USAID/Colombia's Clean Energy Program Faced Delays in Achieving Intended Results

Audit Report
Report Number
1-514-17-002-P

As part of USAID’s commitment to work with the Colombian Government to strengthen environmental resilience, USAID/Colombia signed an $18.7 million, 5-year, cost-plus-fixed- fee, completion-type contract with Tetra Tech ES Inc. to implement the Colombia Clean Energy Program in January 2012. The contract was intended to increase access to renewable energy sources and increase energy-efficient practices.

OIG found the program had achievements— for example, it supported the Colombian Government in developing regulations and decrees to facilitate tax incentives for renewables and energy-efficient practices— but did not increase access as expected. The program was also behind on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing employment as a result of clean-energy program interventions.

Although the subject contract was nearly complete, OIG found USAID must do more to identify obstacles to achieving program goals, promptly make any needed course corrections, and monitor implementers’ adherence to program objectives and applicable requirements, while complying with contracting practices and internal control standards. To that end, OIG made 15 recommendations.

Recommendations

Recommendation 1

USAID/Colombia work with Tetra Tech ES Inc. to develop a work plan for completing as many of the activities, expected results, and indicator targets as possible.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 2

USAID/Colombia provide written feedback to Tetra Tech ES Inc. on areas of its performance that need improvement to achieve all outstanding contract requirements.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 3

USAID/Colombia determine how much funding will be spent in the time remaining, and reprogram any funds that will not be used.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 4

USAID/Colombia conduct an after-action review to determine what type of programmatic changes should have been made and account for them in future development objective planning.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 5

USAID/Colombia issue written instructions to Tetra Tech ES Inc. to update its grants manual to include the contract prohibition on grants for unproven technology, and then follow the manual in determining which projects qualify.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 6

USAID/Colombia determine the allowability of $1,282,965 in ineligible questioned costs charged to the Clean Energy Program for grants that did not meet the objectives of the program, and recover from Tetra Tech ES Inc. the amount determined to be unallowable.

Questioned Cost:
$1282965
Close Date:
Recommendation 7

USAID/Colombia review any awards by Tetra Tech ES Inc. to affiliates and require those entities to disclose all potential conflicts of interest between themselves and any other affiliated companies related to noncompetitive pricing practices, and provide any findings to the Office of Acquisition and Assistance in Washington.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 8

USAID/Colombia implement an Agency-contracted audit of Tetra Tech ES Inc. and its subcontractor Tetra Tech ARD to determine if the practice of hiring an affiliate has resulted in excessive costs to the program that might be recovered.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 9

USAID/Colombia issue written instructions to Tetra Tech ES Inc. to modify the intercompany subcontract agreement it has with Tetra Tech ARD to tie payment of fees to achievement of targets and to include all applicable clauses required in other subcontracts to resolve the special treatment given to it.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 10

USAID's Office of Acquisition and Assistance determine if Tetra Tech ES Inc.'s bidding practice of including affiliated companies as subcontractors violates fair competition requirements and if any of these awards should be terminated because of conflicts of interest.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 11

USAID's Office of Acquisition and Assistance, if it determines that Tetra Tech ES Inc.'s bidding practice is fair, implement guidance for bidders on how to present costs of affiliated companies in contract proposals, and for its staff on how to review and evaluate such proposals.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 12

USAID/Colombia review Tetra Tech ES Inc.'s consultancy agreements to verify compliance with Colombian labor laws.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 13

USAID/Colombia require implementers to provide the mission with the assessments they conducted, and evaluate them to confirm that they are conducted in accordance with regulations.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 14

USAID/Colombia monitor and review expenses submitted by Tetra Tech ES Inc. to confirm that they are reasonable and allowable before paying them.

Questioned Cost:
$0
Close Date:
Recommendation 15

USAID/Colombia determine the allowability of $192,106 in ineligible questioned costs charged to the Clean Energy Program for subcontracts and consulting fees incurred without the competition required by Tetra Tech ES Inc.'s manuals, through either a financial review or an Agency-contracted audit, and recover from Tetra Tech ES Inc. the amount determined to be unallowable.

Questioned Cost:
$192106
Close Date: