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06RABAT1861 2006-10-05 18:35:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Rabat
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1. On October 5, DCM and econoff delivered Millennium
Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard talking points to the
MFA's Director of the Americas Desk, Ambassador Abdellah
Tazi. Tazi accentuated the positive after learning how
Morocco's promotion from MCC's Low Income Country (LIC)
category to the Lower Middle Income Country (LMIC) category
impacted the scorecard. Compared to previous years,
increased competition within the LMIC category has caused
Morocco to fall below the median score in the scorecard's
measurement of Government Effectiveness, although it is
within the margin of error. DCM reassured Tazi that MCC's
work on Morocco's existing Compact proposal would not be
interrupted by the new scorecard results because it is based
on the country's eligibility from 2005 and 2006. The DCM
emphasized that Morocco's Compact remains a priority for MCC,
and that due diligence on the Compact proposal is proceeding.
The DCM said that on November 8, the MCC Board of Directors
will meet to discuss Morocco's performance and decide on its
2007 eligibility.

2. Drawing on guidance provided by MCC's Senior Country
Director Michael Grossman, the DCM also emphasized the
following points to Tazi:

-- Although Morocco scored below the median in the
Government Effectiveness measurement, it was within the
margin of error and the MCC Board of Directors will determine
how to evaluate this result in light of current trends in
Morocco related to democratic reform.

-- While post does not know exactly what caused the change
in Morocco's score, MCC will analyze the result and discuss
it with the GOM in greater detail in the future. However,
the Board of Directors takes democratic governance indicators
very seriously.

-- Rating indicators are more competitive for the LMIC
category than for the LIC category.

-- It is possible that prior to signing a potential
Compact Agreement with any candidate country the MCC would
ask it to provide a corrective action plan for areas where
the country received a deficient score.

3. Tazi was concerned that Morocco had scored under the
median on several other measurements and questioned the
various NGOs whose reports form the basis of the scorecard.
However, he appreciated that work on the country's existing
Compact proposal would continue, and said that the GOM was
determined to make the MCC program in Morocco a success.
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