San Salvador, El Salvador —At a half-day anti-corruption workshop, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Inspector General (OIG) called on implementers of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) El Salvador Investment Compact to help prevent fraud in U.S.-funded infrastructure projects. USAID OIG, an independent office that oversees U.S. foreign assistance programs, joined U.S. and Salvadoran Government officials, along with MCC compact implementers, to raise awareness about typical fraud schemes and how to report them.
In opening remarks, Ann Calvaresi Barr, Inspector General for USAID, noted OIG’s responsibility for also overseeing MCC projects and working to protect them from fraud, waste, and abuse. “Projects that promote economic growth and private investment have tremendous potential to advance the security, prosperity and governance of El Salvador. But, these projects can also face serious fraud risks that must be met with effective safeguards, regular monitoring activities, and proper reporting to independent investigative authorities.” Ms. Calvaresi Barr also cited her office’s work with the Corruption Crimes Unit under El Salvador’s Attorney General, an important investigative partner in the country.
U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Jean Elizabeth Manes said, “The objective of today’s event is to equip everyone present with the knowledge and tools required to identify risk factors, so we can put in place appropriate methods of mitigating that risk.”
She continued, “Let me be perfectly clear – transparency and honesty are good for business, and show the world that they can have confidence in transacting with your companies. Gaining a reputation as an enterprise committed to transparency, which has strong controls and mechanisms for internal monitoring is, in and of itself, a smart investment.”