to the FMS review advisor.

    2. Minutes distribution. A copy of the minutes must be sent to all USG components attending the review, other organizations to which actions were assigned, the applicable DSCA (Integrated Regional Teams (IRT) Country Portfolio Director (CPD)) and DSCA (Integrated Regional Teams (IRT) Country Finance Director (CFD)), the SCO, and any other organizations deemed appropriate by the lead component activity. Electronic transmission of minutes is encouraged. Minutes should be distributed within 10 days after signature.