USAID wants additional vetting of contractors, grantees

Friday - 6/26/2009, 3:50pm EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
FederalNewsRadio

The U.S. Agency for International Development is considering collecting more information about its contractors and grantees to determine whether they are connected to terrorists or terrorism in any way.

The agency, in a Federal Register notice today, is asking for comments on a proposed rule to implement a Partner Vetting System (PVS).

"USAID already has taken a number of steps to help ensure that agency funds and other resources do not inadvertently benefit individuals or entities that are terrorists, supporters of terrorists or affiliated with terrorists," the notice states.

"USAID recognizes, however, that more can be done to ensure adequate due diligence in certain situations. Among other things, PVS will facilitate the management and collection of information from individuals, officers, employees, or other officials of organizations that seek to receive USAID funding."

The agency states that it would use the information to conduct national security screenings of key officials and employees.

Part of the PVS, AID states is a risk assessment of the company or grantee's officials.

"Key factors that USAID will consider in this assessment will include, but are not limited to, the nature of what is being provided (e.g., cash, goods, services), the type of entity that will be implementing the activity (e.g., U.S. Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), U.S. contractor, foreign NGO, foreign contractor, international organization), the geographic location of the activity, the safeguards available and how easily funds could be diverted or misused," the notice states.

"Other considerations, while not necessarily factors in the risk assessment, include the urgency of the activity and the foreign policy importance of the activity."

The agency says should PVS become a part of its acquisition regulations, it would protect the integrity of any future procurements.

"No individual involved in the source selection process, including the contracting officer, will have access to the information offerors submit for partner vetting, other than to confirm the key individuals the offerors have submitted," the notice states.

PVS also would apply to subcontractors, the notice states.

Comments are due by Aug. 25.

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On the Web:

FederalNewsRadio -- SAMMIES Tracker: finalist on making a difference

GPO -- Federal Register notice Partner Vetting System

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