Millennium Challenge Corporation:

Summary Fact Sheets for 11 Compacts Entered into Force

GAO-08-1145R: Published: Sep 26, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2008.

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The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), now in its fourth year of operations, is to provide aid to developing countries that have demonstrated a commitment to ruling justly, encouraging economic freedom, and investing in people. MCC provides assistance to eligible countries through multiyear compact agreements to fund specific programs targeted at reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth. MCC has received appropriations for fiscal years 2004 through 2008 totaling more than $7.5 billion and has set aside about $6.4 billion of this amount for compact assistance. As of August 2008, MCC had signed compacts with 18 countries totaling approximately $6.3 billion; of the 18 signed compacts, 11 compacts had entered into force, obligating a total of approximately $3 billion. The President has requested an additional $2.225 billion for MCC for fiscal year 2009, of which MCC plans to use $1.88 billion for compact assistance to countries currently eligible for compacts. To develop these fact sheets, we compiled and summarized publicly available data from a number of sources, including our previous reporting on MCC. We used information from the World Bank and from Central Intelligence Agency Fact Books to provide a general overview of each country and its economy. To develop timelines of key compact events, we analyzed MCC data from its country quarterly status reports and our previous reporting. To summarize country performance on MCC selection criteria, we (1) compared World Bank data on per capita incomes with MCC's income eligibility thresholds published in its annual candidate country reports and (2) compiled country performance on MCC policy indicators from MCC's annual candidate country scorecards and eligible country reports. To summarize the compact and its project plans, we reviewed and analyzed MCC's compacts, compact summaries, and monitoring and evaluation plans. These summaries reflect the compact structure and expectations at the time of compact signature and do not incorporate any subsequent compact restructuring. Finally, to analyze compact obligations, disbursements, and commitments, we compiled public information from MCC's quarterly reports on obligations and disbursements published in the Federal Register and from MCC's quarterly country status reports. The planned disbursements we report are based on MCC's projections at compact signature and on the assumption that compact funds are disbursed evenly throughout the compact implementation year. Descriptions of any compact restructuring, included in our discussions of compact implementation, are based on MCC and compact country documents. To clarify and confirm our understanding of this information, we submitted written questions to MCC officials.

We determined that World Bank gross national income per capita data were sufficiently reliable to provide general information on compact funding and programmatic indicators. We further determined that MCC financial data were sufficiently reliable for our purposes based on our review of U.S. Agency for International Development Inspector General audits of MCC's internal controls and financial statements. We did not independently assess the reliability of MCC's projections of compact benefits and have noted this accordingly on each fact sheet. We conducted this performance audit from January to September 2008 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform our work to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.

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