Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Compensation of Non-US personnel under USAID Contracts

Please note that this post is intended for use by contractors under USAID contracts and not by grantees, since FSN compensation restrictions do not apply directly to recipients of USAID assistance awards.

However, if a company has both contracts and grants, a common policy must apply for compensation in order to be recognized by the auditors. It is therefore advisable in such case to follow the restrictions imposed by USAID through contracts and have a policy consistent with the guidance below. This approach may also help recipients to set up compensation plans for their local hires based on market rates already researched by USAID for their direct hire local personnel and updated annually.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Procurement of Services and Goods under USAID programs

As with other areas, already discussed, it is a commonly held belief amongst USAID contractors and non-profits that they have to follow the precise system of acquisition of goods and services, employed by USAID for direct contracting.

Our personal favorite is the following sentence, used by many contractors to describe their procurement policy or purchasing system: “We follow all USAID regulations”…..

Sounds innocent enough, right? Certainly a noble and patriotic endeavor, but....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Extending Benefits & Allowances to Same-Sex Domestic Partners under USAID Programs

In June of 2009, Secretary Clinton announced that the Department of State is extending the full range of legally available benefits and allowances to same-sex domestic partners of Foreign Service employees serving overseas.

In August of 2009, USAID announced that it is joining the Department of State in implementing this new policy.

Extending such benefits and allowances to same-sex domestic partners helps USAID attract and retain well qualified-staff in a competitive environment where domestic partner benefits are becoming increasingly prevalent.

To obtain benefits for their same-sex domestic partners, employees must file an affidavit of eligibility for benefits and obligation, which must affirm, among other things, that the employee and his or her domestic partner:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Obtaining Rate Approvals under USAID Cost Type Contracts

Cost Reimbursement Contracts and some IQCs require prior approval of base salary rates by USAID Contracting Officers for all employees and consultants of a contractor or its subcontractors, including local hires.

The requirement in cost reimbursement contracts is normally in accordance with AIDAR 752.7001 and 752.7007, Biographical Data and Personnel Compensation respectively.

The Biographical Data 1420 or “biodata” as it is known is an AID Form 1420-17, “Contractor Employee Biographical Data Sheet”, which requires information for all individuals going to work overseas and/or all key personnel. The required data includes nationality, accompanying family members, education and salary history. The salary history presented on the “biodata” has long been used to establish a comparable rate for the proposed person. The rate is then presented for approval to USAID, in accordance with the companion clause AIDAR 752.7007 “Personnel Compensation”.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Can Fido come too? Relocating overseas with pets - what costs are allowable?

  Many of us, traveling overseas from post to post, cherish the comfort of a constant companionship and feeling of home that our pets provide.  We go to great lengths to bring our pets to some of the most remote areas of the world.  One of the Foreign Service officers we know flew her dog to a neighboring country and drove overland to arrive at her post in Southeast Asia, in order to avoid quarantine restrictions.  KLM or Austrian Air are arguably the best airlines when it comes to pet transportation.  Amsterdam and Vienna both have pet lay-over hotels, where your pets are taken during your stop-over to be fed and walked by dedicated and efficient personnel, without you having to leave the transit zone. The cost depends on the size of your pet and/or kennel and can run up to $1,750 for a one way trip to Cairo.
However, transporting your pets out of the country is not as simple as booking them a ticket and waving goodbye as they board the plane.  There are special vaccinations to administer, electronic chips to embed (EU regulations), paperwork to be done, special kennels to be bought.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Defense Base Act Basics - Free Presentation

I am excited to share this free presentation for USAID contractors and grantees who are interested in learning about DBA and how to explain it to their staff.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Open Skies" are finally open to USAID Contractors

The new and improved Open Skies Agreement allows USAID contractors to travel on EU airlines without worrying about city-pair fares.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Vendors or Grantees? Substance over Form

Understanding when to issue a sub-grant and when to compete a vendor contract under USAID assistance instruments can help you pass the ever frequent DCAA and other audits and avoid disallowance of costs.