Status Report on GAO's Reviews on P.L. 480 Food Aid Programs

Gao ID: T-NSIAD-90-23 March 21, 1990

GAO discussed U.S. food aid programs, focusing on: (1) the integration of agricultural export programs with food aid programs; (2) food aid program management; (3) the Agency for International Development's (AID) food aid management plan; (4) the role of U.S. private voluntary organizations (PVO) in U.S. food aid programs; and (5) the extent to which AID should maintain accountability over local currencies generated through the sale of food aid. GAO noted that: (1) there was no formal strategy for integrating export programs with aid programs, but there was no evidence that the programs were working at cross purposes; (2) AID officials in two countries stated that food aid programs were working well despite complex requirements and bureaucratic and administrative problems; (3) AID developed the food aid management plan to clarify overseas missions' program roles and responsibilities; (4) PVO were not withdrawing from U.S. food aid programs, but made changes in their projects' geographic distribution that particularly affected African countries; and (5) AID officials disagreed regarding accountability and control over host-country-owned local currencies. GAO believes that AID should establish flexible guidelines for missions to use in maintaining such accountability.

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