INFORMATION FROM THE OFFICE OF ACQUISITION AND ASSISTANCE IN THE BUREAU FOR MANAGEMENT OF THE U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT


USAID will provide guidance updates to Implementing Partners through its A&A Updates email list. Sign-up for the email list here(link is external).


USAID’s priorities in its response to the COVID-19 outbreak are to protect the safety and health of its global workforce, ensure that USAID can continue its life-saving mission across the world, and support partner countries in their response to COVID-19. The ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 has had a significant impact in countries around the world, which has resulted in new travel restrictions and policies.  The potential global public-health threat posed by COVID-19 remains high, since the virus has caused 125,048 cases and 4,613 deaths worldwide as of March 12, 2020, according to the World Health Organization.  Most cases and most person-to-person spread of the new virus have occurred in the People’s Republic of China, but more than 100 countries (including the United States) have confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection so far.  Given the unpredictable and ongoing nature of the outbreak, USAID is committed to providing additional information to our partners as needed.

The following guidance is a general reference for USAID’s implementing partners.  For additional information, partners should contact their Contracting Officer’s Representative(s) (COR) or Agreement Officer’s Representative(s) (AOR) and their Contracting Officer(s) (CO) or Agreement Officer(s) (AO).

Sources of Information on COVID-19: 
These links contain the most up-to-date information available.  USAID will continue to monitor the situation and provide more information as it becomes available.

For the most up-to-date information and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, please visit:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 

The World Health Organization also has a website that includes travel guidance, technical guidance, and news on disease outbreaks, including COVID-19:
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 (link is external)

For the most up-to-date information from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration within the U.S. Department of Labor, please visit:
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/novel_coronavirus/ 

For the most up-to-date information on overseas travel from the U.S. Department of State, please visit:
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/ 

Redirecting Resources to Respond to COVID-19:  

  • Implementing partners should not undertake any new work or change approved work plans without consulting their COR(s)/AOR(s) and CO(s)/AO(s) and receiving written authorization to do so.
  • The USAID Administrator is considering an Expedited Procedures Package (EPP) for infectious-disease outbreaks to respond to the emergency.
  • If there is a need to redirect implementing partners to respond to the epidemic, the cognizant USAID CO(s)/AO(s) will contact them.

Disruptions to Implementation:

  • If partners anticipate, or are experiencing, disruptions to the implementation of a USAID-funded program, whether because of health/safety issues, quarantine actions, travel restrictions, or logistical concerns (such as supply-chain interruptions), they should inform their COR(s)/AOR(s), who will then consult with the cognizant CO(s)/AO(s) and provide guidance.
  • In the event any USAID implementing partner (whether under a contract, cooperative agreement, or grant) needs to modify or suspend the implementation of a previously agreed-to work plan, it must first notify its COR/AOR, who, in turn, will coordinate with the cognizant CO/AO for approval.

Allowability of Costs Related to COVID-19:

  • USAID understands that, as a result of the outbreak, some of our implementing partners might find themselves incurring additional implementation costs not originally envisioned, principally related to safety measures and the protection of staff.
  • USAID will consider any additional proposed costs on a case-by-case basis, provided that such costs are “allowable, allocable, and reasonable.”
    • To be allowable, costs must be allocable and reasonable:
      • The standard for what is “reasonable”” is what a prudent person would do under the circumstances that were prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost.  See Section 31.201-3 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation and Section 200.404 of Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
      • COs/AOs will consider all justifications for expenses:
        • They will be particularly inclined to view as prudent, and thus reasonable and allowable, those expenses incurred based on U.S. Government actions or directives.
    • At this time, reasonable costs in relation to safety measures are generally allowable.
  • USAID recognizes that if the outbreak of COVID-19 results in staff being temporarily unable to report to work, it could be prudent to maintain readiness–that is, continue to incur operating costs–to be able to restart activities immediately if circumstances or instructions change.
  • Before incurring any additional costs relating to COVID-19, partners must contact their AOR(s)/COR(s) and AO(s)/CO(s) for approval, when required:
    • Please note that these costs are subject to audit.
  • All costs, including incurred costs, must not exceed the obligated amount of the award.

Evacuations of USAID Contractors and Their Eligible Family Members and Dependents:

  • Decisions about whether to require contractors to depart a country are made on a case-by-case basis.
  • See Section 752.7028 of the USAID Acquisition Regulation for details on evacuation allowances for USAID contractors. If a Chief of Mission has authorized an evacuation, USAID will reimburse a contractor for payments made to employees and authorized dependents evacuated from their post of assignment as if they were eligible to receive the benefits described in Chapter 600 of the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas), and the Federal Travel Regulation, as from time to time amended.
  • U.S. organizations that are implementing USAID-funded cooperative agreements and grants should follow their internal policies concerning the departure of dependents of U.S. and thirdcountry-national (TCN) staff. They should pay special attention to Parts 200 and 700 of Title 2 of the CFR, as incorporated in their agreements.

Defense Base Act Insurance:

  • Defense Base Act (DBA) insurance is required for contractors and is available to recipients under grants and cooperative agreements:
    • Coverage is available for U.S., TCN, and host-country employees.
    • Allied World Assurance Company is the only insurance underwriter authorized to write DBA insurance under USAID-funded contracts:
    • To obtain DBA insurance, contractors and recipients should contact Allied’s agent, AON Risk Insurance Services West, Inc.:

Aon Risk Solutions
1990 North California Boulevard, Suite 560
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m,. Pacific Time
Primary Contact: Fred Robinson
Phone: (925) 951-1856
Email: Fred.Robinson@aon.com

 

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