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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on aid to Nicaragua and the effectiveness and management of the program.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
To ensure that it is adequately apprised of the steps being taken by any foreign government to provide relief to any U.S. citizen whose property has been seized or expropriated, Congress may wish to consider amending section 620(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to require the President to report to Congress the factual basis for any conclusion that the foreign government has taken or is taking the appropriate steps to provide such relief.
Closed - Implemented
P.L. 103-236, Section 527 (April 30, 1994) requires the Secretary of State to report to Congress: (1) a list of every country in which the U.S. government is aware that a U.S. person had an outstanding expropriation claim; (2) the total number of such outstanding expropriation claims made by a U.S. person against each such country; (3) the period of time such claim has been outstanding; and (4) the status of each case and efforts made by the U.S. government and the government in which such claim had been made to return the property; provide adequate compensation; offer procedures to provide prompt, adequate and effective compensation; or submit the dispute to arbitration under the rules of Convention for the Settlement of Investment disputes or other mutually agreeable binding international arbitration procedures.

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
United States Agency for International Development To ensure that U.S. assistance does not exceed the amount intended by Congress, the Administrator, AID, should revise the policy for structuring grant agreements for cash transfers held in Federal Reserve accounts to minimize the cost of providing assistance to other countries.
Closed - Implemented
The agency responded to this recommendation in its response to the GAO report "Foreign Assistance: Cost Reductions Possible From Improved Cash Transfer Management" (GAO/NSIAD-93-58). In March and August 1993, AID issued new guidance for cash transfer payment procedures as GAO recommended. AID now requires the direct payment or the return to the United States interest earnings to lower federal borrowing costs.
United States Agency for International Development The Administrator, AID, should direct the AID mission in Nicaragua to: (1) make timely evaluations of projects; and (2) complete appropriate evaluations before projects are extended.
Closed - Implemented
U.S. AID/Nicaragua issued a mission order on February 3, 1992, establishing the mission's evaluation policy. Its mission policy now is to have all activities evaluated fully. The mission also updated its evaluation schedule.

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