USAID Needs Better Monitoring and Focus To Promote and Sustain Economic Integration Under Its APEC Contract

Audit Report
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In September 2013, with the Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, USAID launched the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Technical Assistance To Advance Regional Integration Project (ATAARI), designed to eliminate impediments that slow regional economic integration. USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (USAID/RDMA) awarded a $27 million, 5-year contract to Nathan Associates Inc. to implement ATAARI.

In examining whether the project achieved its planned results to support regional economic integration within APEC and increase APEC’s institutional capacity, OIG found inadequate contract monitoring and an inability to focus on the project’s, rather than various U.S. Government agencies’ goals. Unreliable performance data limited the mission’s ability to determine if the project was on track. In examining the planning and management of the project’s financial aspects, OIG found that RDMA lacked an interagency agreement with the Department of State and approved a contract without clear guidance on how funds should be used.