Congress to USAID: Stonewalling is SO over

Yesterday from a deliriously happy press release of Publish What You Fund:

Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA), Chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, today introduced the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009 (HR 2139), a bipartisan bill designed to increase accountability and improve the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid

The bill:

instructs federal agencies to make aid information on a detailed country-by-country and program-by-program basis in a comprehensive, timely, comparable, and accessible fashion.

Could we dream that USAID would one day provide aid-watching citizens with basic information, as opposed to treating them like enemy combatants? That USAID could be more like its British cousin DFID, that instead of us spending weeks in getting a simple question still not answered, we could get an answer in 5 minutes?

That this could even change USAID’s behavior, so that egregious waste and diversion of funds are no longer seen as a good reason to keep doing business as usual?

As always, a timely response from USAID on these questions would be welcome.