Observations on Risk in the Pre-Award Process for Assistance Awards

Special Report

Selecting effective implementers to carry out foreign assistance activities is vital for realizing USAID’s mission and safeguarding taxpayer dollars. The Agency relies on its Agreement Officers (AOs) to perform appropriate due diligence when selecting implementers and assess relevant information to inform efforts to minimize risk by modifying awards or choosing not to use an implementer altogether. OIG conducted a limited scope review of USAID practices in this area and presented the results to Agency officials. OIG’s presentation contains observations drawn from survey results and interviews conducted with active AOs. We note potential risks that may not be captured in the current due diligence process and reflect on AO feedback on information access and pressure felt during the award process.