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USAID

U.S. Agency for International Development

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GAO Testimony on USAID Acquisition and Assistance

In a hearing before the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement (House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform), GAO staff provided testimony on the challenges facing the development of USAID’s strategic workforce plan for its Acquisition and Assistance (A&A) efforts. GAO stated that USAID “has shifted from conducting its own activities to managing acquisition and assistance (A&A) instruments – contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements – it awards to implementing organization” and that USAID staff are now “responsible for monitoring the activities of A&A recipients to provide reasonable assurance that the funds provided are used in accordance with applicable regulations and policies and sound business practices.” GAO found that “USAID lacks the capacity to develop and implement a strategic workforce plan because it is missing two elements: (1) sufficiently reliable and up-to-date data on its overseas A&A staff levels and (2) comprehensive information on the competencies of its overseas A&A staff.”

H.R. 2030 – Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009

The bill would create an “Office of Water” at USAID headed by a “Director for Safe Water and Sanitation” with the responsibility of implementing the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-121) and meeting the goal of providing 100 million people with safe water and sanitation by 2015. The bill also creates the position of “Special Coordinator for International Water” at the State Department with the responsibility of coordinating U.S. diplomatic policy in relation to other international issues. The bill authorizes appropriations in the amount that “may be necessary to carry out this Act.”

H.R. 1878 – Global Autism Assistance Act of 2009

The proposed bill would establish a grant program to train health and education professionals working with autistic children and to support organizations focused on autism. The grant program would be overseen by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and would be appropriated $3 million FY 2010, $3 million in FY 2011, and $4 million in FY 2012.

President Obama signs Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act creating the “Office of Volunteers for Prosperity” at USAID

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act provides legislative authorization for the Volunteers for Prosperity program (VfP). VfP was created in 2003 by Executive Order to promote the voluntary service of Americans abroad. VfP provides volunteers with stipends to cover travel and living expenses. The bill creates an “Office of Volunteers for Prosperity” (VfP) within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), establishes a set of program objectives addressing a range of health care challenges in developing countries, and authorizes $10 million for 2010.

H.R. 1388 – The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act provides legislative authorization for the Volunteers for Prosperity program (VfP). VfP was created in 2003 by Executive Order to promote the voluntary service of Americans abroad. VfP provides volunteers with stipends to cover travel and living expenses. The bill creates an “Office of Volunteers for Prosperity” (VfP) within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), establishes a set of program objectives addressing a range of health care challenges in developing countries, and authorizes $10 million for 2010.

State Department releases “100-Day Report”

The State Department released a “100-Day Report” summarizing the “objectives” and “accomplishments” established by the new administration under the direction of Secretary of State Clinton. The report includes statements on recent budget increases, the use of “smart power,” and commitments to health and providing health services abroad.

Administration statements in observance of World Malaria Day

President Obama, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, U.S. Malaria Coordinator Admiral Tim Ziemer, and NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. summarized and reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the fight against malaria in official statements observing World Malaria Day.