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GAO Testimony – “Foreign Operations: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight”

In testimony before the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers, Managing Director of International Affairs and Trade at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) discussed “four cross-cutting areas of U.S. foreign policy as implemented by State & USAID: (1) investments in key partner nations, (2) building the capacity of U.S. agencies to advance foreign policy priorities, (3) contractor oversight and accountability, and (4) strategic planning and performance measurement.”

GAO releases report on PEPFAR program planning and reporting

In a report titled “President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief: Program Planning and Reporting”, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), in response to legislative directives, “(1) described key procedures for planning and reporting on PEPFAR performance and (2) examined published PEPFAR performance plans and reports.”

GAO Report – International Food Assistance: Better Nutrition and Quality Control Can Further Improve U.S. Food Aid

In this report, the GAO assessed and provided recommendations on “U.S. efforts to (1) meet the nutritional needs of intended recipients and (2) maintain the quality of commodities throughout the food aid supply chain.”

Additional Information:

  • Learn more about the report here.
  • Access highlights from the report here. (PDF)
  • Access the full report here. (PDF)
GAO Report- International School Feeding: USDA’s Oversight of the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program Needs Improvement

In this report, the GAO examined the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program (MGD) including “(1) USDA’s oversight of the MGD Program and (2) the extent to which USDA has addressed the program’s internal control weaknesses,” which were identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in 2006-2007.

Additional Information:  

  • Access highlights from the report here. (PDF)
  • Access the full report here. (PDF)
GAO Report – President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief: Partner Selection and Oversight Follow Accepted Practices but Would Benefit from Enhanced Planning and Accountability

In this report, “GAO examined practices used in (1) selecting organizations to implement PEPFAR activities and (2) overseeing these organizations’ PEPFAR activities.” Additionally, “GAO recommends that the Secretary of State direct OGAC to take several steps to improve specific processes for selecting PEPFAR implementing partners and strengthen oversight of PEPFAR partners.”

GAO Testimony – Influenza Pandemic: Gaps in Pandemic Planning and Preparedness Need to Be Addressed

At a hearing before the House Committee on Homeland Security, GAO staff testified on U.S. planning and preparedness efforts to address a potential influenza pandemic. Among other findings, GAO staff testified that “efforts are underway to improve the surveillance and detection of pandemic-related threats, but targeting assistance to countries at the greatest risk has been based on incomplete information, particularly from developing countries.”

GAO Testimony – International Food Assistance: A U.S. Government-wide Strategy Could Accelerate Progress toward Global Food Security

In testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, GAO representatives discussed “(1) host government and donor efforts to halve hunger, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, by 2015, and (2) the status of U.S. agencies’ implementation of GAO’s 2008 recommendations” to address food security issues, which included “(1) develop an integrated government-wide U.S. strategy that defines actions with specific time frames and resource commitments, enhances collaboration, and improves measures to monitor progress and (2) report annually to Congress on the implementation of the first recommendation.”

GAO Report – Millennium Challenge Corporation: MCC Has Addressed a Number of Implementation Challenges, but Needs to Improve Financial Controls and Infrastructure Planning

“This report, directed by the fiscal year 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, assesses MCC and MCA (1) financial controls; (2) procurement practices; and (3) development, implementation, and oversight of contracts and projects.”

GAO Report – International Food Assistance: Local and Regional Procurement Can Enhance the Efficiency of U.S. Food Aid, but Challenges May Constrain Its Implementation

In an analysis of the U.S. approach to delivering food aid, the General Accountability Office (GAO) compared local and regional procurement (LRP) of food aid to in-kind donations. The GAO found that LRP “offers donors a tool to reduce food aid costs and delivery time, but multiple challenges to ensuring cost-savings and timely delivery exist.” Some of the challenges faced by using LRP are: uncertain food quality, insufficient local and regional delivery capabilities, existing U.S. legislation requiring U.S. production and transportation of food assistance, and uncertain impacts on local markets (i.e. potential increased prices due to increased demand).

GAO Report – International Food Assistance: USAID Is Taking Actions to Improve Monitoring and Evaluation of Nonemergency Food Aid, but Weaknesses in Planning Could Impede Efforts

In this report, which was mandated by Congress in passage of the Food for Peace Act in 2008, GAO “reviews (1) USAID’s plans and actions to improve its monitoring and evaluation of nonemergency food aid programs and (2) the extent to which USAID has integrated its monitoring and evaluation of nonemergency food aid with program management.”