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Obama Administration’s Support Of Foreign Aid Transparency And Accountability Act ‘Critical’

“In today’s polarized political environment, it’s not often that a bill receives a unanimous show of support from the U.S. House of Representatives. However, that’s what happened last December, when the House approved, by a vote of 390-0, the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act,” Melissa Kaplan, the advocacy manager for aid reform and effectiveness at InterAction, writes in a Roll Call opinion piece. “The bill, which was reintroduced by Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), represents a smart, common-sense bipartisan effort to improve our nation’s valuable investment in foreign assistance,” she states, adding, “If signed into law, it would go a long way in making lifesaving U.S. aid and poverty-reducing programs more effective by enacting stronger transparency and accountability measures.”

“How exactly would FATA do this?” she asks, and writes, “First of all, the bill requires the president to establish guidelines on goals, performance metrics, and monitoring and evaluation plans to be applied to U.S. foreign assistance activities,” meaning “necessary scrutiny would be paid to how foreign assistance programs are working, where they are succeeding and where we can do better.” She continues, “Additionally, FATA would put into law the need to make publicly available ‘comprehensive, timely, comparable, and accessible information on United States foreign assistance.’” She writes, “InterAction and other leading U.S.-based non-governmental organizations, many of which carry out foreign assistance work in the field and know firsthand the positive impact FATA can have if it is enacted, have backed the legislation,” adding, “It is critical that the Obama administration support this legislation and its goals of greater accountability and transparency, too” (7/15).