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Foreign Aid Reform

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GAO Report – Foreign Aid Reform: Comprehensive Strategy, Interagency Coordination, and Operational Improvements Would Bolster Current Efforts

At the request of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), and Representative Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th), the General Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an analysis of an effort initiated in January 2006 by then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “to better align foreign assistance programs with U.S. foreign policy.” Recommendations made by the GAO to improve this alignment process include developing a government wide foreign assistance strategy, improving interdepartmental communications, and establishing a long-term workforce management plan.

White House releases "Guidance on Collection of U.S. Foreign Assistance Data"

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released “Guidance on Collection of U.S. Foreign Assistance Data” detailing the data reporting requirements of all U.S. Government (USG) agencies providing foreign assistance in-line with the Administration’s Open Government efforts and in accordance with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), of which the U.S. is a signatory. Among other things, the guidance states that the Foreign Assistance Dashboard “will provide the public with greater access to foreign assistance data and establish a standardized reporting framework for all U.S. foreign assistance.”

Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act passed by Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved the “Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012” (S. 3310). Originally introduced by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), the bill would establish guidelines for the monitoring and evaluation of U.S. foreign assistance programs and would require the Administration to establish and maintain a website providing detailed information on U.S. foreign assistance programs.

Learn about the House companion bill (H.R. 3159).

Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act introduced in the Senate

Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012 (S. 3310), which would establish guidelines for the monitoring and evaluation of U.S. foreign assistance programs. The bill would also require the Administration to establish and maintain a website providing detailed information on U.S. foreign assistance programs.

Learn about the House companion bill (H.R. 3159).

CBO releases cost estimate of “Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Act of 2012″

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a cost estimate of the “Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Act of 2012” (S. 3341). The CBO “estimates that implementing S. 3341 would cost $8 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.”

USAID Administrator Shah releases second annual letter

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah released the Agency’s second annual letter, which according to a USAID press release “offers a progress report on major initiatives and events . . . [and] highlights how the agency’s recent efforts and reforms serve to integrate international development into America’s key diplomatic and national security priorities.”

USAID Administrator Shah testifies before House Committee on Foreign Affairs on FY13 budget request

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and provided a summary of the FY13 budget request for USAID highlighting efforts through the Feed the Future Initiative and the Global Health Initiative (GHI) including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).

Additional Information:

  • Opening remarks by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL, 18th; Committee Chair) expressing, among other things, her opposition to a proposed increase in FY13 funding for family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH).
  • Opening remarks by Representative Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th; Ranking Member) calling for, among other things, a revision and updating of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.
Foreign assistance reform bill introduced in House

Representative Howard Berman (D-CA, 28th) introduced the “Global Partnership Act of 2012” (H.R. 6644). According to a press release from Representative Berman, the bill would reform the U.S. foreign aid system and replace “both the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which covers economic, and development assistance, and the Arms Export Control Act, which deals with arms sales and military aid” The proposed bill includes specific sections addressing maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, family planning and reproductive health, noncommunicable diseases, water, and food security.