Written on Thursday, February 14, 2013 by Steve Peacock
A half-billion-dollar Obama Administration program to help nations comply with United Nations-sanctioned governance reform has rolled out its first round of awards to several government-contracting behemoths.
The International Rule of Law Technical Assistance Services program, which Obama unveiled through the U.S. Agency for International Development, will assist governments around the globe in reforming their justice, educational, and other systems based on U.N. “rule of law” principles.
According to contracting documents that Patriot Update located via routine database research, USAID has hired multiple vendors to help it to “reform legal frameworks” while strengthening the capabilities of people and institutions inside—and outside—criminal justice systems.
The document noted the USAID has “accepted” the U.N. “rule of law” definition.
This U.N. principle asserts that “all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights law.”
USAID contractors over the next five years will help heighten the agency’s ability to respond to the rule of law-related challenges while “developing a human rights culture” globally.
Accomplishing these tasks will require contractors to take measures—in compliance with U.N. principles—aiming to ensure “equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers” and other targeted reforms.
The “actors and institutions” that USAID hopes will benefit from this endeavor will include public sector entities such as ministries of justice, the judiciary, prosecutors and legal defense, as well as investigators and civilian police.
However, the agency also seeks to improve the effectiveness of groups including “independent governmental institutions, professional associations, schools and universities… [and] private sector associations, and citizens,” the contracting documents point out.
USAID on Feb 8 selected the following vendors under what is known as an “indefinite quantity contract,” or IQC, arrangement:
AMEX International Inc. (Contract award #AID-OAA-I-13-000024)
Democracy International, Inc. (Contract award #AID-OAA-I-13-00030)
Development Alternatives, Inc. (Contract award #SOL-OAA-11-000011)
Tetra Tech DPK (Contract award #AID-OAA-I-13-00036)
The $500 million figure that USAID provided is the total contract ceiling—over the five-year life of the program—for all contractors combined.
Additional source document: Solicitation #SOL-OAA-11-000011
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