The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Systematic Assessment Is Needed to Determine Agencies' Progress toward U.S. Policy Objectives

GAO-08-188 Published: Dec 14, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 14, 2007.
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In enacting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006 (the Act), Congress established 15 U.S. policy objectives to address the DRC's humanitarian, development, economic and natural resource, governance, and security issues and mandated that GAO review actions taken by U.S. agencies to achieve these objectives. In this report, GAO identifies (1) U.S. programs and activities that support the Act's objectives, (2) major challenges hindering the accomplishment of the objectives, and (3) U.S. efforts to assess progress toward the objectives. GAO obtained and analyzed agencies' program documents and met with officials of agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) active in the DRC.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of State To provide a basis for informed decisions regarding U.S. allocations for assistance in the DRC as well as any needed bilateral or multilateral actions, the Secretary of State should, through the Director of Foreign Assistance, work with the heads of the other U.S. agencies implementing programs in the DRC to develop a plan for systematically assessing the U.S. government's overall progress toward achieving the Act's objectives.
Closed – Not Implemented
In concurring with the above recommendation, State wrote that the recommendation would be met as the new joint State-U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) planning and budget process was extended to include other agencies engaged in the DRC. However, State informed us in June 2012 that the State office that oversees the planning and budget process focuses its attention on State and USAID efforts only. In 2009, a State planning and budget official informed us that State had included the DRC in a pilot country planning project that could help address the recommendation. However, in June 2012, State officials informed us that the pilot country planning project had been replaced by a different project that did not include the DRC. State did not provide any evidence that the Secretary of State had otherwise worked with the heads of other agencies active in the DRC specifically to plan the systematic evaluation of overall progress toward achieving the objectives of the DRC Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006.

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