October 20, 2015 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs George Ingram, Carolyn Miles, and Connie Veillette
MFAN welcomes the introduction of the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 by Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). This bipartisan legislation would codify important reforms to ensure that U.S. agencies involved in foreign assistance are focused on rigorous and consistent monitoring and evaluation of programs and on making comprehensive, timely, and comparable aid data publicly available. By strengthening its commitment to monitoring and evaluation and transparency, the U.S. government can better allocate aid resources and be held accountable by a range of stakeholders.
Earlier versions of this legislation have been unanimously approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 113th Congress and by the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress. We commend Representatives Poe and Connolly and Senators Rubio and Cardin for their continued leadership to enact this important legislation.
MFAN strongly supports this legislation. It is vital to guaranteeing that U.S. foreign assistance becomes as transparent as possible and programs are thoroughly evaluated. Enacting this bill will help pave the way for the U.S. Government to further embed aid effectiveness principles in its development policy and practice in order to get the most out of every dollar we spend. The positive actions we have seen this Administration take to improve the accountability of U.S. foreign assistance, such as creating ForeignAssistance.gov as a public venue for aid data, and the USAID and State Department evaluation policies, will be strengthened by this legislation.
We look forward to working with Congress to make this legislation even stronger by requiring that aid effectiveness approaches be rigorously applied to all foreign assistance, including security assistance, and reinforcing existing U.S. government commitments to transparency and evaluation, such as meeting its obligation on the International Aid Transparency Initiative.