Friday, April 25, 2014

USAID: For our eyes only

Social Impact Inc. founders Pat Hanscom, left, with her husband Rolf Sartorius. Photo: Washington Post
The U.S. Agency for International Development has set aside more than $5 million for audits, reviews and evaluations of its Cuba programs since 2010.
USAID hasn't made any of the reports public. The agency carefully guards information about its Cuba programs. Taxpayers who finance the multibillion-dollar agency usually learn details about the programs only when there are leaks, lawsuits or investigations, such as the April 3 Associated Press report that disclosed that USAID had financed ZunZuneo, the so-called Cuban Twitter.
Lawmakers requested more information about ZunZuneo on April 8 after USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said he didn't know who came up with the idea for the project.
Perhaps lawmakers should consider requesting copies of some of the audits that have been done in recent years so that they can gain a broader perspective on the agency's work in Cuba.
Below are some references to such reviews I found in federal records. This isn't a comprehensive list.
Contractor: Social Impact Inc., 2300 Clarendon Blvd #1000, Arlington, Va. (See Washington Post story about company).
Description of job: Monitoring and evaluation services, USAID/Latin America and the Caribbean/Cuba. Funding for two-year base period.
Amount: $1,233,874.40. Contract allows for extension and additional $548,757.70.
Date: Sept. 30, 2013 to Sept. 29, 2015 or Aug. 1, 2016 if contract extended. (See contract information).
Contractor: Williams Adley, 1030 15th Street NW, Suite 350 West, Washington, D.C.
Description of job: Financial reviews and technical assistance services, USAID/Latin America and the Caribbean/Cuba.
Amount: $899,488.32.
Date: Sept. 30, 2013 to March 31, 2014. (See contract information).
Contractor: The DMP Group, 2233 Wisconsin Ave NW , Suite 405, Washington, D.C.
Description of job: Provide technical assistance to USAID to perform audit and financial services for the USAID/Cuba program.
Amount: at least $2,351,367.
Date: April 15, 2008 to Sept. 30, 2013. (See contract information).
Total: $4,484,729.72, or $5,033,487.42 if the Social Impact contract is extended.
I wrote about The DMP Group audits in December 2011. See "USAID audit cost taxpayers nearly $150,000 per page?"

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