Chemonics

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Chemonics International
ESOP
Industry International Development
Founded 1975 (1975)
Headquarters Washington, DC, United States
Key people
Susanna Mudge (President and CEO)
Services Development project design, management, and implementation
Number of employees
3,500
Website www.chemonics.com

Chemonics International is a private international development company that works for bilateral and multilateral donors and the private sector to manage projects in developing countries. The organization bids primarily on contracts from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and manages projects that cover a variety of technical sectors. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, D.C., the company also has project offices in different countries.

History[edit]

Chemonics was founded in 1975 by Thurston F. (Tony) Teele.[1]

Criticism[edit]

Chemonics has been subject to criticism from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Inspector General (OIG) for their work on several multi-million dollar aid contracts.

In 2012 Chemonics came under scrutiny by the OIG for their work in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Chemonics was the largest single recipient of post-earthquake funds from USAID, receiving over $196 million in contracts[2] many of which were "no-bid."[3]

Audits specifically cited Chemonics lack of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan and that "some of the performance indicators Chemonics developed were not well-defined."[4] Chemonics also spent more than 75% of program budgets on material and equipment when an expenditure of only 30% was planned.[5]

An Inspector General's report also found that local communities were not sufficiently involved with Chemonics' work and stated "Chemonics used contractors from Port-au-Prince to implement a number of activities in Cap-Haitien and Saint-Marc; these contractors brought their own people to do the jobs instead of hiring locals."[4] When locals were required by USAID, Chemonics' policies "limited the transparency of the selection process and increase the risk of corruption or favoritism by granting decision-making authority to a few individuals."[5]

In November 2006, USAID Afghanistan awarded a $62 million contract to Chemonics, with an expected end date of March 2010. A 2008 audit of the contract by OIG found that Chemonics' "results fell considerably short of intended results" and "buildings constructed by Chemonics’ subcontractors were not acceptable because of significant construction defects."[6]

In 2016, A Department of Labor investigation into Chemonics’ hiring practices found that the group discriminated against applicants based on race while trying to fill entry-level positions. According to the Guardian, none of the 124 Black Americans who applied for the jobs were hired. Chemonics agreed to pay $482,243 to job applicants who were subjected to racial discrimination in the company’s hiring process, the Guardian reported.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Obituaries". washingtonpost.com. 2005-04-02. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  2. ^ "Breaking Open the Black Box" (PDF). Center for Economic and Policy Research. April 2013. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  3. ^ Mendoza, Martha (2010-12-12). "Outsourcing quake assistance: Haitian contractors get only 1.6% of U.S. aid". Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  4. ^ a b "Audit of USAID's Haiti Recovery Initiative Activities Managed By Office of Transition Initiatives" (PDF). US Agency for International Development Office of Inspector General. 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  5. ^ a b "Audit of USAID's Cash-for-Work Activities in Haiti" (PDF). US Agency for International Development Office of Inspector General. 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  6. ^ "Audit of USAID/Afghanistan's Accelerating Sustainable Agriculture Program" (PDF). US Agency for International Development Office of Inspector General. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2015-04-25. 
  7. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/nov/21/top-us-government-aid-partner-to-pay-500k-damages-to-african-american-job-applicants?CMP=twt_gu