Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2019, 65363-65366 [2018-27571]

Download as PDF 65363 khammond on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 244 / Thursday, December 20, 2018 / Notices opportunities, events, and other news and announcements from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors, place online orders, and track their order status by creating a detailed profile on NCJRS.gov. End Users can also subscribe to specific Bureau, Program Office, and shared email notification lists and newsletters when creating an NCJRS account. This action can also be accomplished on various Bureau, Program Office, or GovDelivery webpages. However, the NCJRS online subscription center is more than 14 years old and subscription form selections have remained relatively unchanged for more than 20 years. Moreover, the subscription process includes 19 required fields and 7 different screens, creating an undue burden for End Users. An evaluation of the current use of the information collected through the form and its impact to End Users was conducted to see where updates can be made to make for a better user experience while enabling customer segmentation strategies for targeted outreach. The goals for revising the subscription process are to increase subscriptions by making the sign-up process less cumbersome for users and collect meaningful customer information to assist segmentation strategies for targeted outreach and upselling of Bureau and program office products and services. 5. An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: On a monthly basis, an estimated 75 End Users use the NCJRS online subscription center to subscribe. Based on pilot testing, an average of 2– 4 minutes per respondent is needed to complete form. The estimated range of burden for respondents is expected to be between 2 minutes to 4 minutes for completion. 6. An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: It is estimated that respondents will take 2–4 minutes to complete their profile. The estimated public burden hours associated for End Users to subscribe is 5 hours per month (75 respondents × 4 minutes = 300 minutes/60 minutes = 5 hours) or 60 hours per year (5 hours × 12 months = 60 hours). If additional information is required contact: Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE, 3E.405A, Washington, DC 20530. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:26 Dec 19, 2018 Jkt 247001 Dated: December 14, 2018. Melody Braswell, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice. To submit comments: Send them to: By mail ...................... Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044– 7611. [FR Doc. 2018–27490 Filed 12–19–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410–18–P DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under The Clean Air Act On December 14, 2018, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed Consent Decree with the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in the lawsuit entitled United States, et al. v. Georgia Pacific Chemicals LLC, Georgia Pacific Consumer Operations LLC, Case No. 1:18-cv-01076–SOH. The proposed Consent Decree resolves the claims of the United States and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (‘‘ADEQ’’) under Sections 113(b)(2) and 112(r) of the Clean Air Act (‘‘CAA’’), 42 U.S.C. 7413(b)(2) and 7412(r), as well as Arkansas Code Annotated §§ 8–4–103 et seq., that Settling Defendants violated the New Source Performance Standards, National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants and the Chemical and Accident Prevention Provisions for Air Programs at their chemical and paper/pulp plants located in Crossett, Arkansas. Under the proposed Consent Decree, Settling Defendants have agreed to pay civil penalties of $600,000, half to be paid to the United States and half to the State, implement three supplemental environmental projects valued at $1.8 million and implement a mitigation project valued at $2.9 million to resolve the governments’ claims. The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on the Consent Decree. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to Georgia Pacific Chemicals LLC, Georgia Pacific Consumer Operations LLC, Case No. 1:18-cv-01076–SOH, D.J. Ref. No. 90–5–2–1–11705. All comments must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days after the publication date of this notice. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail: To submit comments: By email .................... PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Send them to: pubcommentees.enrd@ usdoj.gov. Sfmt 4703 During the public comment period, the Consent Decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department website: http:// www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_ Decrees.html. We will provide a paper copy of the Consent Decree upon written request and payment of reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to: Consent Decree Library U.S. DOJ—ENRD P.O. Box 7611 Washington, DC 20044–7611. Please enclose a check or money order for $13.75 (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the United States Treasury. Thomas Carroll, Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division. [FR Doc. 2018–27504 Filed 12–19–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410–15–P MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION [MCC FR 18–14] Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2019 Millennium Challenge Corporation. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This report is provided in accordance with section 608(d)(2) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003. SUMMARY: Dated: December 14, 2018. Jeanne M. Hauch, VP/General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2019 Summary This report is provided in accordance with section 608(d)(1) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, as amended (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 E:\FR\FM\20DEN1.SGM 20DEN1 65364 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 244 / Thursday, December 20, 2018 / Notices khammond on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES 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’’) 2019 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 determine ‘‘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 2019, 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 2019. It identifies countries determined by the Board to be eligible under section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706) for FY 2019 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 11, 2018, 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). The Board selected the following eligible countries for such assistance for FY 2019: Indonesia, Malawi, Kosovo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Coˆte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Niger. The Board also VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:21 Dec 19, 2018 Jkt 247001 selected the following previouslyselected countries for compact assistance for FY 2019: Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Timor-Leste 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 2019’’ formally submitted to Congress on September 13, 2018, 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 fullest 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 countries with a GNI per capita equal to or less than $1,875, or the group with a GNI per capita between $1,876 and $3,895. 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 2019.’’ 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. 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. The Board sees the selection decision as an annual opportunity to determine where MCC funds can be most effectively used to support poverty reduction through economic growth in 1 Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/ doc/report-selection-criteria-and-methodology-fy19. PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 programs, and the country’s ability to attract and leverage public and private resources in support of development. This was the first year the Board considered the eligibility of countries for concurrent compacts, as permitted under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and MCA Modernization Act, Public Law 115– 167, signed by President Trump in April 2018, which authorizes MCC to enter into one additional concurrent compact with a country if one or both of the compacts with the country are for the purpose of regional economic integration, increased regional trade, or cross-border collaborations. In addition to the considerations for compact eligibility detailed above, the Board considered whether a country being considered for a concurrent compact is making considerable and demonstrable progress in implementing the terms of its existing Compact. This was the tenth year the Board considered the eligibility of countries for subsequent compacts, as permitted under section 609(k) of the Act. MCC’s engagement with partner countries is not open-ended, and the Board is very deliberate when selecting countries for follow-on partnerships, particularly regarding the higher bar applicable to subsequent compact countries. In making these 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, these factors were 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 2 Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/ doc/guide-to-supplemental-information-fy19. 3 Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/ doc/guide-to-the-compact-survey-summary-fy19. E:\FR\FM\20DEN1.SGM 20DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 244 / Thursday, December 20, 2018 / Notices khammond on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES 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. In addition, this is the third 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. Countries Newly Selected for Compact Assistance Countries selected for a first or subsequent compact: Using the criteria described above, three candidate countries under section 606(a) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7705(a)) were newly selected for assistance under section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706): Indonesia, Malawi and Kosovo. Indonesia: Indonesia has demonstrated impressive gains on its scorecard, now passing 15 of 20 indicators overall in the higher income category. In particular, Indonesia’s Control of Corruption score has risen every year for eight straight years, while its Political Rights and Civil Liberties scores remain strong. Key metrics were achieved in two projects in the first compact and both have been adopted as models for implementation across the government. While the third project ran into delays that led to the deobligation of funds, MCC has learned from the experience of partnering with the Government of Indonesia and will work with it to focus a subsequent compact and leverage the lessons learned from the first compact to maximize the impact and effectiveness of U.S. assistance. Kosovo: Kosovo has been an engaged and committed partner in the threshold program, demonstrating a willingness to commit to governance reforms. The country passes the scorecard for the second year in a row, passing 13 of 20 indicators overall, including Control of Corruption. At the same time, it remains one of the poorest countries in Europe, suffering from chronically high unemployment, low educational outcomes, and poor employment security. By selecting Kosovo for a compact, MCC will accelerate the government’s efforts to strengthen economic growth to reduce poverty. Malawi: Malawi is one of the strongest scorecard performers in MCC’s entire candidate pool, passing 18 of 20 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:21 Dec 19, 2018 Jkt 247001 indicators, including high Democratic Rights scores, despite being the thirdpoorest country in the world and MCC’s poorest partner country. The country demonstrated commitment in the first compact. In addition to finishing all planned construction works, Malawi achieved important milestones under the compact, including approving and implementing an electricity tariff that is partially cost-reflective, and signing the first power-purchasing agreement with an independent power producer, moving the energy sector closer to longterm sustainability. Countries selected for a concurrent compact: In accordance with section 609(k) of the Act, five candidate countries were newly selected to explore development of a concurrent compact under section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706): Benin, Burkina Faso, Coˆte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Niger. Benin: Benin continues its strong scorecard performance in FY 2019, passing 13 of 20 indicators, with particularly high scores on Democratic Rights and Control of Corruption. MCC’s partnership with the government has remained strong throughout the current compact, despite politically challenging reforms required under the program and the arrival of a new government in 2016. A strong scorecard performer and current partner, Benin presents substantial regional potential. Burkina Faso: In FY 2019, Burkina Faso maintains its stronger scorecard performance compared to its first partnership with MCC, passing 13 of 20 indicators with strong performance on Control of Corruption (92nd percentile) and both Democratic Rights indicators. Selected to develop a subsequent compact in December 2016, Burkina Faso has a long track record of engagement with MCC and has been an effective partner throughout compact development. Burkina Faso has demonstrated strong scorecard performance, robust engagement as a compact partner, and presents potentially rich opportunities to strengthen regional integration efforts. Coˆte d’Ivoire: Passing 14 of 20 scorecard indicators in FY 2019, Coˆte d’Ivoire is a positive ‘‘MCC effect’’ story, with clear scorecard improvement over multiple years through intensive engagement with indicator institutions and implementing policy reforms. Coˆte d’Ivoire’s current compact focuses on urban transport and planning and training skilled workers. Compact development and early implementation have benefited from high-level government support. Coˆte d’Ivoire is a model partner that has strongly engaged MCC throughout compact development PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65365 and early implementation and presents substantial regional opportunities. Ghana: A strong scorecard performer, passing 17 of 20 indicators, Ghana registers some of the highest Democratic Rights scores among MCC partners, while also scoring in the 90th percentile on Control of Corruption. Ghana’s current compact entered into force in September 2016 and is expected to close in September 2021. Significant progress has already been made toward the goal of the current power sector compact to transform the country’s power sector through private sector participation in its electricity utilities and key sector reforms. Ghana has demonstrated strong scorecard performance, built a successful compact partnership with MCC, and has significant regional potential. Niger: Niger has been a solid scorecard performer, passing 12 of 20 indicators in FY 2019. Niger’s current compact is focused on large-scale irrigation systems, road rehabilitation, and activities to ensure infrastructure sustainability. The compact entered into force in January 2018 and is expected to close in January 2023. Niger has been a committed partner, with high-level participation and strong engagement, and is a country with significant regional potential. Countries Selected To Continue Compact Development Four of the countries selected for compact assistance for FY 2019 were previously selected for FY 2018. These countries are Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Timor-Leste, and Tunisia, whose selection for FY 2019 was based on their continued or improved policy performance since their prior selection. Countries Selected To Receive Threshold Program Assistance The Board selected Ethiopia and the Solomon Islands to receive threshold program assistance. Ethiopia: Ethiopia offers MCC the opportunity to recognize the Government of Ethiopia’s important reform efforts following the arrival of a new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, in April. Since he took office, the Government of Ethiopia has embarked on a series of significant reforms, including releasing thousands of political prisoners, apologizing for past state-led human rights abuses, and easing restrictions on media outlets. Ethiopia also renewed relations with neighboring Eritrea and signed a 20-year old peace treaty. Despite historically low Democratic Rights scores, the remarkable initial pace of change presents an opportunity for MCC to E:\FR\FM\20DEN1.SGM 20DEN1 65366 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 244 / Thursday, December 20, 2018 / Notices partner with Ethiopia as it seeks to accelerate its reform agenda. Solomon Islands: In FY 2019 the Solomon Islands graduated from the lower income scorecard category to the higher income scorecard category, and as a result of the stiffer competition now fails the scorecard, passing only 9 of 20 indicators, while still passing Control of Corruption and Democratic Rights. The Solomon Islands represents an opportunity to engage a historically strong scorecard performer in the IndoPacific, a region of increasing interest. 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. [FR Doc. 2018–27571 Filed 12–19–18; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 9211–03–P MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION [MCC FR 18–15] Notice of Entering Into a Compact With the Senegal Millennium Challenge Corporation. AGENCY: ACTION: In accordance with Section 610(b)(3) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, as amended, and the heading ‘‘Millennium Challenge Corporation’’ of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2018, as carried forward by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is publishing a summary of the Millennium Challenge Compact between the United States of America, acting through MCC, and the Republic of Senegal, acting through the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Planning. Representatives of MCC and Senegal signed the compact on December 10, 2018. The complete text of the compact has been posted at: https:// www.mcc.gov/resourcesdoc/compactsenegal-power. khammond on DSK30JT082PROD with NOTICES VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:35 Dec 19, 2018 Jkt 247001 Summary of Senegal Compact Overview of MCC Senegal Compact MCC’s five-year, $550,000,000 Compact with the Government of Senegal (the ‘‘Government’’) is aimed at addressing one of Senegal’s main binding constraints to economic growth: The high cost of energy and low access to electricity. The Compact will address these constraints through three primary projects: (i) Improving the transmission network to meet the growing demand on the interconnected network in Senegal, (ii) increasing electricity access in rural and peri-urban areas of the south and central regions, and (iii) improving the overall governance and financial viability of the sector. Senegal is an important partner of the United States in promoting peace and security in Africa. The country shares many fundamental values and international goals with the United States, and it has set an example of democratic rule in the region as well as of ethnic and religious tolerance. It is a stable democracy in a challenging West Africa region, a strong security partner, and a rising economy that is attracting global investment. MCC’s singular focus on growth and poverty reduction—along with its ability to combine major infrastructure works with policy change—allows the agency and the Compact to play a key role in catalyzing transformation in Senegal. Project Summaries Notice. SUMMARY: Dated: December 17, 2018. Jeanne M. Hauch, VP/General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. The Compact is comprised of three projects designed to secure quality electricity supply for growing demand in Senegal and address binding constraints to growth. • The Modernizing and Strengthening Senelec’s Transmission Network Project aims to strengthen and increase the reliability of Senegal’s high-voltage transmission network in and around greater Dakar and improve electricity service delivery throughout the country. This support for a robust transmission network is needed for Senegal to effectively capitalize on private sectorled investment in generation and to ensure that electricity is delivered reliably to consumers. This is particularly important since much of the private sector interest is in new, lowercost generation projects including wind, solar, and natural gas that rely heavily upon a reliable, stable transmission network. • The Increasing Access to Electricity in Rural and Peri-Urban Areas Project PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 aims to extend the electrical grid in selected areas in Senegal’s south and center regions that have high economic potential but low connection rates. Through a blend of supply-side and demand-side interventions, this project also aims to increase rates of adoption and consumption of electricity, facilitate opportunities for income-generating activities in these regions, and improve the understanding of energy efficiency at a national level. This project offers several opportunities for collaboration with related United States Government initiatives, including Feed the Future and Power Africa, and with other donors that are providing complementary support to agricultural value chains in MCC’s areas of assistance, thereby increasing the potential value of the MCC assistance. • The Power Sector Enabling Environment and Capacity Development Project aims to strengthen laws, policies and regulations governing the electricity sector, as well as the institutions responsible for implementing them, especially the utility, the regulator, and the ministry responsible for energy. In particular, the project aims to support improved management of the transmission network and increased access to electricity, reinforcing the foundations for the provision of a less costly and more reliable supply of electricity nationwide. The project builds on a participatory electricity sector planning process that MCC funded during compact development to help the Government articulate and select an appropriate long-term vision for the sector that favors more private sector participation and enhances the financial sustainability of the sector and its key stakeholders. Compact Budget Table I presents the Compact budget and sets forth both the MCC funding allocation by Compact components and the Government’s expected $50 million contribution toward the objectives of the Compact. TABLE 1—SENEGAL COMPACT BUDGET Component Amount 1. Modernizing and Strengthening Senelec’s Transmission Network Project 1.1 Transmission Network Build Out Activity ............... 1.2 Transformer Replacement Program Activity ....... 1.3 Grid Stabilization Activity ....................................... Subtotal ......................... E:\FR\FM\20DEN1.SGM 20DEN1 $327,900,000 $26,000,000 $22,900,000 $376,800,000

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 244 (Thursday, December 20, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65363-65366]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-27571]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION

[MCC FR 18-14]


Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 
2019

AGENCY: Millennium Challenge Corporation.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: This report is provided in accordance with section 608(d)(2) 
of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003.

    Dated: December 14, 2018.
Jeanne M. Hauch,
VP/General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.

Report on the Selection of Eligible Countries for Fiscal Year 2019

Summary

    This report is provided in accordance with section 608(d)(1) of the 
Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, as amended (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

[[Page 65364]]

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'') 2019 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 determine ``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 2019, 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 
2019. It identifies countries determined by the Board to be eligible 
under section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706) for FY 2019 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 11, 2018, 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). The Board selected the following eligible countries 
for such assistance for FY 2019: Indonesia, Malawi, Kosovo, Benin, 
Burkina Faso, C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire, Ghana and Niger. The Board also 
selected the following previously-selected countries for compact 
assistance for FY 2019: Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Timor-Leste 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 2019'' 
formally submitted to Congress on September 13, 2018, 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 fullest 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 countries with a GNI per capita equal to or less 
than $1,875, or the group with a GNI per capita between $1,876 and 
$3,895.
    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 2019.'' \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-fy19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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. 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.
    The Board sees the selection decision as an annual opportunity to 
determine where MCC funds can be most effectively used 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 programs, and the country's ability to attract and leverage 
public and private resources in support of development.
    This was the first year the Board considered the eligibility of 
countries for concurrent compacts, as permitted under the African 
Growth and Opportunity Act and MCA Modernization Act, Public Law 115-
167, signed by President Trump in April 2018, which authorizes MCC to 
enter into one additional concurrent compact with a country if one or 
both of the compacts with the country are for the purpose of regional 
economic integration, increased regional trade, or cross-border 
collaborations. In addition to the considerations for compact 
eligibility detailed above, the Board considered whether a country 
being considered for a concurrent compact is making considerable and 
demonstrable progress in implementing the terms of its existing 
Compact.
    This was the tenth year the Board considered the eligibility of 
countries for subsequent compacts, as permitted under section 609(k) of 
the Act. MCC's engagement with partner countries is not open-ended, and 
the Board is very deliberate when selecting countries for follow-on 
partnerships, particularly regarding the higher bar applicable to 
subsequent compact countries. In making these 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, these factors were 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

[[Page 65365]]

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-fy19.
    \3\ Available at https://www.mcc.gov/resources/doc/guide-to-the-compact-survey-summary-fy19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, this is the third 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.
Countries Newly Selected for Compact Assistance
    Countries selected for a first or subsequent compact: Using the 
criteria described above, three candidate countries under section 
606(a) of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7705(a)) were newly selected for 
assistance under section 607 of the Act (22 U.S.C. 7706): Indonesia, 
Malawi and Kosovo.
    Indonesia: Indonesia has demonstrated impressive gains on its 
scorecard, now passing 15 of 20 indicators overall in the higher income 
category. In particular, Indonesia's Control of Corruption score has 
risen every year for eight straight years, while its Political Rights 
and Civil Liberties scores remain strong. Key metrics were achieved in 
two projects in the first compact and both have been adopted as models 
for implementation across the government. While the third project ran 
into delays that led to the deobligation of funds, MCC has learned from 
the experience of partnering with the Government of Indonesia and will 
work with it to focus a subsequent compact and leverage the lessons 
learned from the first compact to maximize the impact and effectiveness 
of U.S. assistance.
    Kosovo: Kosovo has been an engaged and committed partner in the 
threshold program, demonstrating a willingness to commit to governance 
reforms. The country passes the scorecard for the second year in a row, 
passing 13 of 20 indicators overall, including Control of Corruption. 
At the same time, it remains one of the poorest countries in Europe, 
suffering from chronically high unemployment, low educational outcomes, 
and poor employment security. By selecting Kosovo for a compact, MCC 
will accelerate the government's efforts to strengthen economic growth 
to reduce poverty.
    Malawi: Malawi is one of the strongest scorecard performers in 
MCC's entire candidate pool, passing 18 of 20 indicators, including 
high Democratic Rights scores, despite being the third-poorest country 
in the world and MCC's poorest partner country. The country 
demonstrated commitment in the first compact. In addition to finishing 
all planned construction works, Malawi achieved important milestones 
under the compact, including approving and implementing an electricity 
tariff that is partially cost-reflective, and signing the first power-
purchasing agreement with an independent power producer, moving the 
energy sector closer to long-term sustainability.
    Countries selected for a concurrent compact: In accordance with 
section 609(k) of the Act, five candidate countries were newly selected 
to explore development of a concurrent compact under section 607 of the 
Act (22 U.S.C. 7706): Benin, Burkina Faso, C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire, Ghana, 
and Niger.
    Benin: Benin continues its strong scorecard performance in FY 2019, 
passing 13 of 20 indicators, with particularly high scores on 
Democratic Rights and Control of Corruption. MCC's partnership with the 
government has remained strong throughout the current compact, despite 
politically challenging reforms required under the program and the 
arrival of a new government in 2016. A strong scorecard performer and 
current partner, Benin presents substantial regional potential.
    Burkina Faso: In FY 2019, Burkina Faso maintains its stronger 
scorecard performance compared to its first partnership with MCC, 
passing 13 of 20 indicators with strong performance on Control of 
Corruption (92nd percentile) and both Democratic Rights indicators. 
Selected to develop a subsequent compact in December 2016, Burkina Faso 
has a long track record of engagement with MCC and has been an 
effective partner throughout compact development. Burkina Faso has 
demonstrated strong scorecard performance, robust engagement as a 
compact partner, and presents potentially rich opportunities to 
strengthen regional integration efforts.
    C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire: Passing 14 of 20 scorecard indicators in FY 
2019, C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire is a positive ``MCC effect'' story, with 
clear scorecard improvement over multiple years through intensive 
engagement with indicator institutions and implementing policy reforms. 
C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire's current compact focuses on urban transport and 
planning and training skilled workers. Compact development and early 
implementation have benefited from high-level government support. 
C[ocirc]te d'Ivoire is a model partner that has strongly engaged MCC 
throughout compact development and early implementation and presents 
substantial regional opportunities.
    Ghana: A strong scorecard performer, passing 17 of 20 indicators, 
Ghana registers some of the highest Democratic Rights scores among MCC 
partners, while also scoring in the 90th percentile on Control of 
Corruption. Ghana's current compact entered into force in September 
2016 and is expected to close in September 2021. Significant progress 
has already been made toward the goal of the current power sector 
compact to transform the country's power sector through private sector 
participation in its electricity utilities and key sector reforms. 
Ghana has demonstrated strong scorecard performance, built a successful 
compact partnership with MCC, and has significant regional potential.
    Niger: Niger has been a solid scorecard performer, passing 12 of 20 
indicators in FY 2019. Niger's current compact is focused on large-
scale irrigation systems, road rehabilitation, and activities to ensure 
infrastructure sustainability. The compact entered into force in 
January 2018 and is expected to close in January 2023. Niger has been a 
committed partner, with high-level participation and strong engagement, 
and is a country with significant regional potential.
Countries Selected To Continue Compact Development
    Four of the countries selected for compact assistance for FY 2019 
were previously selected for FY 2018. These countries are Burkina Faso, 
Lesotho, Timor-Leste, and Tunisia, whose selection for FY 2019 was 
based on their continued or improved policy performance since their 
prior selection.

Countries Selected To Receive Threshold Program Assistance

    The Board selected Ethiopia and the Solomon Islands to receive 
threshold program assistance.
    Ethiopia: Ethiopia offers MCC the opportunity to recognize the 
Government of Ethiopia's important reform efforts following the arrival 
of a new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, in April. Since he took office, 
the Government of Ethiopia has embarked on a series of significant 
reforms, including releasing thousands of political prisoners, 
apologizing for past state-led human rights abuses, and easing 
restrictions on media outlets. Ethiopia also renewed relations with 
neighboring Eritrea and signed a 20-year old peace treaty. Despite 
historically low Democratic Rights scores, the remarkable initial pace 
of change presents an opportunity for MCC to

[[Page 65366]]

partner with Ethiopia as it seeks to accelerate its reform agenda.
    Solomon Islands: In FY 2019 the Solomon Islands graduated from the 
lower income scorecard category to the higher income scorecard 
category, and as a result of the stiffer competition now fails the 
scorecard, passing only 9 of 20 indicators, while still passing Control 
of Corruption and Democratic Rights. The Solomon Islands represents an 
opportunity to engage a historically strong scorecard performer in the 
Indo-Pacific, a region of increasing interest.

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.

[FR Doc. 2018-27571 Filed 12-19-18; 8:45 a.m.]
 BILLING CODE 9211-03-P