Having just picked up a thread about AED being banged by USAID for a change, I dug out the original texts of my early fall-out with these bandits …. I’m amazed that I wasn’t eventually assassinated by anyone at the time:-). Read the latest about AED hanky-panky…
““Initial findings by USAID’s OIG reveal evidence of serious corporate misconduct, mismanagement, and a lack of internal controls [at AED], and raise serious concerns of corporate integrity,” USAID said.
So these wee interactions of mine with AED in 2003 are pale in their significance ! Read on:
If I were in your position I’d have the same reaction to the overhead rates and so on…
About the two Washington entities. My preference some time ago was to have AED work with you on iNET and have EDC work with you on GDA (in fact, Steve ****** suggested that). I think the argument here was that AED had a COP on the ground so it made more sense for that AED employee to be involved with both. Since EDC is the prime grantee on dot-EDU we will have to be in at some admin level. The mission may take out *****’s time if pushed.
Or if the mission wants to take out AED completely (on GDA) that is fine with me. But they may argue that they want **********’s replacement to stay in at some level, so they may want to keep AED.
Thanks for listing the main points below. Will make sure that you get a longer time for the first 35 schools (yr # 5).
Will let you know as soon as I know more.
At 06:48 PM 7/23/2003 +0200, you wrote:
TX very much for the call today, transparency and clarifications – finally a budget to examine earnestly! It leaves me speechless – if I had been better informed of the extent of G&A cropping over and above direct costs (many of these are also hard to believe!) claimed by EDC and AED, I would have built in compensatory margins of the same stature. Too bad, I have learned my lesson well! Further to our discussion today – my salient points:
1. Note that earlier budget discussions with AED very particularly addressed a per school solution – simply calculated at ca. US$10,000 per school for 100 schools = US$ 1 million. This was calculated at an exchange rate (then – 1.5 years ago!) of US$ 1 = N$ 10.65. Today the exchange rate is US$ 1 = N$ 7.00, which means at least 30% devaluation on the original budget.
2. From the first pressing request by Steve ****** for a draft budget proposal which I submitted 1.5 years ago, there was NO FURTHER dialogue with AED concerning the detailed descriptors/line-items of the GDA budget. The direct cost items as shown me today have absolutely NO BEARING on the proforma school solution calculator submitted by ******** to AED (you’ve now got a working spreadsheet as arbitrated by **********, and also given to ******** of USAID).
3. I argue strongly against the fact that there are TWO not ONE beltway bandits milking this GDA budget, where the contents of the MOU and GDA preparatory guidelines (remember I STILL DO NOT HAVE ANY WORKING CONTRACT DOCUMENTS) which makes reference to the use of a DC-based, USAID-approved contractor, if SchoolNet did not qualify for direct funding from USAID, based on a pre-contract audit. No such audit ever took place. So why two beltway bandits for this particular GDA?
4. My proposal is simple – remove one bandit and the GDA will see more schools served than currently possible at US$ 698k. I intend to pursue this matter with the board of SchoolNet and MInistry of Basic Education as a matter of extreme gravity. A milking of US$ 302k for DC home costs is a bit much, I would say.
4. Under your present budget of US$ 698k, it is only possible to serve 43 schools; if the exchange rate improves (grant-wise), then more schools can be served at between US$ 10k and US$ 16k per school
5. Please note that the spreadsheet suggests that SchoolNet supplies 35 schools between 1 october 2002 (!!) and 30 September 2003. It is now nearly August. I think this needs correcting.
Cheers for the mo’
Good to talk this morning. Thanks for this justification of the cost changes. I just had two calls with Stephen ******* at USAID/Washington, and a call with Ken ******* at AED (contracting office). Stephen is going to contact the mission and say that we need to reduce the number of schools — or we need more funding to get the number back up to 100 schools (or we need to take out some beltway bandits).
In any case, I hope this can be resolved soon. When we get a modification letter, AED will sign the subcontract and you should be able to invoice them. I’ll keep you posted.