USAID's Award Oversight Is Insufficient To Hold Implementers Accountable for Achieving Results

Audit Report
Report Number
9-000-19-006-P

Over the past decade, we have made 2,700 recommendations in 365 audit reports aimed at strengthening USAID’s award management to better ensure they achieve intended outcomes. Addressing these recommendations has been a major challenge for USAID—one that we have included in our Top Management Challenges reports for the past 3 fiscal years.

This audit assessed USAID’s implementation and management of awards, including identifying any impediments USAID faces in managing awards for optimal performance and determining how USAID could improve its award management. We found that almost half of awards did not achieve expected results, but implementers were generally paid full award amounts. We also found that execution of USAID’s award management process lacks the rigor needed to ensure that results are achieved.

USAID programs and projects are at risk of not achieving intended results until the Agency establishes monitoring plans and appropriate performance measures for awards, implements controls to ensure its employees and implementers adhere to the award management process and related requirements, addresses challenges with roles and responsibilities for award making and oversight, and significantly improves its recordkeeping practices.

Recommendations

Recommendation 1

USAID Administrator direct the appropriate offices to take the following actions - implement a strategy to (1) ensure award monitoring plans with measurable performance indicators, baselines, and expected results (targets) are established for all required activities and projects before major activity implementation begins and (2) identify those responsible for tracking and enforcing the strategy. Target Completion Date: USAID requests closure of the recommendation upon issuance of the final report.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 2

USAID Administrator direct the appropriate offices to take the following actions - Implement an approach to track, document, and review implementer performance on USAID assistance awards. Target Completion Date: USAID requests closure of the recommendation upon issuance of the final report.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 3

USAID Administrator direct the appropriate offices to take the following actions - Implement a control to ensure USAID staff complete CPARS according to Governmentwide standards, including maintaining documentation to support ratings. Target Completion Date: USAID requests closure of the recommendation upon issuance of the final report.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 4

USAID Administrator direct the appropriate offices to take the following actions - Implement guidance for contracting officer's representatives and agreement officer's representatives to clarify the type and extent of engagement (including site visits and implementer interaction) and associated documentation requirements for each award. This guidance should include how contracting and agreement officers document alternative oversight methods if a nonpermissive environment or other security concerns limit engagement. Target Completion Date: USAID requests closure of the recommendation upon issuance of the final report.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 5

USAID Administrator direct the appropriate offices to take the following actions - Implement a strategy to ensure contracting officer's representatives and agreement officer's representatives prioritize their delegated responsibilities in the context of their other duties. Activities related to training and the issuance of guidance are expected to continue through FY 2020 (October 1, 2020).

Questioned Cost:
$0
Recommendation 6

USAID Administrator direct the appropriate offices to take the following actions - Implement a strategy to help ensure contracting officers and agreement officers are free of undue influence in the execution and management of awards. Target Completion Date: December 31, 2019.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Recommendation 7

USAID Administrator direct the appropriate offices to take the following actions - Implement a control to prevent obligating funds for any award or modification that lacks key award/modification documents, such as memorandums of negotiation, including language evidencing the consideration of past performance in ASIST. Target Completion Date: August 31, 2020.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Recommendation 8

USAID Administrator direct the appropriate offices to take the following actions - Implement a plan to strengthen ASIST by (1) giving all contracting/agreement officer's representatives the access and training they need to read, enter, and edit documents in ASIST; (2) incorporating into Agency policy standard checklists of award and contracting and agreement officer's representatives' documents required to be in ASIST; (3) updating the Agency's records retention and disposition schedules for ASIST award records; and (4) revising its corresponding policy to comply with the National Archives and Records Administration retention period of 6 years after business use ceases.Target Completion Date: USAID requests closure of the recommendation upon issuance of the final report.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 9

USAID Administrator direct the appropriate offices to take the following actions - Implement a control for making payments or increased obligations to implementers contingent on all required deliverables being completed and required supporting documentation being uploaded or cited in ASIST. Target Completion Date: USAID requests closure of the recommendation upon issuance of the final report.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 10

USAID Administrator direct the appropriate offices to take the following actions - Conduct and document an analysis of the cause for variations in award performance between contracting and agreement officer's representative hiring types. Target Completion Date: July 1, 2020.

Questioned Cost:
$0