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Highlights

In 1969, Congress created the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) as an experimental program to provide new direction and emphasis for U.S. aid to Latin America. IAF assistance is characterized by: (1) independence from U.S. and host governments' short-term foreign policy objectives; (2) responsiveness to the initiatives of Latin Americans; and (3) nonintervention in the affairs of groups supported. In the spirit of the present administration's scrutinization of foreign assistance programs, GAO undertook an extensive review of IAF.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Inter-American Foundation 1. The President of IAF should direct the staff to: (1) require that the grantees develop specific objectives which the staff believes are attainable; and (2) increase attention to the use of grant funds at the project level to verify application of funds in accordance with agreed terms.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Inter-American Foundation 2. The President of IAF should clearly define a monitoring policy which calls for the staff representatives to: (1) carefully plan monitoring activities to provide coverage of all active grants to better ensure timely identification of problems causing delays or cases of mismanaged funds; (2) play an active, constructive role assisting grantees faced with problems hindering project progress to identify possible options or sources of help; and (3) regularly check, during country visits, on grantees who are overdue in fulfilling reporting requirements.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Inter-American Foundation 3. The President of IAF should: (1) establish explicit policy guidelines and operating procedures for an active coordination program, setting forth the responsibilities expected at each staff level; and (2) establish a systematic approach to information dissemination so that valuable experiences are effectively communicated within IAF and to interested agencies, organizations, and individuals.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

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