Fiscal Year 2018 Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2018, 61036-61038 [2017-27876]

Download as PDF 61036 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 26, 2017 / Notices III. Proposed Actions OSHA is requesting that OMB extend its approval of the information collection requirements contained in the Standard on Servicing Multi-Piece and Single Piece Rim Wheels (29 CFR 1910.177). OSHA is proposing to retain its current burden hour estimate of one (1) hour. The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice and will include this summary in the request to OMB. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Title: Servicing Multi-Piece and Single Piece Rim Wheels (29 CFR 1910.177). OMB Control Number: 1218–0219. Affected Public: Business or other forprofits. Number of Respondents: 85. Frequency of Responses: On occasion. Average Time per Response: Various. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1. Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0. ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES IV. Public Participation—Submission of Comments on This Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) Electronically at http:// regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile (fax); or (3) by hard copy. All comments, attachments, and other materials must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number for the ICR (Docket No. OSHA–2011–0189). You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so the Agency can attach them to your comments. Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693–2350, (TTY (877) 889– 5627). Comments and submissions are posted without change at http:// www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions comments about submitting personal information such as social VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:21 Dec 22, 2017 Jkt 244001 security numbers and dates of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publically available to read or download through this website. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http:// www.regulations.gov website to submit comments and access the docket is available at the website’s ‘‘User Tips’’ link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available through the website, and for assistance in using the internet to locate docket submissions. V. Authority and Signature Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor’s Order No. 1–2012 (77 FR 3912). Signed at Washington, DC, on December 12, 2017. Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. [FR Doc. 2017–27665 Filed 12–22–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–26–P MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION [MCC FR 18–04] Fiscal Year 2018 Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2018 Millennium Challenge Corporation. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This report is provided in accordance with section 608(d)(1) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, Public Law 108–199, Division D, (the ‘‘Act’’), 22 U.S.C. 7708(d)(1). SUMMARY: Dated: December 20, 2017. Jeanne M. Hauch, VP/General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Millennium Challenge Corporation. Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2018 Summary This report is provided in accordance with section 608(d)(1) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, as amended, Public Law 108–199, Division D, (the ‘‘Act’’) (22 U.S.C. 7707(d)(1)). PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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’’) 2018 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 2018, 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 2018. It identifies countries determined by the Board to be eligible under section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706) for FY 2018 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 19, 2017 to select those eligible countries with which the United States, through MCC, E:\FR\FM\26DEN1.SGM 26DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 26, 2017 / Notices ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES will seek to enter into a Millennium Challenge Compact pursuant to section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706) for FY 2018. The Board selected the following eligible country for such assistance for FY 2018: Timor-Leste. The Board also reselected the following countries for compact assistance for FY 2018: Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Mongolia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia. 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 2018’’ formally submitted to Congress on September 27, 2017, 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 2018.’’ 1 Scorecards reflecting each country’s performance on the indicators are available on MCC’s website 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 1 Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/ doc/report-selection-criteria-and-methodology-fy18. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:21 Dec 22, 2017 Jkt 244001 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 ninth 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 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 second 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 to develop a compact for FY 2018. FY 2018 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 one country that passed the scorecard and related stringent eligibility criteria was newly selected to develop an MCC compact, and only one country for the threshold program. MCC’s engagement with partner countries is not open-ended, and the Board is very deliberate when selecting for follow-on partnerships. In making PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 61037 subsequent compact selection decisions, 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 Supplemental Information 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. Countries Newly Selected for Compact Assistance Using the criteria described above, Timor-Leste was the only candidate country under section 606(a) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7705(a)) that was newly selected for assistance under section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706). Timor-Leste: Timor-Leste passes the MCC scorecard with 13 of 20 indicators met, including the hard hurdles on both control of corruption and democratic rights (including both Political Rights and Civil Liberties). MCC has found Timor-Leste to be a willing and committed partner during development of the threshold program over the past year. As a result, MCC feels Timor-Leste is now solidly exemplifying the profile of a compact partner, and has decided to move Timor-Leste from the threshold program to the compact program. Work done to date in developing the threshold program will contribute to the compact development process. Countries Reselected To Continue Compact Development Five of the countries selected for compact assistance for FY 2018 were previously selected for FY 2017. These 2 Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/ doc/guide-to-supplemental-information-fy18. 3 Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/ doc/guide-to-the-compact-survey-summary-fy18. E:\FR\FM\26DEN1.SGM 26DEN1 61038 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 26, 2017 / Notices countries are Burkina Faso, Mongolia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia. The Board reselected these countries based on their continued or improved policy performance since their prior selection. Lesotho, which had originally been selected for compact assistance for FY 2014, received vote deferrals for reselection in FY 2016 and FY 2017. Due to positive actions taken by the Government of Lesotho this year, the Board has once again selected the country for compact assistance for FY 2018. Countries Selected To Receive Threshold Program Assistance The Board selected The Gambia to receive threshold program assistance. The Gambia: The Gambia offers MCC the opportunity to support the government as it continues its democratic transition following the inauguration of its new president in early 2017 and successful legislative elections in April 2017. While it has historically struggled to pass the MCC scorecard due to its performance on the democratic rights hard hurdle, the recent transition and reforms being pursued suggest the country will see strong improvements on these indicators in the coming years. The Gambia meets 12 of 20 indicators overall on the scorecard and demonstrates good performance on the control of corruption indicator. 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. 2017–27876 Filed 12–21–17; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 9211–03–P NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION Office of Government Information Services ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES [NARA–2018–011] Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), National AGENCY: 4 Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/ doc/policy-on-suspension-and-termination. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:21 Dec 22, 2017 Jkt 244001 Archives and Records Administration (NARA). ACTION: Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting. We are announcing the following committee meeting of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee. DATES: The meeting will be held on January 16, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT. You must register for the meeting by 5:00 p.m. EDT on January 15, 2018. ADDRESSES: National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, William G. McGowan Theater, Washington, DC 20408. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Bennett, Designated Federal Officer for this committee, by mail at National Archives and Records Administration, Office of Government Information Services, 8601 Adelphi Road—OGIS, College Park, MD 20740– 6001, by telephone at 202–741–5770, or by email at foia-advisory-committee@ nara.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We announce this advisory committee meeting in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App) and the second United States Open Government National Action Plan (NAP) released on December 5, 2013. Agenda and meeting materials: You may find all meeting materials at https://ogis.archives.gov/foia-advisorycommittee/2016-2018-term/ Meetings.htm. This will be the seventh meeting of the second committee term. The purpose of this meeting will be to review the work of the committee’s three subcommittees. Information on them is at https://ogis.archives.gov/foiaadvisory-committee/2016-2018-term/ Subcommittees.htm. Procedures: The meeting is open to the public. Due to security requirements, you must register in advance if you wish to attend the meeting. You will also go through security screening when you enter the building. Registration for the meeting will go live via Eventbrite on December 19, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. EDT. To register for the meeting, please do so at this Eventbrite link: https:// www.eventbrite.com/e/freedom-ofinformation-act-foia-advisorycommittee-meeting-january-16-2018registration-37728051618. SUMMARY: This program will be live-streamed on the U.S. National Archives’ YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/ usnationalarchives/playlists. The webcast will include a captioning option. To request PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 additional accommodations (e.g., a transcript), email foia-advisory-committee@ nara.gov or call 202–741–5770. Members of the media who wish to register, those who are unable to register online, and those who require special accommodations, should contact Amy Bennett at the phone number, mailing address, or email address listed above. Patrice Little Murray, Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 2017–27681 Filed 12–22–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7515–01–P NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Agency Notice of Record of Decision for the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico National Science Foundation. Notice of Record of Decision. AGENCY: ACTION: On November 15, 2017, the National Science Foundation (NSF) signed a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. This important step concludes the agency’s decision-making process with respect to the general path forward for facility operations in a budgetconstrained environment, and provides the basis for a future decision regarding a new collaborator. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elizabeth A. Pentecost, Project Administrator, National Science Foundation, Division of Astronomical Sciences, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Room W 9152, Alexandria, VA 22314. Telephone: 703–292–4907, Email: epenteco@nsf.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NSF issued its ROD following authorization from the National Science Board on November 9, 2017. The ROD was preceded by an extensive environmental impact analysis and broad input from the public and the scientific community, including the National Academies 6th Decadal Survey released in 2010, the NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences Portfolio Review Committee Reportreleased in 2012, and the NSF Geospace Sciences Portfolio Review Committee Report released in 2016. The ROD formalizes the selection of NSF’s Preferred Alternative: collaboration with interested parties to maintain science-focused operations at the Observatory with reduced agency funding. The selection of this Alternative will allow important research to continue while accommodating the agency’s budgetary constraints and its core mission to SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\26DEN1.SGM 26DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 246 (Tuesday, December 26, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61036-61038]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-27876]


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MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION

[MCC FR 18-04]


Fiscal Year 2018 Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries 
for Fiscal Year 2018

AGENCY: Millennium Challenge Corporation.

ACTION: Notice.

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

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

    Dated: December 20, 2017.
Jeanne M. Hauch,
VP/General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Millennium Challenge 
Corporation.

Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2018

Summary

    This report is provided in accordance with section 608(d)(1) of the 
Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, as amended, Public Law 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'') 2018 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 2018, 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 
2018. It identifies countries determined by the Board to be eligible 
under section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706) for FY 2018 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 19, 2017 to select those eligible 
countries with which the United States, through MCC,

[[Page 61037]]

will seek to enter into a Millennium Challenge Compact pursuant to 
section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706) for FY 2018. The Board selected 
the following eligible country for such assistance for FY 2018: Timor-
Leste. The Board also reselected the following countries for compact 
assistance for FY 2018: Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Mongolia, Senegal, Sri 
Lanka, and Tunisia.

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 2018'' 
formally submitted to Congress on September 27, 2017, 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 2018.'' \1\ Scorecards 
reflecting each country's performance on the indicators are available 
on MCC's website at www.mcc.gov/scorecards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/doc/report-selection-criteria-and-methodology-fy18.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 ninth 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 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 second 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 to develop a compact for FY 2018. FY 
2018 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 one country that passed the 
scorecard and related stringent eligibility criteria was newly selected 
to develop an MCC compact, and only one country for the threshold 
program.
    MCC's engagement with partner countries is not open-ended, and the 
Board is very deliberate when selecting for follow-on partnerships. In 
making subsequent compact selection decisions, 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 
Supplemental Information \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-fy18.
    \3\ Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/doc/guide-to-the-compact-survey-summary-fy18.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Countries Newly Selected for Compact Assistance

    Using the criteria described above, Timor-Leste was the only 
candidate country under section 606(a) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7705(a)) 
that was newly selected for assistance under section 607 of the Act (22 
U.S.C. 7706).
    Timor-Leste: Timor-Leste passes the MCC scorecard with 13 of 20 
indicators met, including the hard hurdles on both control of 
corruption and democratic rights (including both Political Rights and 
Civil Liberties). MCC has found Timor-Leste to be a willing and 
committed partner during development of the threshold program over the 
past year. As a result, MCC feels Timor-Leste is now solidly 
exemplifying the profile of a compact partner, and has decided to move 
Timor-Leste from the threshold program to the compact program. Work 
done to date in developing the threshold program will contribute to the 
compact development process.

Countries Reselected To Continue Compact Development

    Five of the countries selected for compact assistance for FY 2018 
were previously selected for FY 2017. These

[[Page 61038]]

countries are Burkina Faso, Mongolia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia. 
The Board reselected these countries based on their continued or 
improved policy performance since their prior selection. Lesotho, which 
had originally been selected for compact assistance for FY 2014, 
received vote deferrals for reselection in FY 2016 and FY 2017. Due to 
positive actions taken by the Government of Lesotho this year, the 
Board has once again selected the country for compact assistance for FY 
2018.

Countries Selected To Receive Threshold Program Assistance

    The Board selected The Gambia to receive threshold program 
assistance.
    The Gambia: The Gambia offers MCC the opportunity to support the 
government as it continues its democratic transition following the 
inauguration of its new president in early 2017 and successful 
legislative elections in April 2017. While it has historically 
struggled to pass the MCC scorecard due to its performance on the 
democratic rights hard hurdle, the recent transition and reforms being 
pursued suggest the country will see strong improvements on these 
indicators in the coming years. The Gambia meets 12 of 20 indicators 
overall on the scorecard and demonstrates good performance on the 
control of corruption indicator.

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\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/doc/policy-on-suspension-and-termination.

[FR Doc. 2017-27876 Filed 12-21-17; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 9211-03-P