Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2017, 93965-93967 [2016-30805]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 246 / Thursday, December 22, 2016 / Notices Signed at Washington, DC, on December 16, 2016. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. [FR Doc. 2016–30844 Filed 12–21–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–26–P MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION [MCC FR 16–08] Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2017 Millennium Challenge Corporation. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This report is provided in accordance with section 608(d)(1) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, Pub. L. 108–199, Division D, (the ‘‘Act’’), 22 U.S.C. 7708(d)(1). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: December 16, 2016. Sarah E. Fandell, VP/General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Millennium Challenge Corporation. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2017 Summary This report is provided in accordance with section 608(d)(1) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, as amended, Pub. L. 108–199, Division D, (the ‘‘Act’’) (22 U.S.C. 7707(d)(1)). The Act authorizes the provision of assistance under section 605 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7704) to countries that enter into compacts with the United States to support policies and programs that advance the progress of such countries in achieving lasting economic growth and poverty reduction, and are in furtherance of the Act. The Act requires the Millennium Challenge Corporation (‘‘MCC’’) to determine the countries that will be eligible to receive assistance for the fiscal year, based on their demonstrated commitment to just and democratic governance, economic freedom, and investing in their people, as well as on the opportunity to reduce poverty and generate economic growth in the country. The Act also requires the submission of reports to appropriate congressional committees and the publication of notices in the Federal Register that identify, among other things: 1. The countries that are ‘‘candidate countries’’ for assistance for fiscal year (‘‘FY’’) 2017 based on their per-capita income levels and their eligibility to receive assistance under U.S. law, and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:40 Dec 21, 2016 Jkt 241001 countries that would be candidate countries but for specified legal prohibitions on assistance (section 608(a) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7707(a))); 2. The criteria and methodology that the Board of Directors of MCC (the ‘‘Board’’) will use to measure and evaluate the policy performance of the ‘‘candidate countries’’ consistent with the requirements of section 607 of the Act in order to select ‘‘eligible countries’’ from among the ‘‘candidate countries’’ (section 608(b) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7707(b))); and 3. The list of countries determined by the Board to be ‘‘eligible countries’’ for FY 2017, with justification for eligibility determination and selection for compact negotiation, including with which of the eligible countries the Board will seek to enter into compacts (section 608(d) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7707(d))). This is the third of the abovedescribed reports by MCC for FY 2017. It identifies countries determined by the Board to be eligible under section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706) for FY 2017 with which the MCC will seek to enter into compacts under section 609 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7708), as well as the justification for such decisions. The report also identifies countries selected by the Board to receive assistance under MCC’s threshold program pursuant to section 616 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7715). Eligible Countries The Board met on December 13, 2016 to select those eligible countries with which the United States, through MCC, will seek to enter into a Millennium Challenge Compact pursuant to section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706) for FY 2017. The Board selected the following eligible countries for such assistance for FY 2017: Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia. The Board also reselected the following countries for compact assistance for FY 2017: Cote d’Ivoire, Mongolia, Nepal, and Senegal. Criteria In accordance with the Act and with the ‘‘Report on the Criteria and Methodology for Determining the Eligibility of Candidate Countries for Millennium Challenge Account Assistance in Fiscal Year 2017’’ formally submitted to Congress on September 20, 2016, selection was based primarily on a country’s overall performance in three broad policy categories: Ruling Justly, Encouraging Economic Freedom, and Investing in People. The Board relied, to the maximum extent possible, upon transparent and independent indicators to assess countries’ policy performance and demonstrated commitment in these PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 93965 three broad policy areas. The Board compared countries’ performance on the indicators relative to their income-level peers, evaluating them in comparison to either the group of low income countries (‘‘LIC’’) or the group of lower middle income countries (‘‘LMIC’’). The criteria and methodology used to assess countries on the annual scorecards are outlined in the ‘‘Report on the Criteria and Methodology for Determining the Eligibility of Candidate Countries for Millennium Challenge Account Assistance in Fiscal Year 2017.’’ 1 Scorecards reflecting each country’s performance on the indicators are available on MCC’s Web site at www.mcc.gov/scorecards. The Board also considered whether any adjustments should be made for data gaps, data lags, or recent events since the indicators were published, as well as strengths or weaknesses in particular indicators. Where appropriate, the Board took into account additional quantitative and qualitative information, such as evidence of a country’s commitment to fighting corruption, investments in human development outcomes, or poverty rates. For example, for additional information in the area of corruption, the Board considered how a country is evaluated by supplemental sources like Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, the Global Integrity Report, Open Government Partnership status, and the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, among others, as well as on the defined indicator. The Board also took into account the margin of error around an indicator, when applicable. In keeping with legislative directives, the Board also considered the opportunity to reduce poverty and promote economic growth in a country, in light of the overall information available, as well as the availability of appropriated funds. This was the eighth year the Board considered the eligibility of countries for subsequent compacts, as permitted under section 609(k) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7708(k)). As in previous years, they considered the higher bar expected of subsequent compact countries, including examining the implementation of the first compact, and evidence of both improved scorecard policy performance and a commitment to reform. The Board also considered the eligibility of countries for initial compacts. The Board sees the selection decision as an annual opportunity to determine where MCC funds can be most effectively invested 1 Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/ doc/report-selection-criteria-and-methodology-fy17. E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 93966 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 246 / Thursday, December 22, 2016 / Notices to support poverty reduction through economic growth in relatively wellgoverned, poor countries. The Board carefully considers the appropriate nature of each country partnership—on a case-by-case basis—based on factors related to economic growth and poverty reduction, the sustainability of MCC’s investments, and the country’s ability to attract and leverage public and private resources in support of development. In addition, this is the first year where the Board considered an explicit higher bar for those countries close to the upper end of the candidate pool, looking closely in such cases at a country’s access to development financing, the nature of poverty in the country, and its policy performance. As with previous years, a number of countries that performed well on the quantitative elements of the eligibility criteria (i.e., on the policy indicators) were not chosen as eligible countries for FY 2017. FY 2017 was a particularly competitive year: Several countries were already working to develop compacts, multiple countries passed the scorecard (some for the first time), and funding was limited due to budget constraints. As a result, only three countries that passed the scorecard and met the higher bars described above were newly selected for MCC compacts, and only two countries for the threshold program. MCC’s engagement with partner countries is not open-ended, and the Board is very deliberate when determining eligibility for follow-on partnerships. In determining subsequent compact eligibility, the Board considered—in addition to the criteria outlined above—the country’s performance implementing its first compact, including the nature of the country’s partnership with MCC, the degree to which the country has demonstrated a commitment and capacity to achieve program results, and the degree to which the country has implemented the compact in accordance with MCC’s core policies and standards. To the greatest extent possible, this was assessed using pre-existing monitoring and evaluation targets and regular quarterly reporting. This information was supplemented with direct surveys and consultation with MCC staff responsible for compact implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. MCC published a Guide to the Supplemental Information Sheet 2 and a Guide to the Compact Survey Summary 3 in order to increase 2 Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/ doc/guide-to-supplemental-information-fy17. 3 Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/ doc/guide-to-the-compact-survey-summary-fy15. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:40 Dec 21, 2016 Jkt 241001 transparency about the type of supplemental information the Board uses to assess a country’s policy performance and compact implementation performance. The Board also considered a country’s commitment to further sector reform, as well as evidence of improved scorecard policy performance. Countries Newly Selected for Compact Assistance Using the criteria described above, Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia are the only candidate countries under section 606(a) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7705(a)) that were newly selected for assistance under section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706). Burkina Faso: With an ambitious reform agenda focused on poverty reduction, a clearly improved scorecard, and the completion of its first compact in July 2014, Burkina Faso exemplifies the higher bar MCC has for second compact countries. Its continued policy improvement is clear: Despite being one of the poorest countries in Africa, the country passes 13 of 20 indicators, has shown strong improvement on democratic rights, and has a consistently strong score on the Control of Corruption indicator. In addition, the country has taken important steps to ensure the sustainability of the first compact investments. Sri Lanka: On the back of a successful election in 2015, Sri Lanka now passes the MCC scorecard with 13 of 20 indicators met, including the hard hurdles on both democratic rights and Control of Corruption. In addition MCC has found Sri Lanka to be a highcapacity and committed partner during development of the threshold program over the past year. As a result, MCC feels Sri Lanka is now solidly exemplifying the profile of compact partner, and has decided to move Sri Lanka from the threshold program into the compact program. Work done to date in developing the threshold program will now contribute to the compact development process. Tunisia: Tunisia meets the higher bar expected of candidate countries that sit towards the upper end of the Lower Middle Income Country pool (LMIC). It passes MCC’s scorecard with 13 of 20 indicators met, including very strong performance on democratic rights, as well as Control of Corruption. The country also continues to confront major development challenges, with significant inequality, large pockets of poverty, and vulnerability undermining the recent strong democratic gains. Together with a significant policy reform agenda, a compact with Tunisia PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 would provide MCC with a unique opportunity to partner with a highcapacity partner in a critically important region. Countries Reselected To Continue Compact Development Three of the countries selected for compact assistance for FY 2017 were previously selected for FY 2016. These countries are Cote d’Ivoire, Nepal and Senegal. The Board reselected these countries based on their continued or improved policy performance since their prior selection. Mongolia, which had originally been selected for compact assistance for FY 2015, temporarily left the candidate pool in FY 2016 when it graduated to UMIC status. It has returned to the candidate pool as a LMIC in FY 2017, and so the Board has once again selected the country for compact assistance for FY 2017. Countries Selected To Receive Threshold Program Assistance The Board selected Kosovo and Timor-Leste to receive threshold program assistance. Kosovo: Kosovo is committed to reform and is a strong partner of MCC— taking numerous steps to improve its scorecard performance since 2012, and ultimately being selected for compact assistance for FY 2016. However, given Kosovo’s trajectory on the Control of Corruption indicator, the Board decided that threshold program assistance is a more appropriate tool. By selecting Kosovo to receive threshold program assistance, MCC will support the government in its efforts on continued institutional and policy reform. Timor-Leste: Timor-Leste offers MCC the opportunity to support the government with its significant policy and institutional reform needs as it confronts substantial poverty and capacity challenges, especially in the face of a difficult macroeconomic environment. While it has historically struggled to pass the MCC scorecard as an LMIC, Timor-Leste has fallen into the LIC category, where it does pass MCC’s scorecard with 12 out of 20 indicators met, including both democratic rights indicators and the Control of Corruption indicator. Countries Reselected To Continue Developing Threshold Programs This year the Board reselected Togo to continue developing a threshold program. Togo continues to improve on MCC’s scorecard, passing more than half of the scorecard overall by meeting 12 of 20 indicators this year. It also continues to meet the democratic rights E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 246 / Thursday, December 22, 2016 / Notices hurdle and passed the Control of Corruption indicator for the first time. Ongoing Review of Partner Countries’ Policy Performance The Board emphasized the need for all partner countries to maintain or improve their policy performance. If it is determined during compact implementation that a country has demonstrated a significant policy reversal, MCC can hold it accountable by applying MCC’s Suspension and Termination Policy.4 [FR Doc. 2016–30805 Filed 12–21–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9211–03–P NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Notice of Intent To Seek Approval To Establish an Information Collection System National Science Foundation. Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, and as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is inviting the general public or other Federal agencies to comment on this proposed continuing information collection. DATES: Written comments on this notice must be received by February 21, 2017, to be assured consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable. Send comments to address below. ADDRESSES: Send comments to Ms. Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1265, Arlington, Virginia 22230; or via email to splimpto@nsf.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1265, Arlington, Virginia 22230; telephone (703) 292–7556; or send email to splimpto@nsf.gov. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1– 800–877–8339, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including federal holidays). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: 4 Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/ doc/policy-on-suspension-and-termination. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:40 Dec 21, 2016 Jkt 241001 Foundation, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Foundation’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Please submit one copy of your comments by only one method. All submissions received must include the agency name and collection name identified above for this information collection. Commenters are strongly encouraged to transmit their comments electronically via email. Comments, including any personal information provided, become a matter of public record. They will be summarized and/ or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request. Title of Collection: Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Teams Program Survey of Program Participants and NSF Principal Investigators. OMB Number: 3145–NEW. Type of request: Intent to seek approval to establish an information collection. Abstract: In fiscal year 2011, NSF created the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Teams Program to build a national innovation ecosystem by accelerating innovation among identified NSFfunded researchers. The I-Corps Teams Program provides training, mentoring, and a small grant to help project teams determine the readiness of their technology products for transition to commercialization. By design, I-Corps Teams are composed of one principal investigator (PI), an entrepreneurial lead (EL), and a local mentor. NSF’s I-Corps Teams program model has been replicated in other Federal agencies that sponsor research, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NSF and NIH have a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the implementation and monitoring of I-Corps at NIH. As part of I-Corps, teams receive entrepreneurial training and ongoing support for the 6-month duration of the grant. The I-Corps support facilitates each team’s entrepreneurial efforts. The grant requires I-Corps awardees to participate in an intensive immersion training on entrepreneurship (a 3-day opening workshop, 5 weeks of activities with online classes, and a 2-day final workshop). The training follows a structured approach to give team members hands-on experience in transferring knowledge into commercial PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 93967 products. NSF tracks I-Corps Teams’ progress, as they are expected to hit milestones for the duration of the training and throughout the 6-month grant period. Additionally, NSF monitors I-Corps Teams’ project outcomes after the grant period, with longitudinal surveys conducted with ICorps Teams at two future intervals, time 1, at least one year after the end of the training, and time 2, at least one year after time 1. To date, only time 1 longitudinal surveys have been conducted. This notice supports NSF’s efforts to monitor and evaluate the I-Corps Teams program at NSF and NIH. It is a follow up to a previously approved data collection request related to I-Corps. NSF previously received clearance for two longitudinal surveys of I-Corps team members after the completion of the program to continuously track entrepreneurial outcomes [Federal Register Vol. 80 No. 25, February 06, 2015 pages 6773–6774, OMB clearance number 3145–0238, expiration date: April 30, 2018]. NSF is seeking to modify the survey instrument approved for the second longitudinal survey, administered at time 2. Additionally, NSF is also reaffirming its intent to conduct a survey of NSF PIs who did not participate in I-Corps. This intent was previously published in a Federal Register notice on December 04, 2015 [Volume 80, number 233 pages 75881–75882]. This survey of additional PIs supports a rigorous longitudinal outcome/impact evaluation of the ICorps Team Program using a quasiexperimental design to understand ICorps impact on teams that go through the program and its impact on team members and academic culture. This information collection request relates to: (1) A revision to previously cleared survey instrument for I-Corps team participants; (2) a similar survey instrument for PIs in comparable non-ICorps NSF projects; and (3) a proposed instrument for in-depth interviews with 10 I-Corps and 10 comparable non-ICorps teams (including institutional support personnel). The survey instrument for the non-I-Corps PIs is modeled after the content of the I-Corps longitudinal time 2 instrument to enable a direct comparison of outputs and outcomes. For the most part, it replaces specific references to I-Corps training and the I-Corps project that was the focus of commercial exploration with references to any other training and NSF project that was the focus of commercial exploration. The survey of non-I-Corps PIs will begin with an initial screening module to identify those who have received E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 246 (Thursday, December 22, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 93965-93967]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-30805]


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MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION

[MCC FR 16-08]


Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 
2017

AGENCY: Millennium Challenge Corporation.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This report is provided in accordance with 
section 608(d)(1) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, Pub. L. 108-
199, Division D, (the ``Act''), 22 U.S.C. 7708(d)(1).

    Dated: December 16, 2016.
Sarah E. Fandell,
VP/General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Millennium Challenge 
Corporation.

Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2017

Summary

    This report is provided in accordance with section 608(d)(1) of the 
Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, as amended, Pub. L. 108-199, Division 
D, (the ``Act'') (22 U.S.C. 7707(d)(1)).
    The Act authorizes the provision of assistance under section 605 of 
the Act (22 U.S.C. 7704) to countries that enter into compacts with the 
United States to support policies and programs that advance the 
progress of such countries in achieving lasting economic growth and 
poverty reduction, and are in furtherance of the Act. The Act requires 
the Millennium Challenge Corporation (``MCC'') to determine the 
countries that will be eligible to receive assistance for the fiscal 
year, based on their demonstrated commitment to just and democratic 
governance, economic freedom, and investing in their people, as well as 
on the opportunity to reduce poverty and generate economic growth in 
the country. The Act also requires the submission of reports to 
appropriate congressional committees and the publication of notices in 
the Federal Register that identify, among other things:
    1. The countries that are ``candidate countries'' for assistance 
for fiscal year (``FY'') 2017 based on their per-capita income levels 
and their eligibility to receive assistance under U.S. law, and 
countries that would be candidate countries but for specified legal 
prohibitions on assistance (section 608(a) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 
7707(a)));
    2. The criteria and methodology that the Board of Directors of MCC 
(the ``Board'') will use to measure and evaluate the policy performance 
of the ``candidate countries'' consistent with the requirements of 
section 607 of the Act in order to select ``eligible countries'' from 
among the ``candidate countries'' (section 608(b) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 
7707(b))); and
    3. The list of countries determined by the Board to be ``eligible 
countries'' for FY 2017, with justification for eligibility 
determination and selection for compact negotiation, including with 
which of the eligible countries the Board will seek to enter into 
compacts (section 608(d) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7707(d))).
    This is the third of the above-described reports by MCC for FY 
2017. It identifies countries determined by the Board to be eligible 
under section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706) for FY 2017 with which 
the MCC will seek to enter into compacts under section 609 of the Act 
(22 U.S.C. 7708), as well as the justification for such decisions. The 
report also identifies countries selected by the Board to receive 
assistance under MCC's threshold program pursuant to section 616 of the 
Act (22 U.S.C. 7715).

Eligible Countries

    The Board met on December 13, 2016 to select those eligible 
countries with which the United States, through MCC, will seek to enter 
into a Millennium Challenge Compact pursuant to section 607 of the Act 
(22 U.S.C. 7706) for FY 2017. The Board selected the following eligible 
countries for such assistance for FY 2017: Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka, and 
Tunisia. The Board also reselected the following countries for compact 
assistance for FY 2017: Cote d'Ivoire, Mongolia, Nepal, and Senegal.

Criteria

    In accordance with the Act and with the ``Report on the Criteria 
and Methodology for Determining the Eligibility of Candidate Countries 
for Millennium Challenge Account Assistance in Fiscal Year 2017'' 
formally submitted to Congress on September 20, 2016, selection was 
based primarily on a country's overall performance in three broad 
policy categories: Ruling Justly, Encouraging Economic Freedom, and 
Investing in People. The Board relied, to the maximum extent possible, 
upon transparent and independent indicators to assess countries' policy 
performance and demonstrated commitment in these three broad policy 
areas. The Board compared countries' performance on the indicators 
relative to their income-level peers, evaluating them in comparison to 
either the group of low income countries (``LIC'') or the group of 
lower middle income countries (``LMIC'').
    The criteria and methodology used to assess countries on the annual 
scorecards are outlined in the ``Report on the Criteria and Methodology 
for Determining the Eligibility of Candidate Countries for Millennium 
Challenge Account Assistance in Fiscal Year 2017.'' \1\ Scorecards 
reflecting each country's performance on the indicators are available 
on MCC's Web site at www.mcc.gov/scorecards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/doc/report-selection-criteria-and-methodology-fy17.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Board also considered whether any adjustments should be made 
for data gaps, data lags, or recent events since the indicators were 
published, as well as strengths or weaknesses in particular indicators. 
Where appropriate, the Board took into account additional quantitative 
and qualitative information, such as evidence of a country's commitment 
to fighting corruption, investments in human development outcomes, or 
poverty rates. For example, for additional information in the area of 
corruption, the Board considered how a country is evaluated by 
supplemental sources like Transparency International's Corruption 
Perceptions Index, the Global Integrity Report, Open Government 
Partnership status, and the Extractive Industry Transparency 
Initiative, among others, as well as on the defined indicator. The 
Board also took into account the margin of error around an indicator, 
when applicable. In keeping with legislative directives, the Board also 
considered the opportunity to reduce poverty and promote economic 
growth in a country, in light of the overall information available, as 
well as the availability of appropriated funds.
    This was the eighth year the Board considered the eligibility of 
countries for subsequent compacts, as permitted under section 609(k) of 
the Act (22 U.S.C. 7708(k)). As in previous years, they considered the 
higher bar expected of subsequent compact countries, including 
examining the implementation of the first compact, and evidence of both 
improved scorecard policy performance and a commitment to reform. The 
Board also considered the eligibility of countries for initial 
compacts. The Board sees the selection decision as an annual 
opportunity to determine where MCC funds can be most effectively 
invested

[[Page 93966]]

to support poverty reduction through economic growth in relatively 
well-governed, poor countries. The Board carefully considers the 
appropriate nature of each country partnership--on a case-by-case 
basis--based on factors related to economic growth and poverty 
reduction, the sustainability of MCC's investments, and the country's 
ability to attract and leverage public and private resources in support 
of development. In addition, this is the first year where the Board 
considered an explicit higher bar for those countries close to the 
upper end of the candidate pool, looking closely in such cases at a 
country's access to development financing, the nature of poverty in the 
country, and its policy performance.
    As with previous years, a number of countries that performed well 
on the quantitative elements of the eligibility criteria (i.e., on the 
policy indicators) were not chosen as eligible countries for FY 2017. 
FY 2017 was a particularly competitive year: Several countries were 
already working to develop compacts, multiple countries passed the 
scorecard (some for the first time), and funding was limited due to 
budget constraints. As a result, only three countries that passed the 
scorecard and met the higher bars described above were newly selected 
for MCC compacts, and only two countries for the threshold program.
    MCC's engagement with partner countries is not open-ended, and the 
Board is very deliberate when determining eligibility for follow-on 
partnerships. In determining subsequent compact eligibility, the Board 
considered--in addition to the criteria outlined above--the country's 
performance implementing its first compact, including the nature of the 
country's partnership with MCC, the degree to which the country has 
demonstrated a commitment and capacity to achieve program results, and 
the degree to which the country has implemented the compact in 
accordance with MCC's core policies and standards. To the greatest 
extent possible, this was assessed using pre-existing monitoring and 
evaluation targets and regular quarterly reporting. This information 
was supplemented with direct surveys and consultation with MCC staff 
responsible for compact implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. MCC 
published a Guide to the Supplemental Information Sheet \2\ and a Guide 
to the Compact Survey Summary \3\ in order to increase transparency 
about the type of supplemental information the Board uses to assess a 
country's policy performance and compact implementation performance. 
The Board also considered a country's commitment to further sector 
reform, as well as evidence of improved scorecard policy performance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/doc/guide-to-supplemental-information-fy17.
    \3\ Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/doc/guide-to-the-compact-survey-summary-fy15.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Countries Newly Selected for Compact Assistance

    Using the criteria described above, Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka, and 
Tunisia are the only candidate countries under section 606(a) of the 
Act (22 U.S.C. 7705(a)) that were newly selected for assistance under 
section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706).
    Burkina Faso: With an ambitious reform agenda focused on poverty 
reduction, a clearly improved scorecard, and the completion of its 
first compact in July 2014, Burkina Faso exemplifies the higher bar MCC 
has for second compact countries. Its continued policy improvement is 
clear: Despite being one of the poorest countries in Africa, the 
country passes 13 of 20 indicators, has shown strong improvement on 
democratic rights, and has a consistently strong score on the Control 
of Corruption indicator. In addition, the country has taken important 
steps to ensure the sustainability of the first compact investments.
    Sri Lanka: On the back of a successful election in 2015, Sri Lanka 
now passes the MCC scorecard with 13 of 20 indicators met, including 
the hard hurdles on both democratic rights and Control of Corruption. 
In addition MCC has found Sri Lanka to be a high-capacity and committed 
partner during development of the threshold program over the past year. 
As a result, MCC feels Sri Lanka is now solidly exemplifying the 
profile of compact partner, and has decided to move Sri Lanka from the 
threshold program into the compact program. Work done to date in 
developing the threshold program will now contribute to the compact 
development process.
    Tunisia: Tunisia meets the higher bar expected of candidate 
countries that sit towards the upper end of the Lower Middle Income 
Country pool (LMIC). It passes MCC's scorecard with 13 of 20 indicators 
met, including very strong performance on democratic rights, as well as 
Control of Corruption. The country also continues to confront major 
development challenges, with significant inequality, large pockets of 
poverty, and vulnerability undermining the recent strong democratic 
gains. Together with a significant policy reform agenda, a compact with 
Tunisia would provide MCC with a unique opportunity to partner with a 
high-capacity partner in a critically important region.

Countries Reselected To Continue Compact Development

    Three of the countries selected for compact assistance for FY 2017 
were previously selected for FY 2016. These countries are Cote 
d'Ivoire, Nepal and Senegal. The Board reselected these countries based 
on their continued or improved policy performance since their prior 
selection. Mongolia, which had originally been selected for compact 
assistance for FY 2015, temporarily left the candidate pool in FY 2016 
when it graduated to UMIC status. It has returned to the candidate pool 
as a LMIC in FY 2017, and so the Board has once again selected the 
country for compact assistance for FY 2017.

Countries Selected To Receive Threshold Program Assistance

    The Board selected Kosovo and Timor-Leste to receive threshold 
program assistance.
    Kosovo: Kosovo is committed to reform and is a strong partner of 
MCC--taking numerous steps to improve its scorecard performance since 
2012, and ultimately being selected for compact assistance for FY 2016. 
However, given Kosovo's trajectory on the Control of Corruption 
indicator, the Board decided that threshold program assistance is a 
more appropriate tool. By selecting Kosovo to receive threshold program 
assistance, MCC will support the government in its efforts on continued 
institutional and policy reform.
    Timor-Leste: Timor-Leste offers MCC the opportunity to support the 
government with its significant policy and institutional reform needs 
as it confronts substantial poverty and capacity challenges, especially 
in the face of a difficult macroeconomic environment. While it has 
historically struggled to pass the MCC scorecard as an LMIC, Timor-
Leste has fallen into the LIC category, where it does pass MCC's 
scorecard with 12 out of 20 indicators met, including both democratic 
rights indicators and the Control of Corruption indicator.

Countries Reselected To Continue Developing Threshold Programs

    This year the Board reselected Togo to continue developing a 
threshold program. Togo continues to improve on MCC's scorecard, 
passing more than half of the scorecard overall by meeting 12 of 20 
indicators this year. It also continues to meet the democratic rights

[[Page 93967]]

hurdle and passed the Control of Corruption indicator for the first 
time.

Ongoing Review of Partner Countries' Policy Performance

    The Board emphasized the need for all partner countries to maintain 
or improve their policy performance. If it is determined during compact 
implementation that a country has demonstrated a significant policy 
reversal, MCC can hold it accountable by applying MCC's Suspension and 
Termination Policy.\4\
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    \4\ Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/doc/policy-on-suspension-and-termination.
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[FR Doc. 2016-30805 Filed 12-21-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9211-03-P