Foreign Economic Assistance Issues

OCG-93-25TR: Published: Dec 1, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO summarized issues relating to foreign economic assistance, focusing on: (1) a reassessment of the goals and rationale for foreign economic assistance; (2) management accountability in aid programs; (3) the Agency for International Development's (AID) work-force planning system; and (4) effective information resource management and financial management and accounting systems.

GAO noted that: (1) the federal government needs to comprehensively reexamine foreign assistance goals and objectives, and AID needs to clearly articulate its strategic mission; (2) AID lacks a strong centralized policy and priority-setting mechanisms and systems to ensure the accountability of its decentralized units; (3) AID has not systematically planned for its work-force needs, and many AID employees lack the skills they need to perform their responsibilities; (4) AID information resource management include undefined information needs, duplicate data, redundant, outdated, and unintegrated information systems, and nonexistent or inadequate support, standards, and procedures; and (5) serious problems in AID accounting and financial reporting systems hinder its appropriations tracking, property control and inventory, and resource tracking.

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