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$216 Promoting Gender Equity Programs (Promote)

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    Posted: 16-Sep-2018 at 12:59am

September 7, 2018 

The Honorable Mark Green Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development Mr. Herbert B. Smith USAID Mission Director for Afghanistan This report discusses the results of SIGAR’s audit of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Promoting Gender Equity in National Priority Programs (Promote). In September 2014, the USAID Mission for Afghanistan awarded three indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts to implement Promote to Chemonics International Inc., Tetra Tech ARD, and Development Alternatives Inc. The goal of the $216 million, 5-year program is to improve the status of more than 75,000 young women in all levels of Afghan society. This report focuses on Promote’s results, USAID’s oversight of the program from its initiation to October 2017, and the extent to which the program’s activities and achievements are sustainable. We are making three recommendations. We recommend that the USAID Administrator (1) conduct an overall assessment of Promote and use the results to adjust the program and measure future program performance. We also recommend that the Mission Director for Afghanistan direct USAID/Afghanistan’s Gender Office to (2) provide written guidance and training to contracting officer’s representatives on maintaining records in a consistent, accurate manner. Finally, we recommend that the Mission Director for Afghanistan (3) conduct a new sustainability analysis for the program. We received written comments on a draft of this report from USAID’s Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, which are reproduced in appendix II. USAID concurred with all three recommendations. In response to the first recommendation, USAID concurred and said it will perform a midterm evaluation of the overall program by September 2019, which will allow the agency to adjust programming during implementation. While this is encouraging, we are concerned that deferring the evaluation limits USAID’s ability to adjust the program given that WIE and WLD are expected to end in July and September 2019, respectively, and WIG and Musharikat are expected to end in April and September 2020. In response to the second recommendation, USAID concurred and said it re-issued Mission Order 502.03, “Records Management,” which establishes policies and procedures for records management to mission staff. Additionally, USAID said it is implementing the Agency Secure Image and Storage Tracking System, an electronic filing system that facilitates consistency in maintaining files, and USAID/Afghanistan will conduct training for contracting officer’s representatives on the new system. This recommendation will remain open until we receive documentation that USAID/Afghanistan provided training on records management and document retention to its Gender Office contracting officer’s representatives. In response to the third recommendation, USAID concurred and said it will assess the sustainability of Promote as part of its overall midterm evaluation of the program. This recommendation will remain open until we receive a copy of the new sustainability analysis. The draft of this report also included a recommendation for the Mission Director for Afghanistan to direct the Gender Office to complete contractor performance assessment reports on time and establish guidance to verify that they accurately reflect the contractors’ performance. USAID concurred with the recommendation and, after receiving the draft report in July 2018, USAID/Afghanistan’s Office of Acquisition and Assistance issued guidance to the Gender Office advising contracting officer’s representatives of their responsibility to submit well-documented, timely contractor performance assessment reports. Therefore, we consider the recommendation implemented and removed it from this final report. SIGAR conducted this work under the authority of Public Law No. 110‐181, as amended, and the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended; and in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. John F. Sopko Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Edited by MateenK - 16-Sep-2018 at 1:31am
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