Exclusive: USAID calls latest health project results ‘unacceptable,’ Chemonics cites ‘turning point’

ACT kits assembled by the Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement and Supply Management staff in Mozambique in the Zimpete Ministry of Health central warehouse to facilitate distribution to community health workers. Photo by: GHSC-PSM

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Agency for International Development says the performance of its largest-ever contract “remains unacceptable,” while the agency’s implementing partner, Chemonics International, maintains the most recent report “marks a turning point for the project.”

The Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement Supply Management project, a $9.5 billion effort that coordinates the procurement, shipment, and monitoring of lifesaving global health commodities to 55 countries, released its latest quarterly report Thursday.

For the quarter ending on June 30, 2017, the project delivered 23 percent of its shipments “on time and in full.” While a 23 percent OTIF rate suggests a supply chain still riddled with delayed shipments, it represents a modest improvement from the 7 percent OTIF rate reported in the previous quarter.

“As anticipated, GHSC-PSM’s ‘on time and in full’ rate showed improvement, to 23 percent for the quarter,” said USAID spokesperson Clayton McCleskey in a statement to Devex. “The OTIF remains unacceptable, and far from the contract’s target of 80 percent,” he said.

Devex first revealed problems with the project in August. It has since attracted attention from U.S. lawmakers, who intend to question USAID about its decision to award the contract to Chemonics in 2015.

Chemonics says the modest uptick — in addition to other indicators in the latest report — is evidence that a major project overhaul undertaken over the past six months is starting to yield better results. The company also acknowledged that the results described a project still working to overcome the major problems that led USAID to demand a…

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