A further landmark step in FIFA’s ongoing reform process was taken today, 20 March, by the FIFA Executive Committee with the approval of the General Regulations for FIFA Development Programmes that will enter into force as of 1 July 2013.
Drafted at the suggestion of the Independent Governance Committee and reviewed last Monday by FIFA’s Development Committee, the document defines the overall rules and principles applicable to all development programmes for member associations and confederations, with the objective of enhancing their governance structure and compliance.
The new regulations build on the strict audit and compliance requirements already in place, while imposing a set of further conditions that member associations and confederations will have to fulfil in order to be eligible for FIFA development programmes. Prerequisites include audited annual accounts, an auditing company appointed by the member association’s general assembly to control the yearly financial statements presented by its executive body, the submission of an annual audit report to the general assembly, and the employment of a general secretary and a technical director.
Further measures to be implemented within the scope of the new regulations include: the publication on FIFA.com of comprehensive data, such as the amounts allocated and the names of the suppliers and auditors hired for FIFA-funded projects; a systematic tender process for expenses equal to or over USD 50,000; the centralisation of all FIFA programme-related transactions to the “FIFA programme account” held in the name of the member association or confederation; and, the obligation for each member association to avoid negative balances on its FIFA programme account.
Over the past 14 years, FIFA has provided its member associations and the confederations with close to USD 2 billion in development funds, USD 721.75 million of which has been transferred to member associations through the FAP, with USD 210 million going to the six confederations. The remaining funds have been invested in football infrastructure projects, such as technical centres or football pitches, in capacity-building activities for football stakeholders, in grants for football material, and in schemes to support member associations’ institutional development.
FIFA’s development budget for the 2011-2014 financial cycle amounts to USD 800 million, which is 56 times the amount invested in 1995-1998, when some of the flagship development initiatives were originally launched.
For further details, please see the interview with FIFA’s Director of Member Associations and Development, Thierry Regenass.