Monday, June 11, 2012

Private contractor has a penchant for privacy

The U.S. government gave a private contractor more than $9 million for Cuba-related programs, but there's barely a mention of Cuba on the company's website.

The Agency for International Development awarded the money to Creative Associates International from 2008 to 2010.

The first contract was worth $6.5 million. In October 2011, I filed three Freedom of Information Act requests for information about the company's work in Cuba (see letters here). I have not received any documents back from USAID yet.

Caleb McCarry
There are only two mentions of Cuba on Creative Associates' website. One is the company's announcement that it hired Caleb Charles McCarry as a senior associate. Previously, he had been the Bush Administration's optimistically named "Cuba transition coordinator."

Enrique Roig
The second Cuba mention on the company's website announced the hiring of Enrique J. Roig, who reported field experience in 19 countries, including Cuba.

There is nothing else about Cuba on Creative Associates' website. isn't much help, either, although the website does spell out the Obama administration's philosophy.
Transparency is a hallmark of this Administration...
The Administration’s commitment to transparency and accountability extends into the international community as well...
The U.S. Government is committed to making information on foreign assistance programs more transparent, accessible, and compatible with international standards.

In practice, not much of that rhetoric matches reality, at least in the case of Cuba.

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