Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Department of State Diplomatic Reception Room in Washington, D.C. on January 22, 2009, as (L to R) Richard Holbrooke, Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and George Mitchell, Special Envoy to the Middle East look on. AFP image
It is my pleasure to present the U.S. Department of State’s Agency Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2009. In these pages, you will find financial and performance information—a reflection of our commitment to pursue America’s foreign policy goals while practicing fiscal responsibility. We take seriously our duty to spend taxpayer dollars effectively, invest in our nation’s long-term success, and make our work transparent to Congress and the American people.
Today, the United States is facing a complex array of challenges, including our ongoing efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban; support long-term stability and prosperity in Iraq; create the conditions for peace in regions of the world torn apart by war; address the threat of climate change; fight pandemic disease and extreme poverty; and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
On their own, each of these challenges is significant. Together, they represent an urgent and extraordinary undertaking—one that demands the highest levels of talent, expertise, commitment, and coordination among our diplomats and our development experts around the globe.
We are called to generate fresh thinking about how to align the efforts of the State Department and USAID, to ensure that we develop and implement effective programs and expend our resources efficiently, both in the short- and long-term. This requires tracking our performance, measuring results, making them transparent, and holding ourselves accountable both when we succeed and when we fall short. We also seek to strengthen critical relationships by building robust partnerships and stronger institutions throughout the U.S. government and by engaging directly with people and organizations around the world.
All our work begins with maintaining the safety of our people. This year, the State Department completed seven new facilities and moved nearly 1,500 people into safer work environments. We also improved our efforts to safeguard the personal identifiable information of U.S. citizens worldwide through increased cooperation with other U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security.
To improve the overall efforts of State and USAID, this year I launched the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), a comprehensive review of our diplomacy and development tools and institutions, with the goal of making them more agile, responsive, and complementary. The QDDR will pursue long-term results by focusing on five strategic areas: building a global architecture of cooperation; leading and supporting whole-of-government solutions; investing in the building blocks of stronger societies; preventing and responding to crises and conflicts; and building operational and resource platforms for success. The progress we make in these five areas will have a major impact on our long-term success in achieving stability, prosperity, and opportunity around the world.
The State Department continues to take steps to improve our financial management. To that end, this Agency Financial Report includes several key documents: the CFO Message discussing our financial achievements and our audit challenges, principal financial statements and notes, along with a high-level discussion of performance information in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis; the Independent Auditor’s Report, including reports on internal controls and compliance with laws and regulations; and Management’s Response to the Auditor’s Report, as well as challenges identified by our Inspector General. We are working with our new independent auditor to ensure that the financial and summary performance data included in this Agency Financial Report are complete and reliable in accordance with the guidance from the Office of Management and Budget. By February 2010, performance information will be available and integrated within the Congressional Budget Justification, along with a joint State/USAID Summary of Performance and Financial Information Report available on our website, www.state.gov.
As always, I am proud to represent the State Department’s thousands of employees, including both American and Foreign Service Nationals, serving at more than 260 posts worldwide. I look forward to continuing to serve alongside them as we work together to express America’s values, advance America’s interests, and help build a world in which all people have the chance to live healthy, peaceful lives and make the most of their God-given potential.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
December 15, 2009