I feel compelled to apologize to MCC Washington on the story regarding the Mongolian Railroad project a couple of days ago. It was not entirely their fault.
Since local - and not DC - MCC offices prepare projects under country compacts, MCC/Mongolia was at fault. Twice. The project was first tendered in July 2008 and pulled when an agreement with the railroad (read "the Russian side") could not be reached.
So, it was tendered again and DC were assured by MCA/Mongolia that the ownership of the railroad (the Mongolian and Russian governments)had bought into the project. This was decidedly not the case - with the unsurprising result.
I've also been told that the bidding contractor did not attend a bidder's meeting to ask any questions and prepared a proposal for a contract that was never going to be signed, much less implemented. They didn't attend the bidder's meeting because it was too expensive. Gentlemen - the cost to attend would have been far less than proposal preparation.
MCC needs more control over its local representative offices, the local offices need to tell the truth and bidders should perform some minimal due diligence.