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  • Issue Brief: USAID's Partner Vetting System | Charity & Security Network
    blacklisted or barred from seeking other U S grants or contracts Organizations and individuals are vetted based on a specific contract or grant to be considered for an award and vetting rules do not prevent the organization from bidding on other solicitations This appears to contradict the statement that information will be shared with other government agencies who will then use it to update their databases Humanitarian Crises In situations where humanitarian assistance is urgently needed USAID does not intend to require pre award vetting so that delivery of aid can be made more quickly The June 2015 final rule states that USAID reserves the right to conduct post award vetting in such situations adding that vetting would take place once the humanitarian situation has stabilized The regulations do not explain how urgency would be determined Pilot Conclusion and Changes The Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations Act requires a joint USAID State report to Congress following completion of the pilot that evaluates the estimated timeline and criteria for evaluating PVS for expansion That is set to occur in 2016 In addition report language in the Omnibus Budget for FY 2017 contains language that would prior to the completion of the evaluation and consultation with the Committees on Appropriations prohibit USAID and State from implementing similar vetting systems outside the pilot countries unless required to respond to existing security threats The report language also requires State and USAID to ensure that all individuals vetted through the pilot are able to obtain information on how data is used by the U S government The report following completion of the pilot must include recommendations for standardizing and streamlining vetting processes consideration of exemptions for humanitarian and democracy assistance analysis of privacy and data protection concerns a description of consultations with governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders affected by the pilot program and responses to concerns raised during these consultations Criticism Numerous NGOs oppose the PVS pilot and have recommended that the Department of State and USAID consider alternative approaches to vetting its partners Intelligence Gathering and Aid Worker Safety Perhaps the biggest concern surrounding PVS is that NGOs will be perceived as intelligence arms of the U S government increasing the security risk for partner employees and violating the neutrality of NGOs As such PVS can discourage international and local partners from working with U S NGOs and deter U S citizens and foreign nationals from working for U S funded programs The perception that grantees are acting as agents of the U S government undermines the basic principles of neutrality and trust upon which NGOs rely to preserve the safety of their staff in dangerous regions or in politically sensitive environments and could lead to retaliation against aid workers by terrorist organizations militias and foreign governments Rather than enhancing security requiring NGOs to collect and submit personal information to the U S government increases the risk of violence against aid workers InterAction the largest alliance of U S based humanitarian and international development NGOs has

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/PVS_Issue_Brief (2016-02-16)
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  • CRS on U.S. Aid to West Bank and Gaza | Charity & Security Network
    accounts This vetting process has become more rigorous in recent years in response to allegations that U S economic assistance was indirectly supporting Palestinian terrorist groups and following an internal audit in which USAID concluded it could not reasonably ensure that its money would not wind up in terrorist hands It continues quoting a USAID statement from 2009 All NGOs applying for grants from USAID are required to certify before award of the grant will be made that they do not provide material support to terrorists Before making an award of either a contract or a grant to a local NGO the USAID West Bank Gaza Mission checks the organization and its principal officers directors and other key personnel against lists maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control OFAC within the U S Department of Treasury The Mission also checks these organizations and individuals through law enforcement and intelligence community systems accessed by USAID s Office of Security At present the Mission collects additional information up front in addition to the individual s full four part name such as a government issued photo ID number and the individual s date and place of birth USAID s West Bank Gaza program possess es the most comprehensive partner vetting system for foreign assistance throughout the U S Government The Partner Vetting System PVS has been widely criticized by humanitarian and peacebuilding NGOs in the U S who strongly oppose its implementation Click here to learn more about PVS The CRS report says that between 2009 to mid 2012 annual U S assistance to the West Bank and Gaza Strip has averaged nearly 600 million Of that approximately 300 million on average per year is dedicated to project assistance for the West Bank and Gaza through U S government grants to NGOs

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/CRS_US-Aid_West_Bank_Gaza (2016-02-16)
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  • Report: How U.S. Terrorism Restrictions Make It Harder to Save Lives | Charity & Security Network
    fear of draconian sanctions This is most apparent in regard to the laws that prohibit material support to designated terrorist groups These laws make it a crime to provide anything to these groups besides medicine and religious materials regardless of the intent or nature of the support According to the report aid groups often find themselves trapped between a rock and a hard place wanting to be able to help people in need but unable to do so because of the potential for such assistance tangible and not to become criminalized The lack of clear guidance from the U S government on what constitutes illegal material support of terrorism also impacts overseas programs resulting in inability to reach millions of people in need and delayed or limited delivery of services The report cites examples from Somalia after famine was declared in July 2011 the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka and territories controlled by groups on the terrorist list such as Gaza and portions of Lebanon The report says The U S government s response to the legal ambiguity posed by the material support statute in particular is ad hoc rulemaking and inadequate policy guidance not concrete legislative clarifications Such reactive methodology ends up being subject to individual and often unhelpful interpretations of the law given the range of agencies involved Indeed the system serves bureaucrats far better than anyone else by operating so opaquely They can make decisions about what is feasible and what is not without any justification or explanation The widely criticized USAID Partner Vetting System PVS is another problematic CTM critiqued by the report Currently in operation in Gaza and the West Bank and slated for a five country pilot in 2012 PVS would require groups receiving USAID money to collect and turn over the U S

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/studies/CAP_Report_Roadblocks (2016-02-16)
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  • Presidential Advisory Council Recommends Against Implementing USAID’s Partner Vetting System | Charity & Security Network
    U S nonprofits and their in country local partners will be seriously damaged if forced to subject local partners to the PVS The report used the work of U S nonprofits in Lebanon to demonstrate the negative consequences of implementing PVS in its current form U S nonprofits work with a range of credible local groups to deliver badly needed services to people across sectarian lines This work advances U S national interests by strengthening nonviolent groups demonstrating that basic living conditions can improve in the absence of fighting and indirectly undermining the appeal of violent elements of society Should U S nonprofits be required to comply with the PVS or similar process Lebanese local partners would distance themselves from U S nonprofits who would inevitably be perceived as too closely tied to U S security and intelligence interests As these partners severed their relationship with U S nonprofits extremist groups would also perceive that U S nonprofits were connected with the U S security structure and would target U S nonprofit staff and their local partners This recommendation runs counter to what the Administer of USAID Rajiv Shah told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 3 2010 During his budget request hearing he was asked about the process to ensure USAID funds designated for Gaza were not ending up in the hand of terrorists Shah responded that the Gaza PVS vets all key personnel in any partner organization against a larger database and it involves our database tracking systems He did not expound upon what database was used or how the information in it is updated or modified Several aid and development nonprofits in the U S have criticized the PVS saying it would create unnecessary and potentially dangerous barriers for humanitarian groups providing relief in global hot

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Presidential_Advisory_Council_Recommends_Against_Implementing_Partner_Vetting_System (2016-02-16)
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  • USAID Mission Order Sets Vetting Process for Afghanistan Grants and Contracts | Charity & Security Network
    that vetting is required for key individuals but is not required for the ultimate beneficiaries of the cash or in kind assistance such as food water medical care micro enterprise loans and shelter Entities including nonprofits applying directly to USAID for the award are required to submit detailed information package for each key individual including copies of government issued photo identification a copy of each individual s passport and tazkera and information regarding the individual s tribal affiliation father and grandfather s names place and date of birth occupation residence and other names used These prime awardees are also responsible to take reasonable steps to verify the required information contained in the information forms and submitting the information to the Vetting Support Unit VSU The Mission Order 201 05 appendix A 3 defines a key individual as any person who exercises effective control of the organization a principal officer of the organization s governing body e g chairman vice chairman treasurer or secretary of the board of directors or board of trustees a principal officer and deputy principal officer of the organization e g executive director deputy director president or vice president the program manager or chief of party for the USAID financed program any person receiving significant commissions defined as a sum either fixed or a set percentage of the value involved paid to an agent or person acting in a similar role in the activity involved or similar earnings from the Award in an amount exceeding the Vetting Threshold and any other person with significant responsibilities for administration of USAID financed activities or resources while a comprehensive list is not possible this would include any person acting in a rule substantially similar to those outlined in a e For Private Security Services this would include leadership roles down

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/node/1147 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    proposed Partner Vetting System PVS would increase these dangers and hurt humanitarian efforts around the world If implemented PVS would turn USAID grantees into investigators for U S intelligence agencies violating NGOs neutrality and endangering their workers In September 2011 USAID and State presented parts of a proposed pilot program for NGOs in five countries Click here to read excerpts by American aid workers and nonprofits opposing PVS from comments filed with State on Feb 17 2012 Read more about Aid Workers Nonprofits Tell State Dept Why PVS is Wrong Approach Aid Worker Survived Suicide Bomber Attack Warns Against PVS Date February 20 2012 On Oct 5 2009 a suicide bomber struck the headquarters of the UN s World Food Programme WFP in Islamabad Pakistan killing five people and injuring five others One of the survivors Adam Motiwala an American aid worker helping coordinate humanitarian aid to millions of displaced Pakistanis in the northwest part of the country suffered injuries to his head leg and stomach Aid workers have always faced risk while working in global hot spots but Motiwala explains why the implementation of a proposed USAID grant vetting policy is likely to increase these dangers in comments filed with the U S State Department on Feb 17 2012 More information on the Partner Vetting System PVS available here Read more about Aid Worker Survived Suicide Bomber Attack Warns Against PVS Aid Worker Survived Suicide Bomber Attack Warns Against PVS Date February 20 2012 On Oct 5 2009 a suicide bomber struck the headquarters of the UN s World Food Programme WFP in Islamabad Pakistan killing five people and injuring five others One of the survivors Adam Motiwala an American aid worker helping coordinate humanitarian aid to millions of displaced Pakistanis in the northwest part of the country suffered injuries to his head leg and stomach Aid workers have always faced risk while working in global hot spots but Motiwala explains why the implementation of a proposed USAID grant vetting policy is likely to increase these dangers in comments filed with the U S State Department on Feb 17 2012 More information on the Partner Vetting System PVS available here Read more about Aid Worker Survived Suicide Bomber Attack Warns Against PVS Telebriefing PVS Update and What you Can Do Submitted by suraj on Fri 2012 02 10 09 41 Date February 10 2012 On Feb 8 2012 the Charity Security Network held a telebriefing with Bob Lloyd an expert on the Partner Vetting System PVS and a consultant with Inside NGO and Kay Guinane the Director of the Charity Security Network Lloyd gave an in depth analysis of the evolution of PVS and discussed concerns that NGOs have about the burden the program will place on their humanitarian operations The briefing also gave instructions on how to file comments with the Office of Management and Budget to explain why PVS is not the right approach Read more about Telebriefing PVS Update and What you Can Do Department of

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Partner%20Vetting%20System?type=All&page=1 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    Sen Read more about Senator Kirk Pushes for Implementation of Problematic USAID Vetting System USAID Announces its Partner Vetting System Date January 6 2009 USAID has released a notice of its proposed Partner Vetting System PVS for nonprofit and charitable groups This policy creates unnecessary and potentially dangerous barriers for humanitarian groups from providing relief in global hot spots Its final implementation will be determined by members of the Obama administration Highlights from the proposed PVS include Read more about USAID Announces its Partner Vetting System House Report Calls for Examining Details of USAID s Problematic Vetting System Date August 3 2010 Read more about House Report Calls for Examining Details of USAID s Problematic Vetting System NGOs Tell House Committee That Foreign Aid Rules Need Fixes Date June 14 2010 At a June 10 2010 hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs about increasing the effectiveness of U S Read more about NGOs Tell House Committee That Foreign Aid Rules Need Fixes Why We Signed Comments Opposing USAID s Partner Vetting System Date September 18 2009 Author Nikhil Aziz Ph D Exec Dir Grassroots International In 2003 Grassroots International argued in an op ed in the Boston Globe in response to the Treasury Department s guidelines the Voluntary Best Practices for U S based Charities that The Bush administration has used this post 9 11 climate to challenge the independence of all U S aid organizations Andrew Natsios administrator of the US Agency for International Development said in May 2003 that any US organization taking USAID funding should consider itself an arm of US foreign policy Read more about Why We Signed Comments Opposing USAID s Partner Vetting System Presidential Advisory Council Recommends Against Implementing USAID s Partner Vetting System Date March 15 2010 Calling for new principles

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Partner%20Vetting%20System?type=All&page=2 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    Vetting in USAID Acquisitions Pages first previous 1 2 3 4 Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Partner%20Vetting%20System?type=All&page=3 (2016-02-16)
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