Partnering for Haiti's Future Conference (Part 2)
Cheryl Benton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
David Fulton, Advisor & Director of Business Liaison, World Bank
Gary Juste, Contracting Officer, USAID’s Mission to Haiti
Mauricio Vera, Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, USAID
How To Do Business With the U.S. Government and Multilateral Banks in Haiti
Now how does my office work with that? Next.
What you see here is the Office of Acquisition on one side, and on the other side obviously is how the strategy was developed.
The strategy is not something that just came out of thin air. A multitude of agencies -- State Department, CDC, USAID, NSC -- everybody has gotten together in developing the strategy that you use forward, and it’s important to keep that in mind that before you engage, make sure what you are doing is within the strategy that’s already in place. The funding we receive from Congress is based on what we have communicated as to what we are going to do. So as a taxpayer you might want to know that I’m not going to spend a dollar that isn’t authorized by Congress, because Gary doesn’t like jails or anything like that. So we have a number of contracting officers and acquisition specialists that engages, and when we say assistance, it’s because there are two ways to get engaged. There are contracts and there are grants and cooperative agreements. The contracts are normally with the private sector, for profit organizations; and the grants and the cooperative agreements are for with NGOs and the non-profit organizations. That doesn’t mean that I would not have an NGO bid on a contract, nor does it mean that I’ll have a for-profit organization bid on a grant. They just don’t get any profit when they go into that mode of operation. Next.
The first thing to do is to check out our business forecast. This is in a way to help you understand that we put on our web site what we project we are going to do that. How do you do that? Next.
You go to www.USAID.gov and then you click on the right side there, say business policy, click -- Next.
Then it will tell you where you should go and then next it goes for you to choose a mission. Next.
Mission overseas, mission overseas opportunities and you click on that. I’m just going through this example so that you can see how it actually is done. Then you will have a list of all the activities that we keep updated before we issue a solicitation, before we do RFA, we put out what we intend to do and in what areas we intend to do them. Next.
There’s been a number of contracts that have been awarded since 2010. A number of 8A firms have won these awards because we use, with Mauricio who is sitting here who is about to talk to you about your office of Small Business Development, I go to him and I say Mauricio, I need an 8A firm to engage in this activity, and he comes back with a list of the 8A firms that have registered with his office and we work out their competencies, and then we select one from the 8A firm. So we do address. And in that mode we have addressed several Haitian-American firms, in fact Harold Charles is sitting here, he’ll be speaking to you later as one of those 8A firms that benefitted from that. You can learn from him what did it take for him to get there and that kind of thing.
I’ll talk a little bit more about what results we achieved, but I want to make sure we move on. Next.
Also spoken earlier, our Administrator has talked about USAID Forward. USAID Forward is nothing more than to partner with the Haitian government and the local Haitian organizations in Haiti, and build the capacity so that we could have more sustainable programs. Because we’ve come to realize after a long time that if you’re not engaging the government or the local organizations then there’s nothing to be left behind. We do not want to have a continuation of where you have the large firms that win an award and then after they go the money is gone and then there’s nothing left behind.
So in every one of our solicitations nowadays we put in evaluation factors to where even if we were to end up with a large firm, because some of them are just like that, that’s how it ends up being, that they have to demonstrate how they will engage in applying USAID forward.
Next. It’s very ambitious to do this, because in Haiti, as you may or may not know, 80 percent of the private businesses are informal. What does that mean? It means they’re illegal. It means they’re not registered. They’re not SAs. So this is a challenge that I’m facing. I have to do more with local organizations but they’re not registered. I’ve dealt with a number of organizations in Haiti that are not registered but that have turnover of $2 million a year. How do I engage them? I have to build that capacity. You would not be able to do business with someone that’s not registered in the country. It goes for you as well. If you want to engage in Haiti, you also have to register your organizations in Haiti in order for you to be doing something that’s legal. You wouldn’t do business here unless the IRS would know that you’re legal, right? It’s common sense. Some people find that maybe that’s too hard a thing, why a U.S. firm having to register? You do, because you do. The laws and regulations of our country and their country requires that. Next.
We spoke about awarding more grants and contracts to local partners. And so we do that. We develop partnerships where normally needed. Where that comes from is this. The overall objective, and there was a mission that served USAID Mali a few years back. What it said was that more Mali, less aid. Meaning that more Haitians, less aid. The more Haitians take on ownership of its own development the less aid they will need. So if we have that as an objective to go from more Haitians, less aid, then if we program ourself and we use the strategy in that direction, then we should be in a better place tomorrow.
Haiti is hard. Don’t get me wrong. There’s lots to do. It’s hard for our government, it’s hard for the Haitian government because of the realities that they face, because of the things that have existed for a long time. The challenges are tremendous.
Just imagine that if you are a new Haitian Director General or somebody, you come into an office and there’s 22 people on your staff and you see only two people but 22 people are getting paid. That’s happening. You come in as the new Governor and you’re trying to do that right. You have to watch out for your security. You can’t just come in and just change overnight. We want to make sure we understand that change comes gradually. If you come in and do that, you would cause a lot of friction. That’s just my own opinion on this. I’ve observed this in the past year since I’ve been in Haiti, and people have to take things in step. You have to take baby steps. There’s a lot to do and we’re doing a lot, but we have to do it in a way, in a meaningful way to where we’re going to obtain the results that we’re trying to achieve. Next.
How to interact successfully with USAID. Earlier the Ambassador talked about the two web sites. One is for contracts, one is for grants. The other one for unsolicited proposals. Now I’m going to talk to you a little bit more about unsolicited proposals later, but there’s another category. If you are interested in doing work in Haiti and you want to volunteer, we actually have a web site that you can go to. GoToHaiti.gov. This is live, we’re doing this. And if you click on “get involved”. There you go. You go down the page and you see, these are the things how you can volunteer. You click on here, on “Volunteers for Prosperity”. It should come up. All of the NGOs and everyone that’s looking for people to come and help them are on this list. It’s just that simple for you to click away at the web site and you can get in contact. I know that’s not addressed to everybody, but there are people here that said they are doctors that want to do work, there’s [inaudible] in here I believe. If you want to serve in Haiti and want to get engaged, there are a number of ways already established in order for you to do it. Next.
Unsolicited applications and proposals. Mind you, when you prepare a proposal it costs money. You go and prepare a proposal and it’s unsolicited, it means that it has to meet a certain amount of criteria that in order for us to make it work with the strategy that’s already been established. Both on the grant side and on the contract side. On the grant side, we make the decisions at the mission level; on the contract side, I believe [Aman Giambani] is sitting back there from OAA in Washington, and they make the decisions and then [inaudible] to send your proposal for contracts. Next.
Parachuting, random proposals. Here comes Gary, receives a proposal from one of you guys, and I have to evaluate it and look at it. Before you do that, do your homework. Know what the strategy has in it. There are a number of reasons why they fail, and I’ll talk to you later about that.
When we look at proposals, the first thing we’re going to do is, because most of them aren’t going to be competitive and it’s going to be done to that business forecast that you saw, the RFPs that have been done. Most of our money is obligated to that. Every once in a while you get a proposal that’s innovative enough, that makes sense, that fits all the criteria that we want. One of the things, if you look at D over there, not to be an advanced proposal for known USAID requirement. Look, we knew there was rubble to be removed in Haiti. So I couldn’t do an unsolicited proposal for removal of rubble. I had to do it competitively because that’s a known requirement that was coming and I needed to do it competitively. Unless you came up with some new way of galvanizing rubble, you had no chance in parachuting a proposal to clean up the [Nazo] area, for example. That’s the kind of things that lead to frustrations to you and the Haitian-American community and to the community at large in trying to deal with USAID.
If we understand that we have to work through a particular strategy, have the buy-in of the government and so on in order for us, when you prepare you say okay does it meet that criteria, then you stand a better chance. It’s not that we don’t award unsolicited proposals. We do. In fact during the time, right after the earthquake there were what we had, Office of Disaster Relief, and Office of Transition Initiative. They all engaged in some unsolicited proposals just in providing humanitarian relief work.
Now a lot of what you see in Haiti right now is done on the humanitarian level, right. We are just [inaudible] the supplemental money and the monies that we are about to send to do to competition, so one might look at the picture and say where has AID spent its money? Well, in the past year we are doing humanitarian relief. Now we’re really getting into development work. There’s a difference between humanitarian relief and development work. Development work is to be long term and sustainable. Next.
That’s also the guideline under the FAR, the previous one was for ADS, this one is under the Federal Acquisition Regulations. In order for me to consider unsolicited proposals I’ve got to make sure that you meet all of those criteria. This is the regulations. This is what I have to live by. I can’t create new regulations. I can’t take them away. I have to follow them, and so do you, but there are ways for you to engage to do that. Next.
The major areas again where an unsolicited proposal fail. It’s not aligned with the USG strategy. It’s not in any way innovative because there’s nothing new about it. There’s no indication of GOH support, which is also very important.
In sum, it just doesn’t meet our baseline requirements in order for us to make the award. We don’t spend as much money on them as we spend on the competitive requirements. Next.
You have a tremendous advantage in that, the Diaspora has a tremendous advantage -- knowledge of the environment, language skills, linkages with entities. But having that advantage doesn’t entitle you to having an award all by itself. Those advantages, by the way, we put in our solicitation criteria that one has to speak Creole, one has to speak French. In fact we’ve done presentations in French and in Creole just to do outreach as we have done, and some of you can attest to, to our disabilities proposal to where we invited the whole health cluster and our presentation, the pre-award conference, mind you, in Haiti was done in Creole, French and in English so that we can engage people that are really affected by it. And this is the new thing about when you say [inaudible], we actually have people that were disabled participate in the pre-award conference; we had the Minister participate in the pre-award conference; so that we could engage the right people to help us do our contracts better, to do our grants better. We’ve done a number of outreach including this one in the past year which I’ve participated again with Tom, I mentioned earlier, just to do that. Just the fact that I’m here, ladies and gentlemen is attest to the fact that we are reaching out to you. But also it comes for you to also take on the responsibility of doing what’s the right thing to do for Haiti in the manners that is there. The opportunities are there and it is not without risk, as I have mentioned earlier, but if you’re going to be engaged there are a number of ways where you can do it legally, properly, and there’s money there for you to have success in winning those awards. In fact take advantage of everybody, network during this day, and see how you can put something together so that we can review and respond to. Next.
That is the end, but I’m going to take the opportunity right now to tell you of a few things that we have done in the past year. We have put management in the EDH. We have contracted with a contractor to work with the EDH. As you know EDH, the electrical company of Haiti, was losing $1.65 for every $1 that it engaged in. And there’s a number of reasons for that. It’s not just corruption, it’s not just the people that are connecting illegally to the thing, it’s just the contracts were done badly, the lack of capacity to do that, a lot of people were not interested in that. So we have a management structure in EDH right now.
We have cleared out 19,000 linear meters of irrigation channels. Haitian mobile money has reached 100,000 transaction threshold just the past week. We have 10,000 farmers receiving extension services. We have health services being provided to 72 NGOs, more than 1800 communities are being addressed. We have repaired almost 5,000 yellow houses. I know you’ve heard about the yellow green houses and so on. We’ve done that. We’re continuing to do that. The bridge, the one I like the most is the Miller bridge because that’s on [inaudible], that’s on my way home. That bridge was considered to be a failure and you can’t cross that bridge to get home. The only way to get from [Taba] to [Patienville] is to go through that [inaudible]. USAID has invested and we are repairing that bridge and it should be completed soon.
These are just examples of things we are doing. I’m happy to take your questions and hopefully this was helpful to you. Thank you.
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: Thank you so much, Gary.
MR. MAURICIO VERA: Good morning. It’s a real pleasure to be here. I don’t know if Lisa’s coming back but I can start without the PowerPoint.
My name is Mauricio Vera, I’m the Director of the Office of small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at USAID. We are basically, I wanted to give you just a sense of what we do in my office. We work very closely with Gary, and I know you all have a lot of questions so I’m going to be very brief.
We are advocates for small businesses. By law the executive agencies that have procurement authority have to establish an office that’s dedicated to assisting small businesses and that’s what we do.
I report right to the Deputy Administrator of USAID, so I’m a senior level manager, and I’m involved with some of the major decisions of the agency and that’s very important for U.S. small businesses.
I wanted to just ask you for a show of hands, how many of you are for-profit small businesses here? Quite a few, excellent. How many of you are currently doing work with USAID? Okay. Very interesting. I would imagine the rest of you want to do business with USAID.
Again, just to give you a sense of what we do, we are again the advocates for small businesses. We work closely with Gary and his team and with [Aman Giambani] who is our incoming Senior Procurement Executive and in, primarily in Washington acquisitions, but we also get very involved with the mission acquisitions themselves.
What we do is we’re facilitators, in essence. You come to us, we keep a database of firms that are interested in doing business with us, and we get requests, as Gary mentioned, we get requests from our technical offices as well as the mission and also our contracts office for recommendations for contractors when we have upcoming acquisitions. It’s very important that you get to know us because sometimes it’s not so easy to get in touch with Gary once he gets back to Port-au-Prince. Sometimes we can facilitate meetings or interaction with some of the mission, sometimes people on Gary’s team as well as some of the specialists that we have in my office to assist you. We work closely with all of the technical offices so we’re not just focused on the missions themselves, but we work here in Washington in trying to help us meet the statutory goals that we have.
I wanted to actually introduce a couple of people that are here from my staff. If I could ask Kimberly Ball, my Deputy Director, to stand; and I also see that I have Sharon Jones Taylor and Daisy Matthews, if you could please stand. These are people on my staff. Sharon and Daisy are small business specialists, and Sharon in particular works with the Haiti mission. So when we get those requests from Gary or his team, you can talk to Sharon and try to get on the database. She’s really the person that’s going to know and works very closely with Gary on upcoming acquisitions.
Gary gave you a lot of very good information about how do you find out about opportunities. As a matter of fact I was going to mention the Business Forecast because that’s really where the opportunities are coming up.
Some of this is obviously very basic. I’m not going to go through the mission with you. You guys know our mission, which is to improve the lives of people around the world, in the developing world. Next.
Many of you are very familiar with the technical areas that we work in. Obviously we do work in humanitarian assistance and some of the other programs that Ambassador Ayalde talked about and Gary also spoke about. So I want to kind of rush through these.
Just to give you a sense of the agency as a whole, our budget for FY2010 was about $18 billion; the contracts part of it was about $5 to $6 billion last year, and about a third to a quarter of that is awarded in the U.S. . That gives you a sense of the agency as a whole. We have close to 8,000 employees which include foreign service, civil service, foreign service nationals and other folks, and we’re in 88 countries around the world. Primarily when we do acquisition we operate on a decentralized basis, so if you are pursuing opportunities not just in Haiti but in other parts of the world, we encourage you to contact the mission themselves. Next.
In addition to some of the technical work that we do, here are some of the other areas that we do work in and what we contract out for, so you can see other than technical assistance we also of course have training opportunities, IT, administrative support, food aid, commodity purchases, engineering support and construction I think is a major emphasis in Haiti obviously with the reconstruction work and some of the auditing and financial management work as well.
On the next slide you’ll see that there are some particular issues that I want to add to what Gary talked about, procurement reform.
The procurement reform initiative actually started at the agency very soon after our current administrator, Raj Shah, arrived about a week before the earthquake hit Haiti. This procurement reform initiative, as Gary mentioned, has a lot to do with working more with local entities but it also has to do with expanding our partner base. I’m a member of the procurement reform working group. We have six objectives in that working group, one of which is specifically about expanding the partner base including expanding the use of U.S. small businesses. So it’s very important, that is part of the procurement reform and sometimes it may be overlooked because we really are trying to, as Gary said, trying to have that sustainable development by working more with the local organizations but also -- See, what’s happened at USAID over the years is that we have, as our program dollars have increased our resources have decreased, our staffing resources have decreased, and so we have less people to award more work. So that has led to very large contracts. What we’re trying to do is change that approach and expand our staffing levels in the contracts office so that we can break up some of those large contracts.
One of the things the procurement reform initiative has done is we established this BAAR, the Board for Acquisition and Assistance Reform. It’s a small group of individuals that, there’s six of us that sit on that board, and we approve every new acquisition over $75 million. That’s very important because obviously when I see an acquisition coming up I’m focused on making sure that part of that acquisition is going to be small business. If it’s an indefinite quantity contract that there’s going to be slots for small businesses, but even more importantly, if there’s enough small businesses there, if they’ve done the market research, we should look at doing a set-aside and that way we can limit competition.
So that’s an important development. That board has been in existence for about a year and a half and in that time we’ve reviewed about 22 or 23 indefinite quantity contracts, very large procurements, and in all of those we’ve managed to add slots for small businesses, and we even have a couple of major set-asides coming out in the $200 to $300 million ceiling levels, so I think those are major accomplishments.
I also wanted to mention that this year I think is a particularly, the timing is good if you’re a small business trying to do work with the federal government in general. The White House is very focused on this. They’ve established this small business interagency task force which meets quarterly at the White House to talk about how all the agencies are doing in terms of meeting their small business goals, and they’ve elevated this to the Deputy Administrator or Deputy Secretary level and up for the top 20, 22 agencies. So when we’ve had to go to the White House it’s our Deputy Administrator, Don Steinberg, who has actually sat at the table with Valerie Jarrett and some of the senior folks at the White House and with other Administrators, Secretaries, and what not, and they talk small business. So if my Deputy Administrator is going up there he wants to be briefed and he wants to make sure that we’re doing the right thing when it comes to small business. So that’s, I think, going to continue. That’s been very active this fiscal year on that and it’s going to continue into the next fiscal year. I think the next meeting is in mid-October.
Congressional oversight, the Congress is very engaged with us. We’ve had to brief several of the congressional members and their staffs on how we’re doing with small business so it’s very important. It’s got a lot of visibility. And we are conducting a lot of outreach. My office puts together an annual event, a small business conference in the spring that I would invite all of you to participate in, usually at the Reagan Building. We have the senior leadership of the agency meet with you. At the lunch we have, each one of our technical bureaus hosts a table at lunch and you can interact with those folks on a one-on-one basis. So it’s usually around the May or June timeframe. You can look at our web site for that.
This is just a couple of web sites that I think are important. Gary talked to you about the forecast. I’m not going to beat that horse anymore, but I think that is really, really a critical piece if you’re trying to do work with us and doing your research. I can tell you we’ve gotten a lot better about updating that forecast. We’re updating it on a quarterly basis. I hope that our contracts office will commit to continuing to do that, to update that forecast because that’s how you know what’s coming up.
There’s also on our web site, I’ll point you to our indefinite quantity contracts list. If you’ve just gone to the web site and put IQC on there you will get a listing of all our indefinite quantity contracts, and this is the primary method that we award work at the missions. These are very large contracts that the base contract is awarded in Washington and then task orders are awarded at the missions, but they’re separated out by technical area so you can see through that list who are our current prime contractors and they also have to meet subcontracting goals as Gary mentioned.
Our web site, my office’s web site is right there which has a lot of information for you as small businesses, so I would encourage you to look at that. We also mentioned FedBizOps.
I’m going to really go quickly through this because I know you have a lot of questions. I just want to say that myself and my staff are going to be here throughout the day. I think we’re going to be hosting a couple of tables at lunch. We’d be glad to talk to you individually about how to assist you in trying to get work with the agency. Next.
Here’s some contact information for the people that I introduced. You can see Sharon Jones Taylor again is the person that’s responsible for working with the Haiti mission so I would encourage you to send her an email, send her your capabilities information. That way we can get you on that database that we use to recommend firms to Gary.
That’s about all that I have. I want to again allow my colleagues up here their time and look forward to your questions. Thank you.
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: Thank you so much, Mauricio.
Our last speaker before we get to the fun part of the questions is up next and that’s David Fulton. He’s the banker.
MR. DAVID FULTON: Good morning everybody, and thank you for having me.
I’m going to do something a little bit different. I’m going to focus on looking at the multilateral development banks from a business perspective. So I’m not going to talk about the bank’s mission and about the great development work that it does and about the grand strategic plans they have for saving Haiti and the world. I’m going to talk about two things really. One is the opportunities that come out of the multilateral development banks and the other is the products that come out of the multilateral development banks. So what I’ll be discussing is really focused on the business community that’s in the room, and I was glad to see there were so many companies here because when you look at the banks as a business opportunity they look quite a bit different than when you look at them as development institutions.
First I’ll give you a little outline of the structure of the two banks. I’m an advisor to the U.S. Executive Director who sits on the board of the World Bank, and I’m also an Advisor to the U.S. Executive Director at the Inter-American Development Bank, both of which are very involved in Haiti reconstruction.
The World Bank consists of five parts, each of which coordinates with the others but in some respects can operate as an independent entity. The two that you see listed at the top, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Development Association, are the sovereign lending arms of the World Bank. They’re the ones that make loans to governments. The International Finance Corporation is the private sector window. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency provides various types of political risk insurance and guarantees. And the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes does just what its name says. They arbitrate, they settle investment disputes, typically very large ones on the order of Chevron vs. Ecuador, the kind of arbitration that you hope you never end up in. Next.
The Inter-American Development Bank has a similar structure minus a couple of the pieces. They have a sovereign lending function. They also have a private sector investment and private sector products section as well. Next.
The main products are those loans and credits to sovereign governments that are then used by the governments for development projects, agreed-upon projects that have specific goals and contracting opportunities that flow from them. I’m going to spend a little bit more time on that piece of it than anything else because I think probably that’s what most of the businesses here are going to be interested in.
There’s also the private sector operations, trade finance opportunities. If any of you have ever worked with the export credit agencies like the U.S. Export/Import Bank or the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, OPIC, then you’ll be familiar with these kinds of trade finance products. There’s also guarantees, political risk guarantees. There’s also the opportunity to have guarantees for non-payment of financial obligations by sovereigns, and they provide advisory services and technical assistance both to governments and to the private sector.
So what are the business opportunities? There are really five major groupings of the business opportunities. Operational procurement, as it’s known, is the contracting opportunities that flow from the sovereign lending. When the bank lends money to a government, the government is going to spend it according to the loan agreement which has been approved by the board of directors. That loan agreement will in the process generate a list of contracts that will be signed after they’ve been through the competition process.
The vast bulk of the business opportunities I think that you’ll be interested in will come from the operational procurement side.
Corporate procurement is where the bank buys goods and services and consulting services for its own needs. Just like any organization, they have to spend money on tables and chairs and coffee and consultants and information technology both at headquarters and in the field. The corporate procurement is a much smaller amount of money compared to the operational procurement. It’s often highly specialized so that can be a very good opportunity for small, medium-sized firms that are looking for a way to engage with the multilaterals for the first time.
The private sector window of the World Bank offers both debt and equity financing; the Inter-American Development Bank does not do equity. The International Finance Corporation is essentially an investment bank. They look for private sector investment opportunities, lending opportunities, that will have a development impact in one of the member countries. So you’ll see them doing all sorts of things that you might not normally associate with a development organization such as investing in hotels, for example. They will also do the sort of thing you would hope they would do, investing in agriculture, health, education, those sorts of things. But at the end of the day as a bank they’re looking to make a profit. So when you approach the IFC you’ll need to show them first how they’re going to make money out of your proposal; and second, what’s the development impact. Because it’s entirely possible to have a project or investment proposal with a great development impact but no chance of making a profit on it. So you need to make sure you can check off that first box as well.
The Global Trade Finance Program at the World Bank is that U.S. Export/Import Bank equivalent. It’s essentially a guarantee program for the confirming bank in a letter of credit transaction. You probably are familiar with U.S. Export/Import Bank. The banks that you’re dealing with, the private banks, probably are members of the various Export/Import Bank programs, but often you’ll find that ExIm is not able to provide the product and the service that you need for a particular transaction, especially in a situation like Haiti. In that case the Global Trade Finance Program might be an additional tool that your banker can use to help mitigate your risk in a particular transaction, a particular investment.
Finally, the political risk and investment guarantees coming from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, typically you think of those as the very big investment projects and those are the ones that probably take up the bulk of the portfolio. But you’ll also find they will provide insurance and guarantees for smaller projects as well. So if you’re a business thinking of an investment in Haiti there’s going to be some products and services that you may want to look at.
Now we’re going to turn and spend a few moments on operational procurement. This is the project pipeline for the World Bank. I’m going to focus on that one because I know it best. I’ve only taken on the IADP portfolio back in January. But the project and procurement pipelines for all five of the major multilateral development banks are very similar. They have harmonized their processes and procedures to make it easier for the rest of us to engage with them.
So I’ll talk about the World Bank, but it’s roughly applicable to the other bank as well.
It all starts with a country assistance strategy, that’s the five year plan that the bank has for engaging with that particular country. They identify the development gaps, what’s holding that country back. They identify the places where the bank has a particular value add and can best apply their resources. The banks do a lot, but they don’t do everything. They try to focus on what they do best.
Once that country assistance strategy has been agreed with the host country government and approved by the board of directors, the staff and the borrower start identifying lending projects to address those development gaps. When they come up with a project that they like, a concept paper will be published on the internet. It’s called, in the case of the World Bank, a Project Identification Document, or a PID. And if you write down nothing else from my presentation, at the very top you use three words. PID, PAD, Procure. That describe the project pipeline and the procurement process.
It starts with the Project Identification Document. Once that’s approved it goes on to web site. Then the staff and the borrower, mainly the borrower, prepare a Project Appraisal Document, a PAD, which is a very detailed description of the project. It includes a procurement plan with a list of contracts that will be put out for competition. That goes to the board of directors. Once the board of directors has approved that project the PAD is published. The borrower at that point begins implementation.
You’ll see these little red stars scattered throughout the cycle. Those indicate the parts of the cycle at which various contracting opportunities may arise. You’ll see the biggest star is for implementation because that’s where the bulk of the money is going to be spent. In the early and late states of the project cycle, the contracts tend to be smaller and they tend to be focused on consulting. In the early stages they’re trying to scale the project, how much money do they need, what are the issues they’re going to have to address? They’ll hire specialists who will come in, do some work, and then feed that into the Project Appraisal Process. In the later stages it’s mainly monitoring and evaluation. How did we do? What are the mistakes we made? What can we learn from this particular project?
Here you probably by now you could have drawn this slide for yourselves. This is conceptually how the money flows. The bank lends money to the government, the Ministry of Finance usually signs the loan documents. Then another government agency will be the implementing agency. They will actually spend the money. That is your customer. One of the things that the bank staff always asks me to emphasize when I do these talks is that they’re not your customer when it comes to operational procurement. Their focus is their customer, the borrowing government. So when you see these opportunities, remember your customer is that implementing agency who’s going to spend the money on consultants, bricks and mortar, civil works, and the equipment, goods and services that they need to implement that particular development project.
So here you can tell I’m a visual kind of guy. This is how the PIN PAD Procure pipeline looks. You have the concept paper followed by the detailed project appraisal approved by the board and then released with a procurement plan that’s published on the internet and then an explosion of procurement notices as the borrower starts to spend through the money, starts to implement that project.
So clearly in order to compete your best opportunities will come when you can identify projects early in the pipeline that are going to have opportunities you can bid on when it reaches the implementation phase.
A good way to learn that is to look at projects that have been executed in past years. If you use procurement opportunities that you think I could have bid on that one, I could have done that, but of course now it’s too late. Look back in the pipeline, see what kind of project gave rise to that particular procurement notice, and then look for projects that are now entering the pipeline. The chances are there will be similar procurement opportunities arising from that project, too.
The bank likes successful models. If something has worked on one occasion, they may very well repeat it, so you’ll see a lot of projects with numbers two and three attached to them where they have the project version one was good, they liked that. Project version two, another loan, a similar engagement.
Just a few examples of recent procurement notices that appeared in the World Bank’s web site. I wanted to put this up here just to show you the wide variety of materials and services that the bank is funding. Again, the bank is not buying this for itself. They lend the money. The borrower is doing the procurement.
Some of what my colleagues from USAID had commented on apply to the multilaterals as well. They like to slice these projects up into very small pieces because it increases the competition on each contract and gives greater opportunities for small, medium sized businesses, especially those in the host country.
You don’t see as many big hundred million dollar contracts at the multilaterals as you do at say USAID or the Defense Department. They like to slice things up so they can get expertise and competition on everything possible.
Here’s where you find it all. From the perspective of a newcomer, the World Bank and the IADB web sites are massive, sprawling, incomprehensible things. But if you’re a business looking for opportunities there’s really just a couple of places you want to go.
For the operational procurement, WorldBank.org/projects and IADB.org/projects -- the fourth web site there.
For the corporate procurement at the World Bank, this third web site with an unpronounceable name, that’s where they put their corporate procurement opportunities. Often for technical assistants, specialized consultants. The opportunities appear on that web site for a week or two weeks at a time. The window for bidding is very small. You need to watch it on almost a daily basis because you never know when something’s going to pop up that you might be able to bid on.
Down at the bottom, the second from the bottom is the United Nations Development Business web site which aggregates procurement opportunities from about 20 different organizations including all the major regional multilateral development banks, the UN system, Millennium Challenge Corporation and many others. It’s a subscription site, so for small businesses it might not be appropriate. There’s another web site just underneath it called DEVEX which is also subscription, but they do offer you at least the titles of the procurement notices so you can track them through there and then find them on the open web site of the banks themselves.
I’ll leave you with I guess two thoughts. One is that the multilateral banks tend to be very transparent when it comes to the business opportunities so it’s all on-line. Before you pick up the phone and try to contact someone in the bank or someone in the host country government, do your homework. Read, find out what they’re up to.
The second is, if you’ve never gone after government contracts before I would strongly advise you to get some training in government procurement. I suspect USAID has some programs to help train you. I work sometimes with the Small Business Administration which does training for federal business contracting, federal opportunities. It’s a good introduction for how the procurement works at the multilaterals as well. It’s not quite the same, but at the end of the day government procurement is government procurement, so an SBA training course would be a good start for you in looking at the multilateral banks.
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: Thanks to each of our panelists. We have about 35 minutes for questions. Good presentations.
QUESTION: Is that office in Haiti dedicated to helping registering new businesses? If that’s so, where is it located, who are the contact people?
MR. JUSTE: If I understand your question correctly, there is an office that helps register you in Haiti? Not in my office, it helps you register. We only give you the information because you have to go, it’s the local government that does that.
QUESTION: The point is, everything is in a shamble. Where do you go?
MR. JUSTE: No, it’s not. You have to register in Haiti. Every organization that goes there registers in Haiti because there’s a whole process. There’s the DIG which is the same as the IRS here is where the office I would start at. Charles will come here in a minute, the 8A firm that was here, will tell you how to do exactly that. If you’re a business and you want to register in Haiti, you have to. That’s the only way to do --
QUESTION: I understand that. I just want to know where do you do that?
MR. JUSTE: You go to DIG. They are like the IRS, comparable to the IRS here.
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: Is there a question about --
MR. JUSTE: DGI. Excuse me.
QUESTION: I may be in the minority in kind of my perspective because I think this conference is maybe targeted at private businesses, but all the conferences I go in Haiti are really always talking of private business. So as someone who actually attended a pre-award conference in Haiti last May I do agree with Gary that it was very friendly to the Haitian community, to the Haitian staff, to the people working in Haiti. However, I was really disappointed to see that all disability issues were really put in one RFA so it included orphans, [inaudible], it included denture base [inaudible], capacity building of Haitian institutions and schools and so forth. So all of it was really into one package. So at the end, $22 million really looked very small for the enormity of the situation of social programmings for Haiti.
As from what I hear, they are not planning on issuing another RFA. However, I also learned that after that RFA was issued USAID funded an organization to go and do assessment of social services in Haiti. I inquired on whether or not the recommendations from that assessment would then be used to issue an additional RFA and I was told probably not.
So I really feel that when you talk about Haiti, I really feel there is really a small investment on the actual people. Businesses are really focused, not really the people. And I feel that at the end of the day the large marginalized Haitian population will continue to really stay marginalized because there really is not an investment on developing and giving some social support the people.
My question is whether or not there will be an additional RFA focusing on really looking at reforming social sectors in Haiti.
MR. JUSTE: That’s a question that more directly would come from the technical office that’s designing this program.
To address the gist of your question, we put out a large solicitation, yes. And we did do it with smaller components which was taking a long time for us because in doing it under the USAID Forward model, to do the separate components and awarding it, it takes a longer time to do the evaluation.
What you brought up is a design issue which could have been addressed at the pre-award comments and comments from your organization to USAID. Maybe we could have redesigned what we put out there. Take the opportunity, you and others. When we send out a solicitation and we have sent it out for comments or sent it out for whatever, if you see something that’s wrong with the design of it please make us aware of it. None of us are perfect and know exactly perfectly how to address an issue, but you should at least raise it at that level because that’s where it get addressed. But if you could send me that question separately and we’ll address it with you.
QUESTION: Are 8A certifications requirements for RFPs or does maybe preferential or [inaudible] advantage for RFPs?
MR. VERA: Thank you for the question. The 8A program, I would encourage you, for those of you that are eligible, to be certified because that is one of the programs that we absolutely advocate. The program gives you the ability to get direct awards while you’re participating, and it’s a nine year program, for those of you that aren’t familiar with it.
As much as we try to get contracts to the Haitian-American firms as many of the speakers have noted, we don’t have a mechanism to do that through the Federal Acquisition Regulations. So the way that we have been getting at a lot of or some of the awards, and Gary may want to add something to this, but the way that we have been getting to some of the Haitian-American community has been through the 8A program and I think there’s one or two in here that have been recipients of those awards because as a minority-owned business and through all the criteria that the Small Business Administration looks at, we know that there are a significant number of 8A firms that are Haitian-American owned. So we certainly, when we talk to Gary we encourage him to look to the 8A program because we know there are a lot of qualified firms in there.
MR. JUSTE: Just a point of clarification, if I understood your question, are you only receiving contracts. For 8A, 8A is a Small Business Administration set-aside, for small, disadvantaged businesses, and it only applies to the FAR which is the Federal Acquisition Regulations. It only applies to contracts. There is no set-aside regulation for NGOs, for example. So if you are looking to get an assistance award it would not be to the 8A track.
QUESTION: My question is to Mauricio and Gary Juste. In regards to the small businesses here in the U.S. that are Haitian owned, there is a lack of, like you said, the ones that are registered and having a certification processes, and it’s due to capacity, that they are not properly registered or properly running, even here in the U.S..
My company provides assistance to help these firms come into capacity, getting their financial reporting in place. My question to you is do you have any resources that we can be utilized that can help us provide more assistance to the local and international Haitian-owned businesses?
MR. VERA: My office assists firms who are interested in doing business with USAID in general, so we kind of, we really give you sort of a sense of what’s coming out, what types of things we look for. When you come into our office you will meet usually with one of the specialists who will get an understanding of the type of work that you do and then maybe give you some recommendations as to how to proceed, whether you should proceed with an opportunity in Washington or overseas, depending on what your technical area is. It’s really on a case by case basis how we can assist you. If you’re new to federal procurement I would encourage you to go to the Small Business Administration or one of the Small Business Development Centers of even the PTACs which are the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers which are funded primarily by DoD. But if you have done international work and you have some sense of the agency, then you can use some of the tools that we’ve mentioned here this morning, going to the forecast, doing your homework. Then pursuing specific opportunities. Again, we really help you on sort of a case by case basis.
QUESTION: My question is what are the resources that are available because the companies are not receiving -- I’ve done my research. I went to all of the web sites, and as a firm I could participate on some of the contracts, but it’s not for me. It’s for the small businesses here that are engineering or contractors. They don’t have, there’s a profit margin that is required, there are specific requirements in order for you to bid on certain projects, and I want to know what type of resources you could provide me that I could share with them to train them on the basis so they could participate on some of those contracts.
MR. VERA: It’s a great question. Again, it probably would be better if we talk off-line about this because it sounds like you in essence are doing essentially what we do which is helping, trying to help the businesses themselves. So there’s --
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: Any job openings over there?
MR. VERA: As a matter of fact we do have one.
QUESTION: I have a question that could go to either Mr. Vera or Mr. Juste. I watched with interest the launch of the Development Innovation Ventures Program and I understand there has been a little bit of controversy over whether or not that’s going to continue to be funded as a new initiative, and I hope you can provide a little information about where that’s at.
In the meantime I was wondering if any of these seed money grants have gone to Haiti so far, and if so, what types of projects have been approved for Haiti?
MR. JUSTE: Is that under DIV that you’re referring to?
QUESTION: Yes, under DIV.
MR. JUSTE: DIV, for you all, is the Development Innovation Ventures. Just last week the agency has launched a window for Haiti. We put $4 million in that window and it’s for organizations that are interested, that have innovative things that they can propose to do in Haiti. It really has to be innovative. I’m not talking about the cooking stoves that a lot of people are talking about, having cooking stoves to replace the charcoal that’s going on in the country and all that. That’s not in that area. But there is, you should check it out. DIV is Development Innovation Ventures. We set it aside as a Haiti window. When you click on that thing there’s a Haiti window and I’m not aware of any controversy regarding anything regards that. We did set it aside. We launched it last week.
QUESTION: Is there a timeline?
MR. JUSTE: It’s a year, and you can set it at any time. Just look at the web site to see the specifics. It’s rolling. It’s already on. We’ve launched it. You can send proposal today.
QUESTION: First I would like to invite all of our presenters, perhaps they will repost it on the web site, all of the presentations that have been done today, we’d love to see if we can have a copy.
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: That’s a fabulous idea.
QUESTION: My question speaks very pointedly to the fact that what we’ve said in this room, the mere fact that we are having this gathering, there is a recognition that there is a value that the Haitian-American community provides. But it seems as if we apply our processes that we have in place at 100 percent, we’ll probably get the same effect or the same result, that largely as you ask how many organizations will receive USAID funding or any other funding, you had probably less than 10 percent of the hands up. There is a recognition that capacity building needs to be done and the issue is what have we put in place that is different to make sure that there’s capacity building both on the NGO side and the for-profit side so that at the end of the day programs in Haiti will be much more sustainable, much more successful than they have been in the past.
MR. JUSTE: This is a great question, but there are a number of things that you address to where you’re getting at wit this question. One of the things I’m looking at right now is the basic health care services delivery in Haiti where you have the lack of service delivery to all this basic health care. It’s a very complicated process that you have to go through in order to get at that.
So in order to get better results, we are addressing the government directly to do the procurements themselves in Haiti to the people that are providing the services in the various regions throughout the country. That in itself is new. We’re doing it differently. We’re putting a lot of money into it. Are there risks involved in doing that? Yes, there is. We are doing, on a number of fronts we are doing things a bit differently so that we end up with a different type of partner. That said, I could bring any group of contractors in the federal government and ask how many of you have federal awards, and only ten percent will raise their hand because winning a government contract is not always easy because there’s a finite number of money. And secondly, the competition is fierce. So if all of you were to bid on a contract today, and when I send out a solicitation I may have 27 proposals but there’s only going to be one winner. So you have to take that into consideration as well.
But we are addressing to get more at local Haitian organizations, trust me.
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: One of the things I want to ask the staff from public liaison and USAID and the Haiti Coordinator’s office is if they would put together a list of all of these web sites and post them so you’re not crazy trying to figure out what this one means, what that one means, so we might be able to post those up, particularly to the public outreach page on the web site. That might help synthesize everything and lead you to getting quicker answers and quicker solutions.
QUESTION: I guess this is directed towards USAID, specifically Mr. Juste. Our work in Haiti is consistent with the theme, we’re partnering with actually Yves François who is one of the speakers this afternoon, YCF Group. About January of this year I convinced our leadership it was time to go to Haiti. After the earthquake was a little bit too soon, although a lot of our colleagues and NGOs and companies went there, tried to establish themselves, waited and had to leave. So I thought we were not too late in going in January. So we’ve been waiting patiently.
My question is, I do watch the Federal Biz Ops, I watch that every day. I do check the business forecasts. I printed out one last night. The first one was last quarter which had 61 line items on it for Haiti. The one I printed out last night has 30. So my question is, how should we interpret that? The scheduling that was for this fiscal quarter has now been pushed two or three quarters beyond. What I had heard was they were waiting for the election of the President which happened in May of course, then waiting for the Prime Minister confirmation. Is it politically linked? Or is it -- [Laughter] -- how can I go back and interpret this? How would you help me to interpret the business forecasts, again comparing the last quarter with this quarter? I also point out that none of the procurement methods have been determined. It’s to be determined.
So I, who am acquainted with this document, it’s a little bit unusual. Thank you.
MR. JUSTE: First of all, it’s not politically linked in any way, shape or form. That I know of. Let me make sure that’s clear. But I do say this. The business forecast is an attempt by USAID to even prior to advertising on the Fed Biz Ops on the Fed.grants.gov, to give you an idea of what we intend to do. In fact we have developed a whole procurement plan that we can’t put the entire procurement plan because the procurement plan may have information that may give somebody an advantage in competition. But we do use that whole procurement plan to add to, to inform that web site.
When you see the TBDs it’s because we don’t know exactly what date that we’re going to issue the solicitation and when the award is made. When you see the reduction, it could be that part of it has already been solicited, so we’ve taken them off the list. That could be that as well.
I can address more specifically your question, but I hope I addressed it.
QUESTION: We work in Limonade, Haiti. One of the projects that we have is the micro-credit lending where we lend money to families to help them start their small business. So far it has been a huge success. But at the same time there is a lack of resources. How can a small NGO like ourselves doing the work be able to partner with organizations like you guys to help us to have more resources to help back with the community? We know the fuel of the economy in Haiti is the small businesses.
The second question that I have is are there any plans for financial literacy? Because we know that we need to make sure that our business owners and families are able to make sound financial decisions.
MR. JUSTE: On the micro-finance, we have a whole section, it’s called Economic Growth Team that can address more specifically what resources we are doing there, and we do have a couple of things that are coming up. But remember that we are focused on three different corridors -- the Port-au-Prince area, Saint-Marc and Cap-Haitien. We are building the industrial park in the north, as you know. We just awarded a contract to put a power plant there.
So we are putting resources into that. It’s a matter of you addressing the teams that are there. So you need to get in touch with me, because -- just get in touch with Gary. I can direct you to the right team to talk to you about micro-lending. Okay?
MR. FULTON: Thank you for asking a question that I can address.
Both the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank are heavily involved in micro-finance, micro-credit, and financial literacy, so if you’ll see me after this is over we can talk.
MR. JUSTE: Let me just add for him because he talked about OPIC earlier. There are some organizations that really use OPIC. Somebody had asked me the question earlier about taking risk coming in to do business in Haiti and then not wanting to lose their money not after they invest it. OPIC is a good organization to go to to guarantee that you will not lose on your investment. I wanted to reiterate that.
QUESTION: Since the earth quake I’ve been trying hard to get a small business opportunity in Haiti. I’ve been to a lot of meetings, I’ve sent a lot of documents to proper agencies. I’ve yet to hear anything from them. And besides, I would like to know what happened with the Haitian Diaspora Market fund? I have also sent my company information to them. It’s been a few months now, I haven’t heard anything from anyone.
MR. JUSTE: The Haitian Diaspora Market Fund did not work, it just did not work and I don’t think anybody is pursuing it. However we replaced with a program called LEAD. I don’t know if you -- Just get in touch with me. This is a new award where we’re doing investment for people to invest in Haiti. It’s exciting and you should get involved with that. The name of the project is LEAD, that’s the acronym I remember.
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: You’ll be able to give folks information if they reach out to you, Gary? Because that’s a great question.
MR. JUSTE: Yes. That’s publicized.
The second question, construction. You’ve been trying to get into more construction and so on. It’s just now that we’re going to be constructing for the housing. Remember the land tenure issue that was discussed earlier, there’s been a lot of issues that identify who the beneficiaries are going to be because we want to make sure that if somebody that’s going to be living in the house that we’re building is going to be somebody that was affected by the earthquake, and that person is not going to be kicked out within two months by somebody else who wants to take over that property. So it’s taken a long time to get to that place where we are now. Charles can talk to you about the north where we are doing the environment assessments and preparing the sites for the construction of houses. I would suspect that I month of October, November, December you’ll see a lot more going in the direction of constructing shelters.
QUESTION: I have been to several match-making. What I heard it’s all about, relationships. Getting to know your customer. Does that increase my chance of getting a contract by being here? My second question is -- If I go to the web site, look at the projection of USAID and then I see something I am very interested in, very excited about it, what is the next step I should take?
MR. JUSTE: It will have all the contact information on there. Again, my office, you can contact my office as well. But the thing is, it should have all the contact information. Anything that we publicize has a POC on it which is point of contact. That’s the next step, bet in contact with the person that’s put it out there.
QUESTION: I wanted to compliment USAID for the transparency with which they provide information on the contracts. Having analyzed them, we found that USAID humanitarian funding --
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: Please don’t make a statement, we have to rush --
QUESTION: A quick background behind the question. There’s not a single Haitian organization that’s listed as an implementing partner among the 98 activities in which USAID is engaged on the web site, and the Federal Procurement Database System found there was no contract awarded to a Haitian company whereas 93 percent of the contracts went to contractors from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland. So I wanted to ask if perhaps my analysis isn’t complete? And if so, could you list some of the Haitian companies that have been contracted to. If not, perhaps you can give us some background as to why that’s not the case and whether any U.S. companies that you do contract to, if there’s going to be any indication on breakdowns for Haitian labor and Haitian inputs in their budgets. Thank you.
MR. JUSTE: I’m going to answer that and take the rest of your question separately because there’s a lot more information that you don’t know about. We do set aside -- I’m serious. We have 146 companies, there’s a program called Haiti First. And it only has Haitian companies on it. And we set it aside and our XO, we tell our NGOs to contract with them. You may not see some of these awards in the site that you’re looking at, but there’s a lot more awards going to Haitian firms than the speaker. We are spending money with Haitian First, but then again, because you are looking at the overall projects that are done with U.S. organizations, and then you’re going to say it’s not done by a Haitian organization. Otherwise, the question leads to dispute and I’d rather not have a dispute with you in front of everybody else right here. So I’d rather talk to you on the side and tell you what to do.
Because I don’t understand the nature of his question, the nature of his question is I don’t know what site he looked at exactly, I have to look at what it is --
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: What site did you look at?
QUESTION: I went to the USAID web site and you list very clearly the humanitarian funding in Haiti and 50 percent of that goes to U.S. Government agencies. Thirty percent goes to contractors and NGOs and another 16 goes to the UN agencies. So there may well be Haitian contractors --
MR. JUSTE: For the humanitarian aid that you’re talking about. Again, under the humanitarian aid, that happened right after the earthquake. We had to save lives right away. This has nothing to do with the new supplemental money that we are currently spending.
QUESTION: I’m talking about 2011.
MR. JUSTE: In 2011 we were doing humanitarian help. You labeled your thing humanitarian, didn’t you?
QUESTION: Yes, I did. But also I’m talking about the federal procurement database which is listed up until the present, and if that only -- There’s no Haitian company listed as a recipient. So there very well may be Haitian contractors within the U.S. companies that have been given contracts, but I’d just like to know whether you USAID would be interested in divulging more information, greater breakdowns as to the nature of the Haitian involvement with those U.S. companies, because 93 percent of the firms that are contracted to USAID are listed with their official centers within the Beltway. That’s the reason why I asked.
MR. JUSTE: A number of those organizations, in order for them to implement in Haiti they are linked with a local Haitian firm. So there is an association with a local Haitian firm. You’re right, maybe we’re not posting enough of that information on the site, but I can assure you that a lot of Haitian firms are benefitting from the programs that we are implementing in Haiti.
QUESTION: The greater the involvement, the better the economic impact. Thank you.
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: You can do a sidebar with him so we can get in in a minute and a half -- we have six people. We’re running up on lunch.
QUESTION: I’ve been on the ground in Haiti, and what I’ve seen, there’s a disconnect. It seems that all the contracts, the people who are experts at getting the contracts are not expert at getting things done in Haiti. And the people who are experts at getting things done in Haiti are not experts at getting the contracts.
I want to know whether or not you’re aware of that that problem and that there is a disconnect, and if you are, how do you plan on addressing that problem? And by the way, I’d like to commend you, I think this is a good way of starting. What people in here have in common is that they know the language, they have some knowledge. If they can just be given some tools they can perhaps have an advantage of knowing how to get things done in Haiti and perhaps getting some of the contracts. Thank you.
MR. JUSTE: Project Hope, right? What you use on the ground is not making any connection with you as to --
QUESTION: What’s on the ground, when I speak to people and what I observed, they don’t need someone to take care of all their problems, they just need a little push, and the little push is not getting there. [Inaudible] with the people that know how to get the contracts but don’t know how to get that little push to --
MR. JUSTE: The thing is, in my experience, all the local Haitians that I work with, even at my house, you mentioned USAID, they pretty much know they have received help from USAID all over the country. Maybe there is a disconnect from what you say that from the environment you are hearing it from. But the needs in Haiti are great. You have a country with a very high unemployment and we just can’t address it all, which is why we focus our help to be in the areas that we’re talking about.
I’m just saying you’re going to find that and you might think it’s a disconnect, but I happen to know that we are helping a great deal of Haitians. We have proof, the numbers are tremendous.
QUESTION: We’re working with the Ministry of Agriculture right now in Haiti just to assist on our own, not through a contract. One of the things that we’re looking for right now, we’re working on a disease in Haiti called Tessians, which is actually killing a lot of the pigs in Haiti right now. It’s a neurological disease. We’re trying to work with the Ministry of Agriculture, trying to find a way for funding.
The plan right now is to use a vaccine that is related to the virus but it will not kill the virus. What I’m trying to propose is for Haiti to develop its own vaccine so I’m looking for ways to find funding for the Ministry of Agriculture so I can assist them in facilitate and developing the vaccine for them at our cost to actually provide that work. I’m trying to find out if World Bank or USAID has a resource for funds. The only other vaccine available for this disease is in Russia and we cannot use that vaccine in Haiti because of issues in the way they developed the vaccine in Russia. So the only way to take care of this disease is to develop a vaccine. Is there available reconstruction funds to develop a vaccine for this disease? The cost of the problem will, if you look at the ratio of the cost of developing a vaccine and taking care of the swine population in Haiti --
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: Your basic question is is there a way to develop that vaccine --
QUESTION: I know how to develop it, I just need funds.
MR. JUSTE: There was an email to that effect about four weeks ago.
QUESTION: That was from me.
MR. JUSTE: I forwarded that email to the people that know better than me about the vaccines and they are reviewing it in fact because I did see that. Somebody’s looking at that. They will be getting back in touch with you hopefully. I did get in touch with someone about that and they’re researching the issue right now.
QUESTION: My question is how do we tap into the genius and the resourcefulness in the people that are currently in Haiti who I think are better positioned to instruct us how to help them? I have a product that’s been used in Haiti to kill cholera and dysentery to a Log-10. We have to ask questions of the people there on the ground because they have the experience there. I know how the product works, I understand how the process works. But we weren’t sure about cultural push-back, we weren’t sure about how people would feel about a product of this nature and some other items.
The question I’m asking is, sometimes we assume a paternalistic attitude about what we’re going to bring to the table to save these people. My question is, how do we unlock the knowledge corpus of the people on the ground there and facilitate them showing us how to help them best, because they’re indigenous. They understand the lay of the land. This isn’t a political issue, I don’t even think it’s a financial one. But what I do think is that we have to figure out how to tap into the spirit of the people. I don’t mean that --
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: I think we’ve got you.
QUESTION: How do we tape into their hearts, how do we release that genius and bring that to the fore --
MR. JUSTE: My experience has been exactly that. It depends on your attitude as a Diasporan when you come into the country and you want to help and if you take an arrogant attitude they will automatically shut off. I’ve seen that happen. Your question is how do we get past that and have people reach -- You just have to be, essential personal skills. I don’t know how to explain it any better. It’s understanding that they’ve been involved and the culture has evolved in a way that is different than from Diaspora. I’ve learned a lot in the past year, even though as a Haitian-American myself, I’ve learned a lot about the culture itself in the past year by being on the ground. The best way to get to that I guess is by being on the ground and having the relationships so that you can develop that rapport and get to that point.
QUESTION: Given that the ultimate goal is to award grants and contracts to local partners and to develop partnerships that will create an atmosphere to minimize the need of assistance in the future, can we create a platform that will facilitate such an atmosphere? One, provide a minimum quota that would allow those of us that are in here, Haitian-Americans that are willing and able and interested in becoming the partners, so that we can become that partner, so we can receive those grants that are available? Number two, to allow the others that are applying for such a grant to hire or to become partners with Haitians and Haitian-Americans so that we will have a better level playing field? As it’s seen right now, being on the ground in Haiti we have not seen that level ground. Can we create such an atmosphere?
MR. JUSTE: The gist of your question is going to whether we can set aside something for Haitian-Americans and I think Tom Adams addressed this earlier. There is no legal way to take the U.S. taxpayer dollar and set it aside for Haitian-Americans. Not that I know of. You are talking about, you have to address everybody in order to do that. However, we strategically develop our activities and programs to make it so that the skills that you have, the French, the environment, all of that comes to play when we evaluate proposals so that the competency of our partners are including Haitian-Americans or those that have the competence to do the work.
QUESTION: The reality is that we have not met that goal over the past year and a half plus. We’re going on two years. We do have that in this room. And I don’t think any of us have received such a grant.
QUESTION: Our main work is advocacy and we’re concerned about the whole Haiti, not just part of Haiti. I heard the Ambassador mention earlier that there are NGOs in the south. At the risk of sounding regional, I’m from [Lavali] Jacmel, and my question is, does USAID have a plan for the whole Haiti or parts of Haiti? Unless I missed something. I see the north corridor. And briefly, I heard Gary mention a bridge. Now between [Lavali] and Jacmel, --
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY BENTON: We can just take the one question. Maybe you can meet on a sidebar with him.
MR. JUSTE: Why are we not in the south? Because we can’t be everywhere. We are doing the north, Saint-Marc and Port-au-Prince area because that’s where our resources take us to, and that’s why Tom was also mentioning that you should talk to the Canadians, the French, the other donors that are involved in doing work outside of those corridors. It’s just where we’re focused, that’s all.
QUESTION: The concern that I have is with respect to what the Ambassador said earlier in that the most important need that Haiti has is for jobs. Since Gary just mentioned that we can’t take U.S. dollars and put set-asides for Haitian or Haitian-American companies to get some of those contracts, which would be lovely if we could get 60 percent, then what is being done, very specifically, in terms of dealing with the issue of creating jobs for Haitians in Haiti with respect to those companies who are getting those contracts? What is being done in forcing those companies to identify what kind of jobs are being created, for how long a period of time, what the pay rate is, and how many people they’re hiring.
MR. JUSTE: Let me just address it this way. In the north corridor we are building an industrial park that’s going to be employing 25,000 people. Within that we are building 10,000 houses as well to be in the north. I just signed a $14 million contract to provide a power plant to the north that’s going to provide 24x7 electricity for the entire industrial park. That’s what we are doing to create employment in Haiti.
But you know, you have an employment problem here in the United States. We can’t address all of the problems everywhere. We are hoping by our efforts in the north that we will decongest Port-au-Prince, for example, where you will build some interest up there in the north. We have a line of contractors that are interested to be in the industrial park as we speak right now, and that’s going to be starting, the industrial park is supposed to be in place sometime in 2012, March, May, 2012, that’s when it goes live.
As far as salaries are concerned, salaries of individuals or in the country is determined by their own Department of Labor, however that is.
QUESTION: Here lies the crux of the problem, if I may please. In that you say there’s going to be 20,000 jobs created.
MR. JUSTE: 25,000.
QUESTION: 25,000 jobs. If we look at the payroll dollars, I happen to be an accountant by trade so I like looking at the numbers. If we look at the payroll dollars and then we ask ourselves how much money is going to be paid out in payroll dollars, and then how much of that is going to Haitians. How much of that is going to Haitian nationals? How much of that is going to Haitian-Americans? That’s where it’s really going to make a difference. If you hire 20,000, 25,000 Haitians and only 10 percent of your payroll dollars go to those Haitians, we’re not really advancing the country.
MR. JUSTE: There’s a lot of different -- It costs money for -- I just told you, I spent $14 million in building a power plant. That’s going to be -- Understand what I’m saying. In order for you to address the Haitians that are being employed, you have to build the infrastructure around it and it costs money to do that. So if you take the total amount of money, looking at the roads that we’re building, the power plant that we put in place, and of course it’s going to give you this figure that oh, the Haitians are only getting two percent of the monies being made available for the area. That’s wrong. Because the approach is to look at -- What we are doing long term is create employment in the long term, decongesting Port-au-Prince in the long term. And it’s not just our responsibility, it’s the Haitian government responsibility to ensure that it’s providing services to its citizens. We’re just here out giving a helping hand. That’s all.