Where minimal, incidental payments of fees and taxes to listed groups are necessary to access civilians, OFAC says it will work with nonprofits to address the situation on a case-by-case basis. This will be an interagency process, and although OFAC promises it will be handled in “an expeditious manner” there is nothing concrete to indicate a change in the pattern of delays that nonprofits say hinders program implementation.
The Guidance came about after InterAction and several of its members engaged in a ten month long dialog with the State and Treasury Departments to address problems humanitarian organizations have experienced with the licensing system. The dialog began after release of a report that documented the way U.S. legal restrictions impaired the response to the Somalia famine in 2011. InterAction’s response to the resulting Guidance was to note that:
“Despite the positive steps that this new guidance represents, InterAction and our members believe that Treasury and State have not gone far enough to prevent a repeat of the Somalia catastrophe. We believe the guidelines should have included clear criteria for decisions and a firm time frame for review of our community’s OFAC license applications….”