Potential for Improving AID's Deobligation and Project Analysis Processes

ID-83-25: Published: Jan 3, 1983. Publicly Released: Jan 3, 1983.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Samuel W. Bowlin
(202) 275-5790
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO examined aspects of the Agency for International Development's (AID) deobligation process, including efforts to identify and monitor projects which are potentially subject to deobligation, to consider issues which would help improve the management of AID projects.

AID has taken steps to meet its goal of increasing deobligations which are due to good project management actions, rather than those due to writeoffs or residual funds. A GAO review indicated that the use of the deobligation process as a management tool has not yet yielded significant results. Many deobligations occur because projects have been completed, leaving residual amounts to be cleared from the books. One difficulty seems to be the inconsistent ways in which AID bureaus identify troubled projects. Criteria, guidance, and procedures for identifying, monitoring, and reporting on potential problem projects and deobligations vary at each bureau and may change each year. Inconsistent procedures and reporting raise questions as to the comparability of data from year to year and the nature and extent of appropriate remedial actions. The application of existing criteria, controls, and limits by the bureaus and missions usually results in project extensions, rather than project deobligations. When AID has the option of terminating potential problem projects or extending them, guidance is needed to help the AID staff identify candidates for potential deobligation and projects and amounts to be actually deobligated by providing regional factors and country-specific factors which include relevant political, security, and economic considerations.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of AID should establish more definitive policy guidelines and procedures for all bureaus and missions to use in identifying and reporting potential problem projects and in reviewing whether project funds should be deobligated. The policy and guidelines should include the use of common set agencywide procedures for applying the criteria established, including: (1) how and when the results are to be reported; (2) what reports and data the Washington staff should produce; and (3) when the AID staff should follow up on problem projects identified.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of AID should establish more definitive policy guidelines and procedures for all bureaus and missions to use in identifying and reporting potential problem projects and in reviewing whether project funds should be deobligated. The policy guidelines should include the development of a common set of agencywide criteria for categorizing the AID project portfolio and identifying potential pipeline problem projects by consolidating or improving the various criteria which regional bureaus use.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 20, 2016

Sep 6, 2016

Aug 19, 2016

Aug 12, 2016

Jul 29, 2016

Jul 28, 2016

Jul 13, 2016

Jul 11, 2016

Jun 13, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here