U.S. House of Representatives passes foreign aid transparency act

UPDATE 4 January 2013: The bill has since been blocked in the Senate. See MFAN statement. 

On December 30th, 2012 the United States House of Representatives passed the H.R. 3159: Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012. This important piece of legislation will instruct agencies to “[M]ake publicly available comprehensive, timely, comparable, and accessible information on United States foreign development assistance programs.”

Publish What You Fund congratulates the work of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Representative Ted Poe for their support of this bill. The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network should also be congratulated for its extensive outreach to members of Congress and the aid community on the importance of foreign assistance transparency.

Responding to this development, Publish What You Fund director David Hall-Matthews said: “We welcome the news on the passing of H.R. 3159 and encourage all agencies to work with USAID and the Department of State to make the information they hold on foreign assistance comprehensively available in an accessible and timely manner. Most importantly this information should then be registered with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) in order to make it fully comparable with other donors’ aid information.”

The U.S. published its IATI implementation schedule on 21 December 2012 and has since then added new information to the Foreign Assistance Dashboard. The first U.S. publication to the IATI Registry took place 2 January 2013.

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