The House of Representatives unanimously passed the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act (H.R. 3766) last night, following unanimous passage by the Senate last week. This important, bipartisan legislation will now head to President Obama for his signature. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), will help to increase the accountability of U.S. foreign assistance resources so that they can be tracked, measured, and allocated to have the most impact.
Specifically, the bill requires that detailed foreign assistance information be regularly updated on the ForeignAssistance.gov website, and that development and economic assistance be rigorously monitored and evaluated. We are particularly pleased that the bill extends this transparency and accountability to some aspects of security assistance, specifically the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement program, which is something that MFAN has long called for.
“We are deeply grateful to the bill sponsors for their tireless efforts to work together across the aisle and across chambers in order to see this bill passed into law. This legislation has been introduced in each of the last three congresses and marks an important step towards making U.S. foreign assistance more effective,” said George Ingram, MFAN Co-Chair and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
“By passing this bill, Congress has institutionalized the important gains that have already been made in the areas of transparency and evaluation. This legislation will help to ensure that our aid programs are being driven by evidence-based decisions and that our assistance is accountable to U.S. taxpayers and developing country stakeholders,” said Connie Veillette, MFAN Co-Chair and Senior Fellow at The Lugar Center.
“As the United States faces an ever-growing number of humanitarian and development challenges around the world, effective U.S. foreign assistance is more important than ever. Recognizing that our resources are limited, we must be doing all that we can to use them most effectively so that they can have the most impact on those in need around the world,” said Carolyn Miles, MFAN CO-Chair and President and CEO of Save the Children.
MFAN applauds and thanks the bill sponsors, as well as its partners in the development community, for all their work in getting this bill passed and to the President’s desk. With this legislation enacted, the progress that has been made on increasing transparency and improving monitoring and evaluation practices can be built upon when a new Administration and Congress are sworn in next year.