Foreign Assistance: Any Further Aid to Haitian Justice System Should Be Linked to Performance-Related Conditions

GAO-01-24 Published: Oct 17, 2000. Publicly Released: Oct 17, 2000.
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In 1994, the United States and other countries intervened militarily in Haiti to restore the democratically elected government that had been overthrown by the Haitian military several years earlier. During the last 6 years, the United States provided assistance to help Haiti establish its first civilian-controlled police and improve its judicial system. About $70 million in U.S. assistance helped Haiti recruit, train, organize, and equip a basic police force, including specialized units. However, despite these achievements, the police and judicial sector have displayed several weaknesses. The Haitian government's lack of a clear commitment to addressing the major problems of its police and judicial institutions has been the key factor affecting the success of the U.S. assistance provided to these institutions. The United States is reassessing several aspects of its relationship with Haiti because of concerns about how votes were counted in Haiti's May 2000 elections. The United States and Haiti have been unable to negotiate an agreement for continuing this assistance. At this time, any further aid to the Haitian Justice System should be linked to performance-related conditions.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of State If the United States decides to renew its assistance to the Haitian justice system, the Secretary of State should place specific, performance-related conditions on the implementation of this assistance to encourage the Haitian government to strengthen its justice institutions. Such assistance with conditions will encourage the Haitian government to implement reforms and other measures aimed at establishing strong and effective police and judicial institutions, adopting and institutionalizing the progress that U.S. programs help achieve, and providing adequate funding to its police and judicial institutions. These conditions should incorporate specific goals, performance measures, and time frames.
Closed – Not Implemented
Action not taken.

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