Foreign Assistance:

Management Problems Persist at the Agency for International Development

T-NSIAD-92-31: Published: May 1, 1992. Publicly Released: May 1, 1992.

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GAO discussed the Agency for International Development's (AID) management problems. GAO noted that AID: (1) has such serious, persistent accountability and control problems as limited monitoring of field operations, a lack of standard accountability requirements for overseas missions, and financial and information management system weaknesses, that make its programs vulnerable to fraud, waste, and abuse; (2) increasingly relies on contractors and other third parties to deliver economic assistance, but has only limited ability to ensure assistance delivery, control, and accountability; (3) emphasizes the process of programming foreign assistance, rather than program effectiveness; (4) has not clearly defined responsibilities, and various headquarters offices perform overlapping duties; (5) lacks a work-force planning system, and its work force lacks the skills required to meet its current needs; (6) financial management systems can not match disbursements with outstanding obligations or produce auditable financial statements; (7) information resources management systems do not support decisionmaking and control; (8) announced an initiative to correct some of the key problems, but did not define a comprehensive strategic management plan; (9) lacks a process for prioritizing programs or for linking planning and goal-setting to strategies, budget, and accountability; and (10) has established working groups to solve key management problems, but still lacks a clearly articulated strategic direction.

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