|CARE Food Manual (CARE , 1998, 355 p.)|
CARE programs hundreds of thousands of tons of "food aid" annually to support development and emergency programs in Africa, Asia (includes CIS) and Latin America. Food is donated by the United States Government, the European Union, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, the World Food Program and others, and CARE staff have extensive experience managing food resources in both stable and very unstable operating environments.
Country offices have developed their own manuals to manage and account for food resources, and CARE, through the years, has earned a well deserved reputation to move and track food.
The purpose of this manual is to set CARE-wide minimum standards and guidance to assure that the maximum amount of food reaches intended beneficiaries and to minimize the risk of loss or misuse. The standards and guidance apply to all CARE USA country offices that use food from any donor in development, rehabilitation and emergency programs, and to other CARE International (CI) members who program U.S. Government donated food resources. For purposes of managing and accounting for food, no distinction is made between emergency and development programs except where specifically mentioned.
The manual is not intended to replace existing country office policies and systems that have been established to account for food. Country offices, however, must compare their commodity management systems against the minimum standards and guidance (includes documentation and reporting formats) in this manual and make necessary adjustments to assure compliance.
The standards and guidance complement the Finance Department's Almis #4496 - Commodity Accounting Manual June 1995, the Program Division's Management Assessment for Country Offices (MAC0) and the Emergency Group's Emergency Policy and Procedures Manual. The Internal Audit Department will also use the Food Resources Manual to determine if country offices are in compliance with CARE standards.
CARE looks forward to sharing the materials and information with colleague organizations and donors, and hopes that they will be an important resource for them.
In the manual, emphasis is given to:
· Establishing internal controls and executing written agreements and contracts with donors, CI members, counterparts and contractors for service
· Communicating with CARE USA, other CI members and donors, on a regular and timely basis, where there are known or suspected losses of food
· Requiring program managers to complete the contract checklists that are currently applicable to dollar funded projects
· Completing fully and keeping up-to-date all necessary documentation to account for food - waybills, Loss and Adjustment Reports, physical inventory counts and inventory ledgers, distribution site reports, and Commodity and Recipient Status Reports
· Carrying out regular physical inventories and reconciling physical counts with documentation.
The manual does not provide an inventory software program for tracking the receipt, storage and distribution of food as the Finance Division is currently developing a program.
A diskette comes with this manual with copies of the basic documentation and reporting formats. The Finance Division is now developing a new financial software program that will allow country offices to include food inventories on balance sheets. Future tracking of inventories should be consistent with Finance's program.
Does it have to be so complicated?