USAid suspends contractor ‘International Relief and Development’

The United States Agency for International Development announced Monday that it had suspended one of its largest contractors, International Relief and Development, a nonprofit group based in Virginia, because of questions over oversight of its spending, a significant amount being in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The agency would not say specifically what it had found, but deemed the findings serious enough to suspend the group from receiving new contracts.

“U.S.A.I.D. has a zero-tolerance policy for mismanagement of American taxpayer funds and will take every measure at our disposal to recover these funds,” said Benjamin Edwards, a spokesman for the agency.

The suspension came after years of criticism that the agency had provided little oversight of its contractors. The group also came under fire last year after a Washington Post investigation raised questions about the millions of dollars in bonuses it had awarded to members of the family that founded the group.

International Relief and Development is one of the largest recipients of grants and contracts among nonprofit groups that work for the agency. It gets most of its funding from the aid agency, having received $2.4 billion from it since 2006. Among its other services, the group builds roads and clinics and works with farmers to increase food production in developing countries. It works in more than 40 countries.

 [New York Times]

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