Assessment and Oversight Gaps Hindered OFDA’s Decision Making About Medical Funding During the Ebola Response

Audit Report
Report Number
9-000-18-002-P

With this audit, OIG sought to determine whether OFDA effectively (1) assessed needs for medical facilities and commodities in the affected countries and (2) oversaw the items it funded. USAID/OFDA neither effectively determined initial needs nor sufficiently reassessed those needs as the outbreak evolved. OFDA identified a general need for protective equipment, structures, personnel, and supplies, but did not indicate the number and size of facilities, where to build them, and when they needed to be operational. Insufficient assessments contributed to the delayed opening of facilities. By the time most were operational, the majority of confirmed Ebola cases had already occurred, resulting in an excess of medical commodities. In addition, OFDA did not adequately oversee what it funded, and it lacked the information it needed to track activities and determine the funding’s effectiveness.

OIG made eight recommendations. USAID agreed with all eight, but two remain unresolved because the Agency’s proposed corrective actions centered on implementers rather than on Agency personnel and guidance.

Recommendations

Recommendation 1

OFDA update policies and procedures to clearly define how staff should conduct initial and ongoing assessments and how the assessments should inform the development and modification of OFDA's strategic approach to disasters-especially the longer-term, complex emergencies that are becoming more common.

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Recommendation 2

OFDA require staff to document needs assessments, reassessments, the data used to inform these assessments, and any underlying assumptions.

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$0
Recommendation 3

OFDA determine the extent to which the USAID-funded Ebola inventory has been redistributed in accordance with implementers' disposition plans, the excess inventory that remains, and whether U.S. Government funds are being used to store excess inventory.

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Recommendation 4

OFDA update policies and procedures on monitoring response effectiveness, specifying the parties responsible, the frequency, and the method for collecting, analyzing, documenting, and reporting the information necessary to oversee response activities.

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$0
Recommendation 5

OFDA establish handover policies and procedures for members of Disaster Assistance Response Teams to provide consistency, continuity of operations, and institutional memory.

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Recommendation 6

OFDA implement a strategy to provide proper monitoring and management of awards by agreement officer's representatives, especially when a disaster requires immediate oversight on a large scale.

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Recommendation 7

OFDA implement a strategy to institutionalize OFDA's lessons learned from previous emergency responses and after-action reviews.

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Recommendation 8

OFDA include sections in the multiple response strategy on filling open positions, ensuring a sufficient surge roster, and attracting qualified individuals to work on response efforts.

Questioned Cost:
$0
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