Promoting Democracy:

The National Endowment for Democracy's Management of Grants Overseas

NSIAD-86-185: Published: Sep 24, 1986. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the National Endowment for Democracy's procedures for selecting, monitoring, and evaluating its grantee programs.

GAO found that the Endowment: (1) relied on its grantees to select, monitor, and evaluate their own programs in 1984 and 1985; (2) did not implement a comprehensive planning process or develop an overall plan reflecting its priorities in terms of geographic areas or project types, thereby limiting its selection process to funding projects that its grantees developed and submitted; (3) did little independent verification of financial and other program information; and (4) evaluated only a few projects during the first 2 years of operation, since they were the only projects that were completed by then. GAO noted that in March 1986, the Endowment approved a policy statement clarifying its responsibilities for oversight of appropriated funds and defining its relationship with grantees.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Endowment has implemented procedures that reflect the 1986 policy statement, but its program priorities statements fail to target geographical areas with sufficient specificity.

    Recommendation: The Endowment should prepare and implement procedures to put its 1986 policy statement into practice, and provide specific guidance on program priorities and geographical targets for grantees to use in developing projects.

    Agency Affected: National Endowment for Democracy

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: USIA failed to add language to the 1987 grant, despite the promise made in its report to Congressman Brooks.

    Recommendation: The U.S. Information Agency (USIA) should ensure that the Endowment's Board of Directors establishes procedures and assigns responsibility so that the Endowment can perform, or require to be performed, selective, independent auditing or other forms of verification of the information submitted by grantees to ensure compliance with grant terms and objectives.

    Agency Affected: United States Information Agency

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Endowment clarified procedures per the GAO recommendation.

    Recommendation: USIA should ensure that the Endowment's Board of Directors clarifies the Endowment's current procedures in terms of the Board's March 1986 policy statement, which identifies the Endowment's responsibility for evaluating projects.

    Agency Affected: United States Information Agency

 

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