GVL makes annual development contributions to land-holding communities in the form of payment to Community Development Fund (CDF), and assistance to administer and report on the fund and its use.
The CDF is intended for community-based development that has long-standing and local effect, such as infrastructure improvement benefiting the whole community, rather than intended for consumption, distribution, or holding events.
Each community determines the scope of its relevant CDF. Thus, some agglomerated communities have a single fund for a larger developed area which may accumulate substantial amounts of money over several years. Other communities may decide for very localized funds based on small land areas, which results in a very locally controlled and used fund but with smaller accumulation of investable money. Under GVL policy, such groupings are communities’ own decisions to make.
CDF setup for each community may take between 1-2 years from start of development. In several cases, the Fund is the second formal agreement (after the GVL MOU) and first holding of transparently managed financial assets (the CDF bank account) that the community has ever engaged in. Verifying the fund principles, the particular CDF charter, the Committee members and in particular the bank account signatories, takes time and many discussions. Some communities have accumulated substantial un-deposited balances through long processes.
The CDF fund payments by GVL are typically made annually in April to June for the preceding year’s developed hectarage. After internal books are closed, company hectarage statements are available normally in February. Community Committees are provided the development figures which typically are confirmed in March to May. Payments are subsequently made.
Decisions about the CDF are made by the community’s appointed representatives on the CDF Committee for each individual fund. The fund Committee consists of up to 10 members of whom 5 are appointed by the community and the Government and 5 by GVL. By policy, the GVL balanced role on the committee is to ensure that fund spending is carried out in accordance of the CDF charter e.g. in such instances as appointment of construction contractors. GVL’s role on the committee is not decision-making, but assurance of this aspect.
The CDF regulations are established in the GVL Concession Agreement section 19.7 (see below) and typically reaffirmed in each community Memorandum of Agreement with GVL.
Each Community is to confirm its own CDF Charter. GVL has contributed a model Charter which is subject to community adjustment or rewriting. The Charters may be found in each CDF’s documentation pages on the website.