The Triumph of Reason - USAID Amends Procurement Rules to Allow Local Procurement of Goods

The Triumph of Reason – USAID Amends Rules to Allow Local Procurement of Goods and Services

Have you ever tried to purchase a computer in Tajikistan manufactured in the U.S.? Good luck with that. Prior to February 6, 2012, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) contractors and grantees had to obtain a Contract Officer’s permission to buy locally available goods like computers that did not conform to its interpretation of “Buy America” legislation. This policy caused innumerable delays in project implementation and drove costs to astronomical levels. In a final rule determination published on February 6, the Agency replaced this requirement with a pragmatic approach that allows its contractors and grantees to procure goods and services in the developing countries where they work, in other developing countries, or in the U.S. This new business approach will save U.S. taxpayers significant amounts of money while advancing the Agency’s core mission – to promote economic and social development in developing countries worldwide.

About the Author – Mark Belcher is a lawyer and economist focusing on international economic and social development. He is a Co-Founder and Director at the Center for Innovation in Social Entrepreneurship. 

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