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Statement from CARE on Bruckner FOIA request

AidWatch received the following statement from CARE regarding Till Bruckner’s AidWatch post on USAID and NGO transparency:

Statement from CARE (Aug. 30, 2010):

Contrary to what Till Bruckner suggested in a recent blog, CARE did not withhold information in response to his FOIA request to USAID regarding certain projects in the Republic of Georgia. Our records indicate that CARE never received the request from USAID to review CARE’s budget information before USAID provided it to Mr. Bruckner. USAID’s email request to CARE went to two inoperative emails; one was for a former employee and one went to a current employee, but the email address was incorrect.  As a result, the CARE document that USAID sent to Mr. Bruckner was redacted without CARE’s knowledge.

We have since reviewed the document and will ask USAID to produce it in full without any redactions, including our indirect cost rate, which was the primary information that had been withheld.

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6 Comments

  1. Maureen wrote:

    Funny how USAID always knows where to find Program Managers when actual money is on the line, but not for FOIA requests.

    Posted September 2, 2010 at 4:04 am | Permalink
  2. skeptic wrote:

    Umm, why don’t they just release it themselves instead of asking USAID to do it?

    This is a great series. I hope the effort continues. Of course, Georgia is small beer. People would be stunned by the indirect that the big fake NGOs like IRD or RTI get out of their big USAID projects, like RTI’s local governance work in Iraq. Not surprising that RTI has offices in the same building as White & Case, one of DC’s most expensive law firms.

    Posted September 2, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink
  3. Tim wrote:

    Check out who is “Art Keys and Associates” and you will understand how contacts are won – and the proceeds divided up between wolves amongst the big fake NGOs, and this goes back to UMCOR, putting proceeds from USDA sales in Georgian banks from vegetable oil that was sold a less than wholesale prices under the USDA Food for Peace program. The received interest received was at less than the official interest rate at the time. A pack of wolves pocket the difference. The interest rates were 18 to 20 percent at the time and USDA was told it was 12 to 14 percent, and this was free money for those in the bank and their NGO partners in crime. In cohorts with the local staff of UMCOR, Keys and Associates, even made up fake Georgian tax IDs and bribed the USAID trained Georgian tax inspection to get around paying VAT on the wholesale dumping of USDA commodities – and I understand the same scheme was also operated in Armenia by the same gang of thieves. As for job creation, this scheme put out of business many smaller dealers of oil that could not complete with a well-greased mafia that has friends in Washington.

    As for CARE, one of the country directors, was fired about 8 or 9 years ago for using the office and its staff to run her own business, and even used CARE’s fax machine and email for business related activities. Under her watch she awarded contracts for IDP housing construction and repairs of collection centers to her own company. Her Georgian husband is way up in a gold mining company JV that destroyed the agriculture base for an entire region, as well as its water supply.

    CARE did a good job of sorting out the mess with the corruption. It has been one of the best operated NGOs in Georgia ever since, and leaned some hard lessons, and they understand why it is necessary to do a background check on country directors, and especially in terms of South American connections. However, the former country director was only allowed to resigned by USAID and she should be facing hard time in the big house. Then she almost ended up as the head of the American Chamber of Commerce, and came close, if it had not for the local media who had a field day on reporting her track record.

    USAID knows all of this but still doles out the pork for the well-connected inner circle. All this information is a matter of record to its office of inspector general and should also be a matter of public record.

    Posted September 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  4. Skeptic wrote:

    Ah Art Keys. For a good laugh, look at IRD board. He’s got a few real people on there now, like Jim Kunder, but for years when IRD was the largest single funnel for USAID money it was composed of half a dozen people whose only exposure to development or anything international was through Arthur Keys and his family. It maybe is getting harder to get away with the really obvious fraud though, with the IG is cracking down on the egregious violations like AED’s housing program in FATA.

    Posted September 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink
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    Posted September 4, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  6. I hope that OIG is reading some of these postings, especially about Art Keys and Associates, and they have always had a good roof in DC.

    Looks like someone has jumped in here and trying to divert the discussion by posting a non-related topic, and I wonder what is the motivation, and here is what the skeptic posted again.

    Ah Art Keys. For a good laugh, look at IRD board. He’s got a few real people on there now, like Jim Kunder, but for years when IRD was the largest single funnel for USAID money it was composed of half a dozen people whose only exposure to development or anything international was through Arthur Keys and his family. It maybe is getting harder to get away with the really obvious fraud though, with the IG is cracking down on the egregious violations like AED’s housing program in FATA.

    Posted September 6, 2010 at 7:43 am | Permalink

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    The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.

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