U.S. Foreign Assistance Transparency and Accountability Act

Publish What You Fund congratulates the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for passing the Foreign Assistance Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012 (S. 3310) yesterday. This is a welcome bipartisan step to institutionalize progress made on aid transparency by the United States particularly around the Foreign Assistance Dashboard.

The Foreign Assistance Dashboard has already been created and some information from some agencies has been published. While this initial and critical step is important we must now encourage faster progress and delivery of the agencies’ pending aid information. As the Foreign Assistance Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012 states this information should be “comprehensive, timely, comparable, and accessible”.

The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), has developed and agreed on a standard for reporting aid information. IATI is now made up of 33 donors and endorsed by 22 recipient governments. What this means is that the information donors publish to the standard allows for global comparability of aid information.

At the moment 75% of aid flows are covered by the current signatories and 43% of that aid is already published to the IATI Registry. If the United States were to publish to the IATI Registry this number would jump to 56%.

The Foreign Assistance Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012 (S. 3310) is the right step in the right direction but we can’t stop there.

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