TEGUCIGALPA – On Friday, November 6, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) published its annual policy performance scorecards, which form a key component of how its Board will make decisions for selecting countries as eligible for MCC programs in 2016. Honduras’ performance on ruling justly, investing in people and economic freedom as measured by 20 indicators in this year’s scorecard are similar to last year, and Honduras once again did not pass the indicator on control of corruption, which is a key criteria for passing the scorecard and being considered for eligibility to develop an MCC Compact. The new scorecard does show a modest improvement in control of corruption and rule of law, but weaker performance on regulatory quality. The indicators of policy performance come from independent, respected international governmental and non-governmental organizations, such as the World Bank, UNESCO, and Freedom House.
“Honduras is still paying the bill for budgetary and policy decisions of years past,” U.S. Ambassador James D. Nealon said of the 2016 report. “Honduras’ improved fiscal policies, follow-through on its commitment to Transparency International to improve governance, and continued efforts to lift the regulatory burdens on small businesses will pay dividends down the road –not just by improving Honduras’ chances of developing a new Compact with the MCC to spur economic growth– but in direct benefits to the Honduran people.”
The MCC is currently supporting Honduras with a $15.6 million Threshold Program designed to improve transparency and efficiency of government. Many of the reform efforts underway in Honduras with support from this Threshold Program will help reduce opportunities for corruption. They including reducing payment arrears and increasing prompt government payments, improving oversight and capacity in the procurement process, increasing the ability of the TSC to conduct performance audits, and support for the implantation of the Transparency International/ASJ initiative.