Skip to Highlights
Highlights

On January 12, 2010, an earthquake in Haiti killed an estimated 230,000 people, displaced about 2 million more, and exacerbated longstanding challenges. In July 2010, Congress appropriated more than $1.14 billion in supplemental funds for reconstruction assistance, most of which was provided to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State (State). In April 2010, the Haitian government created the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), a joint Haitian-international entity, for an 18-month term to coordinate donors, conduct strategic planning, approve reconstruction projects, and provide accountability. In this report, GAO addresses (1) the planned uses for U.S. reconstruction assistance and the amounts provided so far, (2) USAID's internal controls for overseeing U.S. funds, and (3) IHRC's progress establishing governance and oversight structures. GAO interviewed U.S. government officials in Washington, D.C., and Haiti, as well as officials from Haitian ministries, the IHRC, and nongovernmental organizations, and reviewed U.S. and IHRC documents.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of State 1. To strengthen IHRC capacity to coordinate and oversee international donor assistance, ensure the consideration of Haitian priorities in planning projects, and assist with IHRC's transfer to a Haitian development agency, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, should encourage IHRC leadership to ensure that priority staffing needs are met, including staffing the projects division with sector experts and hiring Performance and Anticorruption Office (PAO) staff who can provide technical guidance and analysis during upcoming project selection rounds.
Closed - Implemented
Circumstances have changed and this recommendation is no longer valid. The IHRC no longer exists, as its mandate expired on October 21, 2011 and the government of Haiti did not renew it. Many of the responsibilities of the IHRC have been assumed by the Haitian Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation. However, this Ministry does not have the same organizational structure as the IHRC and the U.S. does not have a formal role in its governance, as it did with the IHRC.
Department of State 2. To strengthen IHRC capacity to coordinate and oversee international donor assistance, ensure the consideration of Haitian priorities in planning projects, and assist with IHRC's transfer to a Haitian development agency, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, should encourage IHRC leadership to determine the specific goals and structure of PAO and ensure oversight procedures and staff are in place before the end of IHRC's term so monitoring and oversight functions can be transferred to a successor agency.
Closed - Implemented
Circumstances have changed and this recommendation is no longer valid. The IHRC no longer exists, as its mandate expired on October 21, 2011 and the government of Haiti did not renew it. Many of the responsibilities of the IHRC have been assumed by the Haitian Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation. However, this Ministry does not have the same organizational structure as the IHRC and the U.S. does not have a formal role in its governance, as it did with the IHRC.
Department of State 3. To strengthen IHRC capacity to coordinate and oversee international donor assistance, ensure the consideration of Haitian priorities in planning projects, and assist with IHRC's transfer to a Haitian development agency, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, should encourage IHRC leadership to continue to take steps to implement IHRC's strategic plan by, for example, finalizing more detailed plans for projects and programs that address the goals laid out in the plan.
Closed - Implemented
Circumstances have changed and this recommendation is no longer valid. The IHRC no longer exists, as its mandate expired on October 21, 2011 and the government of Haiti did not renew it. Many of the responsibilities of the IHRC have been assumed by the Haitian Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation. However, this Ministry does not have the same organizational structure as the IHRC and the U.S. does not have a formal role in its governance, as it did with the IHRC.
USAID Haiti 4. To help strengthen ongoing efforts to monitor and evaluate the use of supplemental reconstruction funds and prepare for when reconstruction funds are further obligated in Haiti, the USAID Mission Director in Haiti, in collaboration with USAID officials in headquarters and the field, should develop mechanisms within the (Office of Policy Coordination and Program Support) PCPS for coordinating with development sector staff to determine when project plans are finalized so the timing of baseline data collection aligns with project implementation.
Closed - Not Implemented
USAID has not developed mechanisms for coordinating between the PCPS and development sector staff. In our 2011 report, we noted that PCPS was working on developing a baseline data collection tool, but that it did not have a mechanism to coordinate the timing of such collection with project teams to ensure that it was collected before substantial implementation occurred. USAID officials stated that they planned to collect data in the summer of 2011 and had sufficient time because substantial project implementation had not yet begun. However, baseline data collection was delayed for over a year until the fall of 2012. PCPS did not implement any new mechanisms for coordinating with development sector staff to ensure this baseline data collection aligned with project implementation. PCPS officials stated that PCPS staff coordinate with development sector staff in a number of ways, including coordinating on monitoring and evaluation efforts, portfolio reviews, and new project designs. However, all of these efforts pre-dated the issuance of our report.

Full Report

GAO Contacts