Foreign Assistance:

Status of USAID's Reforms

NSIAD-96-241BR: Published: Sep 24, 1996. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the status of the U.S. Agency for International Development's (AID) reform efforts.

GAO found that: (1) AID has begun to undertake an array of reforms affecting the entire agency, including organization, management, and program operations; (2) AID's missions largely have reorganized their activities around the agency's strategic objectives and are reporting in a results-based format; (3) however, according to AID officials, the fiscal year 1998 budget cycle will be the first test of the degree to which results are taken into account in making resource allocation decisions; (4) further, personnel reforms are not as far along as other reforms and may reflect long-standing difficulties that AID has had in this area; (5) parallel to, and in support of AID's broad reform efforts, is development of an integrated new management system with worldwide access, which is intended to consolidate a myriad of existing systems; (6) AID officials recognize that they face the challenge of institutionalizing the gains that the agency has made to ensure the long-term sustainability of reforms; and (7) to accomplish this objective, AID needs to be able to show that it is managing resources with greater efficiency and transparency and demonstrate that it is achieving measurable results.

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