USAID issues awards only to “presently responsible” organizations—ones that have adequate internal controls, can safeguard and responsibly manage U.S. funds, and can maintain compliance with Agency and award requirements. Federal Acquisition Regulation 9.103 states: “No purchase or award shall be made unless the contracting officer makes an affirmative determination of responsibility.” In addition, partners must be able to comply with applicable laws, regulations, and award conditions. (Note that “presently responsible” also applies to individual employees of a USAID partner or prospective partner.)

Many of USAID’s requirements and conditions are found in the Automated Directives System (ADS), the policies and procedures that guide the Agency’s programs and operations. Partners should become familiar with these references when implementing a USAID award:

For acquisition awards (contracts): ADS 302 (PDF), the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), and USAID’s supplement to the FAR, the USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR) (PDF).

For assistance awards (grants and cooperative agreements): ADS 303 (PDF) and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR, new beta version), specifically 2 CFR 200 and 2 CFR 700.

Your COR (Contracting Officer’s Representative) or AOR (Agreement Officer’s Representative) will work with you to ensure that you maintain compliance with the requirements of your award. 

Below are additional resources in key operational areas from USAID and other experts. (Note that USAID does not officially endorse materials produced by other groups.)


  • The Essential NGO Guide to Managing Your USAID Award (PDF)
  • Implementation Tips for USAID Partners: Compliance (PDF)
  • Compliance and Risk 


To work with the U.S. Government, including USAID, organizations must secure a DUNS identification number and a CAGE code (for U.S.-based organizations) or NCAGE code (for non-U.S.-based organizations), and must register in SAM, the System for Award Management. SAM registration must be renewed annually. See our quick reference (PDF) for details.