Foreign Assistance:

Evaluation of Aid to the Hungarian National Assembly

PEMD-92-13: Published: Apr 29, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Democratic Institution Building in Hungary project, which is an Agency for International Development (AID) funded program at a U.S. university.

GAO found that: (1) the university project has been beneficial to the Hungarian National Assembly and the university conducted its activities in the face of substantially difficulties; (2) tension between the two principal goals of the project, the university goal of assisting the parliament by building a Hungarian infrastructure for legislative development through long-term assistance to academics and members of Parliament and staff and the U.S. government's goal of providing timely, short-term assistance directly to the National Assembly on behalf of the United States, has been a major difficulty; (3) the university has completed the tasks described in its agreement with AID and has gone beyond those requirements to conduct valuable assistance activities for the Hungarian government; (4) the university successfully focused the attention of some academics and members of Parliament on issues that affect the viability of the National Assembly as an institution; (5) the contractually required needs prepared by the university early in the program were not adequate to serve as a clear guide to later activities; (6) university activities complement the efforts of the House Special Task Force to develop infrastructure for parliamentary democracy in Hungary; and (7) the Task Force is providing nonpartisan, short-term assistance directly to the National Assembly and the university efforts, also nonpartisan, are longer term and intended to assist the parliament indirectly.

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