Removing Barriers Blog

Letter sent prior to hearing on USAID Administrator nomination hearing
Posted March 22, 2021 by CUNA Advocacy

CUNA wrote to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prior to the nomination hearing of The Honorable Samantha Power to be Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development Director.  While CUNA does not weigh in on presidential nominations, its letter highlights credit union priorities at USAID.

“Many [not-for-profit organizations], like credit unions, have extensive community rooted networks in countries that are prioritized by USAID,” the letter reads. “Such organizations can provide USAID with specialized skills, organized networks and a proven track record to support USAID implementation of U.S. foreign assistance. However, these U.S. private voluntary and not-for-profit organizations tend to be smaller and more specialized; as such, they face procurement obstacles in the effort to partner with USAID.”

USAID data shows that large contracting firms continue to “increasingly dominate” USAID awards, CUNA notes, despite previous efforts to reform procurement processes and broaden access to USAID resources.

“We respectfully ask Congress to ensure that USAID addresses USAID procurement in ways that will ensure a fair access by smaller U.S. private voluntary and not-for-profit organizations and urge you to address this issue to Ambassador Power during her confirmation process,” the letter reads.

CUNA has previously called on Congress to ensure USAID awards a fair and substantial amount of its direct awards and contracts to small, U.S.-based not-for-profit voluntary organizations such as credit unions and other cooperatives,