You are on page 1of 2

January 9, 2013

TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:

Peace Corps Country Directors


Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Acting Director
Guidance to Posts for Development of the Integrated Planning and Budget System
(IPBS) Submission for FY 2014 - FY 2015

I am pleased to issue the IPBS guidance for FY 2014 - FY 2015 to our posts. The Office of
Strategic Information, Research, and Planning (OSIRP) worked closely with the Office of the
Chief Financial Officer (OCFO), the Office of Global Operations, the Regions, and other key
stakeholders to develop this years guidance. Building on last years process improvements,
OSIRP collaborated this year with the Regions to create a PDF template to capture posts IPBS
submissions. This will serve to standardize the IPBS submissions, facilitate the process for
posts, and allow for easier content analysis. In an effort to more closely link planning with
budget, OCFO and OSIRP have incorporated the Regions request for posts to develop a
preliminary zero-based budget for FY 2014. Posts will develop this preliminary budget plan
utilizing the Hyperion software, in addition to their budget narrative.
Please note that the guidance directs our posts to develop strategic plans for the next two fiscal
years only (as opposed to past IPBS exercises which requested three years of planning
information). This step has been taken to align the IPBS process with the agencys budget cycle,
the trainee allocation process, and our next agency-wide Strategic Plan, which will be based on
the new four-year cycle outlined in the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act
(GPRA-MA). Beginning in FY 2014, posts will be directed to complete their full IPBS
submissions once every two years, with a significantly shorter submission requested for the
alternating years, thereby implementing a strategic planning system that consists of on and off
years. This approach will retain the flexibility required for strategic planning at the operational
level while reducing annual reporting requirements for posts.
Please review this document carefully. Preparing your IPBS submission will require a
significant analytical effort at post and extensive discussions among staff, Volunteers, and local
partners. The due date for your submission this year is March 8.
I am committed to ensuring a transparent and interactive process for preparing and reviewing
your IPBS submission. As was the case last year, the IPBS submissions will be reviewed by the
Regions and discussed with posts before being presented to the Office of Global Operations and
OCFO for clearance. These offices will then present the cleared IPBS submissions to me for
review and approval. The final approved IPBS submissions will then be posted on the Peace
Corps Intranet.
This year, we again distributed IPBS pre-guidance to allow posts to get a head start on their
planning process. The pre-guidance was issued on December 11 and provides posts with a
consolidated set of tools and suggested data sources that we believe you will find extremely
useful.

Advancing the Peace Corps Reform Agenda


As you are aware, fiscal year 2012 was a year of comprehensive reform for the Peace Corps.
These reforms are rooted in the Kate Puzey Volunteer Protection Act of 2011, recommendations
from the Office of Inspector General, as well as the Comprehensive Agency Assessment, which
was completed in 2010 and laid the foundation for strengthening and reforming the agency. The
Peace Corps current Performance Plan incorporates the strategies of the assessment and other
agency priorities into an aggressive blueprint for reform, which is substantially improving the
impact and effectiveness of agency programs and operations and the quality of support to our
Volunteers.
Through the hard work of both headquarters offices and the field, significant progress has
already been made to advance our planned reforms. Important improvements relating to the
Focus In/Train Up strategy and the Country Portfolio Review process have been achieved. The
DOVE and MAXx systems went live, modernizing Peace Corps application and placement
operations and reducing the agencys reliance on paper-based processes. We launched the Small
Grants Program, establishing a single platform for the standardized and straightforward
administration of all small grants, thereby allowing staff to better monitor, evaluate, and report
on projects that uphold Peace Corps approach to development. We have strengthened measures
to provide ever more effective, comprehensive, and compassionate support to our Volunteers,
including the rollout of enhanced safety and security training for staff and Volunteers, the
adoption of a policy that addresses staff responses to the victims of sexual assault, and the
expansion of the Office of Victim Advocacy and of the Counseling and Outreach Unit.
Next Steps
While the agencys mission and core goals have remained the same for more than 50 years,
todays Peace Corps is a dynamic cross-cultural and development organization, highly
responsive to the evolving needs of the developing countries where our Volunteers work. The
organizational infrastructure is in place to consolidate the successes of the past year and to
continue critical progress on our planned reforms. During the FY 2014-2015 IPBS planning
period, we will continue to pursue our reform agenda to move the Peace Corps towards an ever
more focused, innovative, and dynamic future as a global leader in grassroots development.
A great deal of work lies ahead of us, and I look forward to your best thoughts on how to
position your post for success. We really do value your input and depend on your guidance to
help us do our best. Our agency has a long history of embracing new ideas and challenges, and
we remain committed to enhancing our ability to fulfill our host countries desire to build
foundations of prosperity, stability, and peace. Supported by the hard work and dedication of our
Volunteers and staff, we are positioning the Peace Corps to be successful for years to come, and
we thank you and your staff for the pivotal role each of you plays in that endeavor.