AID Slow in Dealing With Project Planning and Implementation Problems

Gao ID: ID-80-33 July 15, 1980

The Agency for International Development (AID) finances hundreds of millions of dollars annually in the procurement of commodities for foreign aid projects for developing countries.

Problems in planning procurements and monitoring project implementation still exist. Despite recommendations by GAO and others, including AID management teams, to improve project monitoring effectiveness: (1) project milestones are still not being met effectively, and (2) identified management problems are not being attended to properly. Delays in ordering and receiving project commodities occur because AID management has not adequately planned procurements, project officers are not adequately trained in procurement and supply management matters, and AID has not issued clear instructions on project implementation. Unnecessary procurement costs are incurred because AID does not have information on the total amount and the types of commodities purchased for financed projects. As a result, AID is not able to obtain the benefits associated with the standardization of items used on projects and the consolidation and advance purchase of selected common-use commodities. For some types of commodities, GAO identified uneconomical expenditures in excess of $600,000 that could have been avoided through closer management of commodity procurement. AID officials recognize the problems; however, action to improve planning and project monitoring has been slow.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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