USAID Democracy Contracts

Gao ID: NSIAD-97-19R November 27, 1996

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed all 28 active contracts awarded by the Agency for International Development's (AID) two principal democracy centers, focusing on whether there were any indications that these contractors had received favored treatment in connection with the award of democracy contracts. GAO noted that: (1) the two democracy offices awarded contracts through competitions for 17 democracy projects in various regions of the world and used appropriate contracting procedures, which resulted in a wide distribution of contracts for these projects; (2) it found no allegations of favoritism concerning AID's contracting practices or its ultimate selection decisions; (3) with one exception, all of the contracts were awarded using procedures providing for full and open competition; (4) based on the documentation GAO reviewed, AID followed applicable agency and federal acquisition regulations; (5) with AID's shift toward the use of multiple award contracts in 1994, GAO noted a significant increase in the number of contractors used to implement democracy projects; (6) GAO's review of correspondence files for the contracts examined revealed no written internal or external complaints regarding AID's award procedures; and (7) none of the bid protests filed with GAO in the past 6 years regarding AID procurements have involved democracy project contracts.

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