Acquisition & Assistance Ombudsman

Purpose of the U.S. Agency for International Development Ombudsman's Office

The primary purpose of the Acquisition and Assistance (A & A) Ombudsman's Office is to ensure equitable treatment of all parties participating in USAID's contracts and grants (acquisitions and assistance) pre-award, post-award and administration functions.

The A&A Ombudsman is the Agency official tasked with managing complaints about specific A&A proceedings as well as cross-cutting issues related to the execution of the A&A process at USAID.  Critical to accomplishing the purpose of the office is the trust individuals place in the process.

The Standards of Practice for the Ombudsman's Office

The A&A Ombudsman is:

  • A neutral, independent intermediary

  • Responsible for maintaining anonymity of sources and confidentiality of matters

In exceptional cases, confidentiality can be waived, for example:

  • When it is necessary to address imminent risk of serious harm

  • When express permission is given to do so

The Ombudsman and the individual that presents an issue must agree to the disclosure of confidential information, with the exception of identity of source, when it is unavoidable in conducting an administrative review.

The principal goal of the A & A Ombudsman is to facilitate resolution of differences through an informal impartial administrative review of the action in question. The review requires obtaining factual information about the specific matter and researching and applying pertinent regulations/policies and, where appropriate, consulting with Senior Agency Management in USAID or other federal-wide subject matter experts.

In addition, the A & A Ombudsman has a substantive role in A&A reform, A&A training, outreach, "customer-access" and "customer-services" matters.

Obtaining Answers to Your Questions or Support from the A&A Ombudsman

If you need help with a specific USAID-financed acquisition or assistance matter, please see the information under the A&A Ombudsman Review Process.

If you do not have a question about a specific USAID-financed acquisition or assistance matter, or related cross cutting issue, the USAID Website is a good source of general information about agency programs and policies.

The Handbook for Finding USAID Information also contains tips on how to find information and documentation without filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request as well as how to file a FOIA request if you need to.

Contact Information for the Ombudsman's Office

  • Address: Agency for International Development, Management Bureau, Office of Acquisition and Assistance, Development Federal Center Plaza SA-44, Washington, DC 20024
  • Telephone: (202) 567-4742
  • Fax: (202) 567-4693
  • E-mail: AandAOmbudsman@usaid.gov

Other Information and Resources

To give us feedback, or if you just don't know where to find the information you are looking for, use the Contact USAID page.

Download "The USAID Grant & Contract Process: A Basic Guide" here.

Last updated: November 13, 2014

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