Planet Gore

Re: Team Obama: GOP Will Kill 70,000 Kids

Good news. It looks like those 70,000 kids that the Obama administration said are going to die because of GOP cutbacks to the budget of the United States Agency for International Development have been saved. Now that this fraudulent company is gone, I’m sure there’s more than enough money to save the kids. Slate:

Why did USAID suspend one of its biggest contractors without any explanation?

In the fall of 2010, the Academy for Educational Development, then headed by president and CEO Stephen Moseley, sent a check for nearly $1 million to the United States Agency for International Development. Money usually flows the other way—AED was one of USAID’s largest contractors—but AED had concluded it had overcharged the federal government by that amount for a project it was overseeing in Pakistan. Hence the check.

If the payment was intended to settle the matter, it didn’t work. In November 2010, Moseley stepped down. Four other top executives followed him out the door. On Dec. 8, USAID announced its decision to suspend AED because of “evidence of serious corporate misconduct, mismanagement, and a lack of internal controls,” as well as “serious concerns of corporate integrity.” That meant AED couldn’t receive new funds from the federal government. Less than three months later, on March 3—after 50 years of spearheading thousands of development projects around the world—AED announced that it would sell its assets and dissolve itself.

The sudden collapse of AED startled the development community. One moment, USAID’s inspector general had been investigating reported mismanagement in AED projects in Pakistan and Afghanistan, two projects out of scores that AED managed for USAID. The next, AED was suspended based on “initial findings” by the inspector general that weren’t being made public. Soon after that, AED was folding—and the inspector general hadn’t even released its report yet.

According to USAID, the suspension of AED was evidence of the government’s careful stewardship of taxpayer dollars. But to five current AED employees and three others in the development community—none of whom would speak on the record for fear of retribution by USAID—it’s the result of a recent crackdown on government contractors at a time when “accountability” has become a byword of both political parties and the Obama administration, particularly when it comes to Iraq and Afghanistan. “The American people’s money must be spent to advance their priorities, not to line the pockets of contractors or to maintain projects that don’t work,” Obama said in March 2009. For some, the death of AED was evidence that it’s possible to take “accountability” too far.

The fall of AED made waves in part because of its size and history. AED managed about $500 million in grants and contracts every year. Until the suspension, it employed more than 700 people in Washington and about 2,000 people worldwide. Since then, 180 employees have left or been laid off, according to Michelle Galley, a spokesperson for AED. As president and CEO for more than 20 years, Moseley turned AED into one of the biggest nonprofits in the country. He was compensated for it, too: In 2007, he was paid nearly $900,000 in total.

The rest here.

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