Proposal: update of budget element description text (in activity standard)


(Steven Flower) #1

I would like to propose that the following line is removed from the description text for the budget element:

The total budget for an activity should be reported as a commitment in the transaction element.

Many of us have discussed this, most recently in this thread.

I do not believe this “guidance” in the spirit of the standard. Additionally, there is a (continued) high risk of confusion amongst those implementing and using IATI data - particularly in the context of renaming the Commitment transaction type to become Incoming Commitment.

I would welcome discussion / confirmation from others on this matter - flagging for @Herman @Mhirji @YohannaLoucheur @bill_anderson @andylolz & @AkermanMartin , as they contributed to the previous discussion.

The revised budget description would then read:

The value of the aid activity’s budget for each financial quarter or year over the lifetime of the activity. The purpose of this element is to provide predictability for recipient planning on an annual basis. The status explains whether the budget being reported is indicative or has been formally committed. The value should appear within the BudgetStatus codelist. If the @status attribute is not present, the budget is assumed to be indicative. While it is useful for the sum of budgets to match the sum of commitments this is not necessarily the case, depending on a publisher’s business model and legal frameworks.


ActivityStatus codes - mixup of descriptions for codes 3 & 4?
ActivityStatus codes - mixup of descriptions for codes 3 & 4?
(Murad Hirji) #2

I agree with the new wording given the context and constraints under which we are operating. Having said that, I think this should be revisited in v3 as I believe if commitments are published, budgets are always going to be indicative. From a financial and legal perspective, only commitments are ever not indicative.


(Herman van Loon) #3

Hi Steven,
I agree with this wording for 2.03. @Mhirji makes a valid point i.m.o. that budgets are by definition indicative. As suggested by Murad, this can be solved in 3.01.

Regards
Herman


(Bill Anderson) #4

I also agree.

Indicative nature is already covered in @status, Budgets are indicative by default.

The status explains whether the budget being reported is indicative or has been formally committed. The value should appear within the BudgetStatus codelist. If the @status attribute is not present, the budget is assumed to be indicative

.


(Yohanna Loucheur) #5

I agree with removing the sentence related to reporting the budget as a commitment.

The new last sentence may still create confusion, or at least sets as “the norm” something that may not happen for valid reasons, especially early in the project’s life.

What is the actual purpose of that sentence? Do we need to state a relationship between budgets and commitments? If consensus is that we do, I would suggest to soften it eg “The sum of budgets may or may not match the sum of commitments, depending on a publisher’s business model and legal frameworks.”


(Steven Flower) #6

I agree with this too. I reread the original sentence on this, and thought it in line with consensus and discussions ,but think this is clearer wording.


(Steven Flower) #7

Also flagging that it might be that this guidance page (which is also in the GitHub repositories, but not written in schema) would need updating.

And - the guidance page on Transactions also states the total budget=commitment


(Steven Flower) #8

@Herman @Mhirji @bill_anderson @YohannaLoucheur if there’s agreement - is there any possibility that this gets into 2.03…?


(Herman van Loon) #9

@stevieflow 2.03 is ok.


(Yohanna Loucheur) #10

Agree …

(sorry, was forced to have at least 20 characters in my response)


(Steven Flower) #11

I dont think there’s any chance for this to progress:

And also:

we have a hard deadline to get 2.03 live by Monday


(Bill Anderson) #12

Could we define the existing definition as a bug? I think we can …


(Steven Flower) #13

I’ve created: https://github.com/IATI/IATI-Schemas/issues/415 to list out the places that this should be fixed. The trick will be knowing we have all the relevant references listed!


(Steven Flower) #14

Thanks to @amys for working on this


(Steven Flower) #15

@amys @IATI-techteam I can’t see this in the 2.03 documentation yet --> in GitHub there is an indication of a problem: https://github.com/IATI/IATI-Schemas/issues/415 - it’d be good to understand where the delay might be, as we’re currently relying on “old” documentation. Thanks


(Steven Flower) #16

@IATI-techteam still seeing the “old” description on 2.03 - please can you let us know when we can expect the refreshed documentation to be deployed?


ActivityStatus codes - mixup of descriptions for codes 3 & 4?
(Steven Flower) #17

@IATI-techteam still seeing the old documentation at http://iatistandard.org/203/activity-standard/iati-activities/iati-activity/budget/

Please can you inform us if there is something else that needs doing? Thanks


(IATI Technical Team) #18

The description of the budget element has now been updated and is live on the IATI website.


(Steven Flower) #19

Great - many thanks!

Also good to see the changelog on that page updated, too

Onwards!