Cost of Placing and Maintaining AID Personnel Overseas

ID-78-41: Published: Apr 27, 1978. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 1978.

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In response to a congressional inquiry, the documentation the Agency for International Development (AID) used to arrive at cost estimates for placing personnel abroad was reviewed, and AID costs were compared with allowances provided by other agencies and the private sector. The AID approach to identifying initial assignment costs involved two steps: (1) determination of what items would be needed anywhere in the world to fill a new position and what these items would cost; and (2) identification of those costs or portions of costs in mission operating budgets that could be attributed to U.S. direct-hire positions. Certain costs could be allocated easily, but many costs required AID officials to make some assumptions based on judgment and experience. From this limited analysis, it appears that the AID approach to estimating the costs of placing additional staff overseas is reasonable. However, such figures derived on an overall basis are of limited value in projecting the cost of adding new positions at any one mission. A February 1978 report pointed out that: (1) AID mission operating expense budgets are not adequately evaluated; (2) AID has no assurance that mission requests for operating expense funds are reasonable; and (3) AID operating expense funds have been used for questionable purposes.

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