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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Inspector General's Assessment of Management and Performance Challenges


Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services
Report
November 16, 2012

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Photo of Harold W. Geisel, Deputy Inspector General.

Deputy Inspector General,
Harold W. Geisel.

The Reports Consolidation Act of 20001 requires that the Department's Performance and Accountability Report include a statement by the Inspector General that summarizes the most serious management and performance challenges facing the Department and briefly assesses the progress in addressing them. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) considers the most serious management and performance challenges for the Department to be in the following areas:

  1. Protection of People and Facilities
  2. Contract and Procurement Management
  3. Information Security and Information Management
  4. Financial Management
  5. Military to Civilian-Led Transitions-Iraq and Afghanistan
  6. Foreign Assistance Coordination and Oversight
  7. Diplomacy with Fewer Resources
  8. Public Diplomacy
  9. Effective Embassy Leadership
  10. Consular Operations

1. Protection of People and Facilities

Protecting people, facilities, and information is a Department priority. Regional Security Officers (RSO) assigned overseas are entrusted with managing programs and individuals providing this security. The Department has recognized the need to improve RSO management skills and recently mandated leadership training for all of its supervisors and managers.2 OIG is also focusing more on management and oversight of security programs to include Deputy Chief of Mission oversight of RSOs.

Protecting people, facilities, and information in areas of armed conflict and at missions rated critical for terrorist threats is a particular challenge. At some of these missions, the host government sponsors or turns a blind eye to the harassment and intimidation of mission personnel, both American and local national.3 At one mission, the host government slowed visa issuance to security personnel to a trickle. At another, the host government interfered with incoming classified and unclassified diplomatic pouches. These actions severely hampered the mission's security operations. The Department is challenged to foster better cooperation with the host nation and effectively manage its security programs under these conditions.

The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) established physical security standards for the Department's domestic facilities a few years ago in response to an executive order.4 In recent domestic inspections, OIG found required upgrades have not occurred because of a lack of funding. DS, responsible for compliance with security standards, designs security features for upgrades and coordinates funding with Department bureaus that request security upgrades.5 However, resources available for domestic offices have been strained as overseas requirements increase.6

2. Contract and Procurement Management

The Department continues to face challenges managing contracts and procurements, including grants and cooperative agreements. Although Departmental contracting activities have significantly increased from $1.8 billion in 2001 to $8.8 billion in 2011,7 the Department has not met this considerable growth with a corresponding increase in contracting personnel to handle the workload.8 To meet the burgeoning demands for its services, the Department's Bureau of Administration increased its procurement staff from 109 contracting professionals in FY 2009 to 146 in FY 2011.9 However, the Department has not fully assessed whether the increased workforce is sufficient to meet workload requirements and to provide effective oversight.10 Further, the anticipated cost of the Department's multi-year plan to upgrade or build new overseas facilities is over $1.5 billion annually,11 and the Department must ensure that contractors are properly chosen, work is properly conducted and monitored, and costs are effectively contained.

In addition to increased expenditures, the Department has undertaken unprecedented responsibilities in the Middle East and has relied heavily on contractors and Department of Defense procurement support for some critical goods and services.12 In Iraq and Pakistan, OIG identified instances in which poor contract monitoring resulted in increased costs and poor performance. In Iraq, OIG determined that the contracting officer's representatives for Embassy Baghdad's operations and maintenance contract had not verified contractor invoices against appropriate supporting documentation or the contract terms and conditions, resulting in erroneous payments to the contractor.13

Proper oversight and accountability of grants, contracts, and cooperative and interagency agreements are also ongoing challenges. During inspections of the Bureau of Counterterrorism14 and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security's Office of Antiterrorism Assistance,15 which jointly manage antiterrorism assistance totaling about $200 million, OIG found that several program managers lacked program monitoring and evaluation training. In Beirut,16 the mission did not document the results of site visits to grantee locations, creating uncertainty on whether $3.9 million in grants and cooperative agreements were fulfilling intended purposes. The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) had difficulty determining the origin and progress of some of its grants for capacity-building because of insufficient training, pressure to award grants quickly, and turnover in the Bureau and at Embassy Baghdad.

OIG audits found a pressing need for improved management and monitoring of grantees. In Iraq, one grantee received eight grants, totaling about $130 million, to carry out local democracy-building programs. These eight grants exceeded their respective award budgets by a total of approximately $4.6 million because the Department did not adequately monitor program performance and did not detect questionable charges. For example, security costs were not competed, and, as a result, the $64.3 million in security costs exceeded the $49.5 million in direct costs to carry out the Iraqi democracy-building programs. Additionally, the grants officer did not provide prior approval to purchase vehicles valued at $700,000.17 In another audit, OIG found that a Department bureau did not always follow policy guidance on managing and monitoring over $200 million in climate change grants and interagency acquisition agreements. In one instance, the Department cannot account for $600,000 in related Economic Support Funds transferred to another Federal agency.18

3. Information Security and Information Management

The Department continues its efforts to meet the requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA), but the Department still faces challenges in implementing a fully effective information security management program. The internal control weaknesses identified during the FY 2011 FISMA evaluation, reported collectively by OIG, represent a significant deficiency.19 The Department's Management Control Steering Committee voted to establish a reportable condition20 under the Federal Managers Financial Integrity Act of 1982.21 During the FY 2012 FISMA audit, OIG determined that the Department had made some progress toward improving the posture of information security. However, the Department had not documented policy and procedures to identify baseline controls in support of information technology systems. Specifically, the Department had not effectively implemented the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) requirements for account management and remote access or the FISMA and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements for a Plan of Actions and Milestones process.

Additionally, OIG found that overall progress had been made toward the implementation of effective logical access controls for major applications but noted that challenges remained. OIG reported22 that logical access processes and procedures around major applications pertaining to account authorization, periodic account revalidation, concept of least privilege,23 separation of duties, audit log monitoring, and database vulnerability assessments were deficient.

During recent inspections, OIG also identified information systems security shortcomings that leave embassies vulnerable to cyber security attacks. Information systems staff often lack appropriate security training.24 At a number of posts, Information Systems Security Officers are not performing required duties25 primarily because of competing priorities, inadequate guidance, or a lack of planning. To strengthen security measures and facilitate security checks, OIG has recommended that domestic bureaus consolidate classified materials and processing equipment in interior, enclosed, secure offices rather than scattering classified resources in several locations.26

Information technology (IT) contingency planning is critical to ensure that Department data is protected and that the Department can quickly resume operations after unforeseen incidents, such as power outages, equipment failures, or natural disasters. In December 2011, OIG noted that in 20 of 50 (40 percent) recent inspections, IT contingency planning shortcomings were identified.27 OIG recommended that the Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM) track bureau and post compliance with IT contingency planning requirements, incorporate contingency planning in Department-wide IT risk scoring methodology, and consider adherence to contingency planning requirements in performance appraisals of responsible systems owners and IRM personnel.

Cloud computing is a new challenge likely to continue into the future. Although cloud computing is the Department's second highest information technology goal,28 key decisions and standards related to its implementation have yet to be promulgated. For example, the Department has not yet announced whether it plans to build and maintain a "private cloud," purchase services from an external provider in the "public cloud," or adopt some combination of both. A lack of guidance on this subject has led to problems and delays in development. For example, IRM's Systems and Integration Office (SIO) sought to develop private cloud technology in a way that OIG found was inconsistent with the IRM Strategic Planning Office's strategy or with the federally-mandated Cloud First Policy. Additionally, SIO's version of the cloud does not meet standards defined by NIST.

The Department continues to struggle with systems development, as noted in the inspection of the Bureau of Consular Affairs Consular Shared Tables.29 Often domestic bureaus and offices do not follow mandated systems development life cycle requirements. In the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs,30 insufficient stakeholder involvement resulted in a system that did not meet user needs, and many offices developed separate systems to fill the gaps. The Office of Global Publishing Solutions31 similarly developed a print management system without formally studying user requirements. OIG has also found insufficient documentation supporting system changes and inadequate security and vulnerability testing. There is no Department-mandated methodology for documenting compliance with systems development life cycle requirements, the absence of which contributes to these shortcomings.32

4. Financial Management

Financial management continues to be a significant management challenge for the Department. During the audit of the FY 2011 financial statements, an independent auditor identified potentially material amounts related to after-employment benefits provided to locally employed overseas staff that had not been previously reported on the Department's financial statements, which impacted the FY 2011 and 2010 financial statements. The independent auditor also identified significant internal control deficiencies related to financial reporting, property and equipment, budgetary accounting, unliquidated obligations, accounts payable accruals, and information technology.33 In FY 2011, the Department made progress toward improving controls over financial management. For instance, the Department took actions to address certain aspects of the deficiency related to after-employment benefits. However, the Department acknowledged that the deficiencies identified in the financial statement audit report would require more attention and improvement.34

Another financial management issue identified during the year related to the Department's identification and recovery of improper payments. OIG reported35 that the Department had taken steps to comply with the Improper Payments Information Act of 2002,36 which had been amended in 2010 by the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act37 (IPERA). However, the Department's improper payments risk assessment methodology was insufficient, recapture audit activities were not performed for all types of improper payments or all payments, and some improper payment disclosures required to be included in the Agency Financial Report were omitted or were inaccurate.38 Although the Department agreed that improvements were needed, the Department indicated that it did not have any programs deemed susceptible to significant improper payments. As such, the Department stated that incorporating the efforts would be a multi-phased process and does not intend to perform a full risk assessment of programs and activities again until FY 2014. To be in compliance with IPERA during FY 2012 and 2013, the Department stated that it would determine whether any programs or activities experience a significant change in legislation or a significant funding increase and would conduct a full risk assessment for any programs or activities that meet those criteria.39 Nevertheless, because of the deficiencies OIG found in the Department's risk assessment methodology, OIG recommended the Department implement the new risk assessment methodology for FY 2012 to ensure that the results of the Department's initial risk assessment were valid.40

Currently, the Department's Border Security Program, which supports activities related to consular relations, security, information resource management, and training, relies on funding from certain consular-related fees and surcharges. During an audit of how consular fees collected by the Department were used, OIG found that the Department's Border Security Program did not have a centralized program management structure.41 For example, OIG found that program-related roles and responsibilities were not clearly defined, funding decisions were not based on prioritization factors, and overall accomplishments were not being tracked. The Department also did not have sufficient guidance on the use of the funds and did not have an adequate process in place to monitor Border Security Program expenditures. The Department revamped the budget formulation process for this program.42

5. Military to Civilian-led Transitions-Iraq and Afghanistan

The United States completed its transition from a military-led to a civilian-led presence in Iraq in December 2011 and continues to plan for a similar transition in Afghanistan in 2014. In Iraq, the Department continues to react to mission priorities and a continually evolving relationship between the United States and the Government of Iraq (GOI). In Afghanistan, the Department must leverage lessons learned throughout the Iraq transition to meet a similar mission goal in Afghanistan, which is to assist Afghanistan in efforts to become a secure, stable, and self-reliant country as efficiently and effectively as possible.

On January 1, 2012, the Department became solely responsible for the U.S. Mission-Iraq (USM-I) and the associated foreign policy goals that aim to orient the GOI and the Iraqi economy towards self-sustainability and a strengthened democracy.43 Although the United States has completed the transition from a military-led to a civilian-led presence with some measures of success, the nature and extent of the U.S. foreign policy goals and the attainment of those goals remain unclear amidst environmental and political uncertainty and lack of precedent for such a mission. The sustainment of the transition includes efforts to (1) establish a long-term diplomatic presence leading to normalizing the bilateral relationship in economics, culture, diplomacy, and security; the internal stability of Iraq; and increased stability in the region, and (2) provide the infrastructure necessary for the Department's long-term diplomatic mission including staffing, building, and supporting sites throughout Iraq.44

Embassy Baghdad, NEA, and the Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services have made substantial progress establishing consulates and other support facilities and sustaining programs and operations. For example, the Department was able to assume responsibility for a multitude of support services that were previously provided by or procured by the Department of Defense, including security, air transportation, medical care, and some construction projects. In addition, in January 2012, OIG reported that Embassy Baghdad's emergency action plan was adequately resourced and tested, which is key to the embassy's ability to respond in emergency situations.45

Despite these achievements, the Department continues to experience challenges sustaining and rightsizing the USM-I as security throughout Iraq remains volatile and the GOI commitment to the U.S. presence and its programs remains unclear. The tradeoff between security and cost considerations when rightsizing a mission is made clear in recent analyses and estimates of the portion of costs that account for the security and support of programs in Iraq. In June 2012, GAO reported that the Departments of State and Defense allocated approximately $4 billion toward the U.S. diplomatic presence in Iraq, 93 percent of which was designated solely for security and support costs.46 The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) reported a similar analysis of the portion of support costs focused on the Police Development Program (PDP) in Iraq-a program to assist the GOI in strengthening rule of law. In July 2012, SIGIR reported that 94 percent of the PDP's projected FY 2013 budget would be dedicated to support and security activities.47 SIGIR also questioned PDP's viability due in part to limited GOI support for the program, citing that they had repeatedly reported on the importance of obtaining host country buy-in to proposed programs for the long-term success and sustainment of relief and reconstruction activities.48 The Department continues to work with GOI to define and facilitate a much smaller PDP than was originally envisioned.

In February 2012, the Department announced a formal effort to rightsize the U.S. mission in Iraq as it evaluates both the achievement of its policy goals and the political and security environment.49 A number of facility changes are planned, including transferring the Baghdad Police College Annex to the Iraqis by the end of 2012 and moving the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq from the Embassy Military Attaché and Security Assistance Annex onto the embassy complex by mid-2013, reducing or potentially ending its presence at another Baghdad site, Embassy Annex Prosperity. Such closures and reductions will likely have significant impacts on the staffing levels of other agencies involved in the mission and have implications on the overall mission infrastructure and security requirements. As the Department continues the effort to rightsize its operations in Iraq, it is important that mission priorities, security, and cost considerations are synchronized.

In its inspection of the NEA,50 OIG recommended that the bureau document lessons learned from Iraq about military to civilian transition and provincial reconstruction teams.51 NEA has taken steps toward, but has not yet documented, lessons learned related to provincial reconstruction teams and stabilization efforts.

The Department continues to face challenges in supporting and sustaining the civilian presence in Afghanistan as the U.S. military withdraws. Because the foreign policy goals are similar to those in Iraq, there are many opportunities for lessons learned in the planning, execution, and sustainment of Afghanistan transition efforts. U.S. officials have emphasized that Afghanistan has a much greater dependence upon foreign assistance because it has limited revenue-generating resources, more widespread energy infrastructure challenges, and a high illiteracy rate.52 These environmental and historical factors create impediments toward maintaining adequate security while developing and training the Afghan security forces, overcoming Afghan governance and development issues, executing counternarcotics programs, and implementing rule of law and anti-corruption initiatives. Accomplishing and sustaining both short- and long-term objectives in these strategic areas is critical to achieving Department, U.S., and Afghan strategic goals central to the transition.53

In September 2011 and May 2012, OIG and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported on challenges the Department faced in conjunction with an increased civilian presence in Afghanistan related to the accounting, management, and reporting of costs.54 These challenges included increased costs associated with the assumption of Department of Defense security duties, costs of opening new consulates, and need for housing and office space for the increased civilian personnel. Establishment of additional facilities increases costs as the Department becomes responsible for supplies and all service provisions, including food, motor pools, vehicle repair, air traffic control at the airport, crash and rescue, medical evacuation, and hospital services, among others.

OIG and SIGAR have also reported that security remains a primary challenge in Afghanistan.55 Low literacy levels and the lack of basic vocational skills have hindered the training and development of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). The Department also continues to face significant costs and security issues related to convoy protection and movement security needs, such as recovering killed and wounded personnel, retrieving damaged vehicles and downed aircraft, and monitoring private security contractors. Most Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund projects are experiencing acquisition and funding delays and subsequent interruptions in project execution schedules. The uncertainty of the size and composition of the ANSF over the next few years could result in inefficient and costly procurements if not closely managed.56

6. Foreign Assistance Coordination and Oversight

In FY 2011, U.S. foreign assistance totaled $32 billion,57 much of which was devoted to peace and security programs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and global HIV/AIDS prevention and democracy promotion activities. Foreign assistance coordination among agencies and Department bureaus remains inadequate.58 OIG has found duplication among agency programs and staffing. In the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), the Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recognized the need to better coordinate programs and established a goal of empowering the Chief of Mission to better oversee all agency activities. Consistent with this goal, the Foreign Service Institute expanded coverage of development and foreign assistance management in its economic and political courses, including a new course on development and diplomacy.

Given rapidly changing relationships and events in frontline states and at other missions, the need exists to regularly evaluate programs. At Embassy Beirut,59 OIG noted that the mission had successfully increased and recalibrated assistance programs totaling $238 million to strengthen Lebanese civil society and institutions after Syrian troops withdrew in 2005. At Embassy Islamabad,60 OIG highlighted the mission's challenge in executing extensive assistance programs. Most programs were envisioned as part of a 2009 grant engagement strategy. Changes in the bilateral relationship between the United States and Pakistan coupled with pervasive corruption and a lack of absorptive capacity in many levels of government, a daunting security environment, and a shortage of secure office space and staffing had contributed to a large pipeline of unspent assistance funding. OIG recommended the Department review all staffing plans, requests, and construction projects with an eye to scaling them back. The mission completed a rightsizing review and reduced its projected 5-year staffing numbers by 200 positions, required project-based or time-specified positions to be re-evaluated in a timely manner, and identified problems that would jeopardize the viability of current and proposed construction projects if changes in the scale of foreign assistance to Pakistan occur.61

Consistent with QDDR goals, the Department recently added program evaluation guidance to the Foreign Affairs Manual62 (FAM) to strengthen the way the Department measures performance. Additionally, to improve security and justice sector assistance, the Department plans to evaluate all programs over $25 million at least once during the program's life cycle.

7. Diplomacy with Fewer Resources

In its FY 2014 budget guidance,63 OMB directed all Federal agencies to cut waste, set program priorities, and make targeted investments in critical priorities. OMB also asked agencies to reduce overall requests by 5 percent below the net discretionary total of their FY 2013 budgets. The Department's QDDR also stresses the importance of working smarter and better prioritizing objectives.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reported that while the Department's Office of Rightsizing's reviews of overseas staffing levels were more consistent, the Department does not follow up on its recommendations included in those reviews. Often bureaus and missions do not use the reviews to determine appropriate staffing levels. Additionally, the Office of Rightsizing has difficulty estimating the correct number of programmatic positions and relies on other agencies to determine their own staffing needs. In light of these shortcomings, OIG continues to review overseas staffing numbers as well as the cost of maintaining U.S. staff overseas-some $570,000 per overseas officer position.64

In 2012, OIG recommended reducing overseas direct hire and locally employed staff positions.65 At Consulate General Hong Kong and the American Institute in Taiwan, consular officer visa workload declined significantly without commensurate staffing adjustments. OIG also found functions performed at overseas locations that could be performed more cost effectively from a lower cost mission or from domestic locations.66 In Vienna, OIG recommended that the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration move a regional facility servicing refugees from Europe and the countries in the former Soviet Union to a lower cost location. In San Jose, OIG found voucher processing costs were roughly double the costs of outsourcing the function to the Department's Post Support Unit based in Charleston, South Carolina.

OIG has also identified countries where the Department can carry out its mission with a smaller footprint. OIG has recommended that the Department consider closing or downsizing consulates.67 While the Department has downsized a number of consulates, none have been closed.

The Department has achieved limited success in eliminating redundant management platforms and services. Despite progress at many posts, redundancies remain in basic service areas, e.g. furniture and furnishings, motor transportation, administrative procurement, and locally employed staff recruiting.68 The QDDR underscores the Department's commitment to continue consolidating Department and USAID administrative platforms.69 While the Department focuses on duplicative services maintained by USAID, OIG recommends it also review other sources of redundancy, particularly at posts with Narcotics Affairs sections70 and Centers for Disease Control offices.

8. Public Diplomacy

Several public diplomacy challenges from last year remain, including planning strategically in an era of reduced budgets, managing person-to-person outreach in a tight security environment, and effectively employing social media. As noted in the most recent inspection of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Department must improve oversight of exchange visitor programs, a new challenge of concern. The Department's Management Control Steering Committee identified the Summer Work Travel program as a "material weakness" and developed a corrective action plan to monitor reforms. The Bureau has capped the number of Summer Work Travel participants in 2012, imposed a moratorium on new sponsor designations, removed several sponsor organizations, established a pilot fee-transparency program, and expanded the number of onsite reviews it conducts as additional staff is added to the Office of Private Sector Exchange.

In a recent cable to public diplomacy officers,71 the Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs noted that it was not a universal practice for public affairs officers to use annual strategic planning sessions to focus on resources and improve the impact of public diplomacy, and, consequently, OIG found a lack of public diplomacy planning on several recent inspections.72

Over the past decade, many embassies moved from city centers to more secure compounds in less-accessible locations. Some posts responded by closing embassy-based information resource centers and creating alternative venues like American Corners, which are hosted and staffed by local institutions. Some American Corners sites have worked well; others have not.73 Public diplomacy officers must continue to explore innovative ways to engage critical audiences where they are, rather than relying on the audience to seek out U.S. personnel within embassy grounds.

Some public affairs sections have done an extraordinary job employing social media.74 Others have set up Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr sites without determining whether they have the time, resources, or appropriately trained staff to maintain fresh, interesting, and up-to-date content on sites. Missions must go beyond simply counting the number of online friends or "likes," and personnel must thoughtfully examine the messages conveyed and the extent to which they support policy objectives.75 Additionally, numerous missions, regional bureaus, and functional bureaus use social media to discuss the same issue or event. OIG has raised concerns about duplication, cost-effectiveness, and policy coordination that are not yet fully resolved.76

9. Effective Embassy Leadership

Ensuring that leaders and managers with appropriate skills lead our missions remains a challenge. OIG continues to find deficiencies in senior leadership at some overseas locations. While most leaders of missions abroad are performing very well, especially in areas such as advocating U.S. policies and actively engaging in public diplomacy, some are falling short in managing their missions. This has resulted in reduced productivity and effectiveness, low morale, and costly personnel curtailments.

Some leaders have demonstrated a lack of discipline in deploying personnel and financial resources. Some Chiefs of Mission have tasked their staff with numerous personally generated initiatives, which take time and resources away from work that is more central to advancing high-priority policy objectives. Some leaders fall short in developing and motivating staff, and some treat staff poorly. A very few have been insufficiently attentive to required security procedures.

All Chiefs of Mission and Deputy Chiefs of Mission, no matter how successful, could improve their performance based on feedback from their staff and their colleagues in the Department and other government agencies. For this reason, in 2010, OIG recommended that the Department institute a system to regularly assess the performance of leaders overseas and in the United States and to take remedial actions when necessary, including training, counseling, and, if necessary, reassignment.77 While the Department's QDDR process has focused attention on strengthening leadership of overseas missions, there has been little progress on this issue during the past year. OIG continues to provide advice to the Department based on its inspections.

10. Consular Operations

Consular officers are the first line of defense in border security, and technology is at the core of their operations. The Department's refocused technology platform, Consular One, is being designed to help posts efficiently maintain security and manage large consular workloads. In the meantime, existing infrastructure and software do not always keep up with demands. On several recent inspections, including those in Caracas78 and Singapore,79 OIG found that inadequate bandwidth and other systems' problems slowed down visa processing times to unacceptable levels. Reducing visa processing times is a priority of the Department and the Administration,80 given the positive impact international visitors have on our travel and tourism industries.

Physical facilities for consular operations present particular challenges, including the difficulty in projecting consular workload 10 years into the future, lengthy timelines for new construction, and mandates for secure facilities. At several missions, including Caracas81 and Port-au-Prince,82 OIG found consular section design did not meet requirements regarding space, security, privacy, and accessibility. The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations and the Bureau of Consular Affairs have been working to develop adequate designs but challenges remain.

 


1 Public Law No. 106-531, 114 Stat. 2537 (2000). (back to text)

2 FY 2014 Bureau Resource Request, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. (back to text)

3 Embassy Sanaa, Yemen (ISP-I-10-63A, June 2010) and ISP-S-12-28A. (back to text)

4 Standards were patterned after the security standards issued by the Interagency Security Committee, under the Department of Homeland Security, as authorized by Executive Order 12977. (back to text)

5 1 FAM 262.1-1(B), "Facilities Security Division. (back to text)

6 FY 2014 Bureau Resource Request, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. (back to text)

7 FY 2014 Bureau Resource Request, Bureau of Administration, May 31, 2012. (back to text)

8 State and DOD Should Ensure Interagency Acquisitions Are Effectively Managed and Comply with Fiscal Law (GAO-12-750, August 2012). (back to text)

9 FY 2014 Bureau Resource Request, Bureau of Administration, May 31, 2012. (back to text)

10 GAO-12-750. (back to text)

11 FY 2014 Bureau Resource Request, Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, June 19, 2012. (back to text)

12 GAO-12-750. (back to text)

13 Evaluation of Invoices and Payments for the Embassy Baghdad Operations and Maintenance Contract (AUD-MERO-12-43, August 2012). (back to text)

14 Inspection of the Bureau of Counterterrorism (ISP-I-12-32A, June 2012). (back to text)

15 Inspection of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Office of Antiterrorism Assistance (ISP-I-12-31, June 2012). (back to text)

16 Inspection of Embassy Beirut, Lebanon (ISP-I-12-10A, February 2012). (back to text)

17 Review of Costs Charged to Iraq Democracy-Building Grants Awarded to the International Republican Institute During FYs 2004-2010 (AUD-CG-12-35, June 2012). (back to text)

18 Audit of Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Administration and Oversight of Funds Dedicated To Address Global Climate Change (AUD-CG-12-40, July 2012). (back to text)

19 Evaluation of Department of State Information Security Program (AUD/IT-12-14, November 2011). (back to text)

20 A reportable condition is defined as a control deficiency, or combination of control deficiencies, that in management's judgment, should be communicated because it represents significant weaknesses in the design or operation of internal control that could adversely affect the organization's ability to meet its internal control objectives. A reportable condition, if not addressed, could ultimately rise to the level of a material weakness if corrective actions are not taken. Reportable conditions are not reported externally. (back to text)

21 Public Law No. 97-255, 96 Stat. 814 (1982). (back to text)

22 Audit of Department of State Access Controls for Major Applications (AUD/IT-12-44, August 2012). (back to text)

23 The concept of least privilege is the security objective of granting users only those accesses needed to perform official duties. (back to text)

24 Inspection of Embassy Algiers, Algeria (ISP-I-12-06A, January 2012); Inspection of the American Institute in Taiwan (ISP-I-12-12A, February 2012). (back to text)

25 ISP-I-12-06A. Inspection of Embassy Port-au-Prince, Haiti (ISP-I-12-24A, May 2012); Inspection of Embassy Beirut, Lebanon (ISP-I-12-10A, February 2012). (back to text)

26 Inspection of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues, Office of Policy Review and Interagency Liaison, and the Planning, Programs, and Systems Liaison Division (ISP-I-12-21, May 2012). (back to text)

27 Memorandum Report-Improvements Needed in Information Technology Contingency Planning (ISP-I-12-04, December 15, 2011). (back to text)

28 Department of State IT Strategic Plan, Fiscal Years 2011-2013. (back to text)

29 Inspection of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Consular Systems and Technology (ISP-I-11-51, May 2011). (back to text)

30 Inspection of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ISP-I-12-15, February 2012). (back to text)

31 Inspection of the Bureau of Administration, Global Information Services, Global Publishing Solutions (ISP-I-12-07, January 2012). (back to text)

32 Inspection of the Bureau of Information Resource Management, Systems and Integration Office (ISP-I-12-30, June 2012). (back to text)

33 Independent Auditor's Report on the U.S. Department of State 2011 and 2010 Financial Statements (AUD/FM-12-05, November 2011). (back to text)

34 Ibid. (back to text)

35 Audit of Department of State Compliance With the Improper Payments Information Act (AUD/FM-12-31, March 2012). (back to text)

36 Improper Payments Information Act of 2002, Public Law No. 107-300, 116 Stat. 2350 (2002). (back to text)

37 Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010, Public Law No. 111-204, 124 Stat. 2224 (2010). (back to text)

38 AUD/FM-12-31. (back to text)

39 Comptroller Memorandum, dated April 30, 2012. (back to text)

40 OIG Memorandum, dated July 17, 2012. (back to text)

41 Audit of Department of State Use of Consular Fees Collected in Support of the Border Security Program (AUD/FM-12-39, August 2012). (back to text)

42 Ibid. (back to text)

43 These goals were laid out in two accords between the United States and the Government of Iraq: Agreement on the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq, U.S.-Iraq, art. 24, par. 1, November 17, 2008, Temp. State Department No. 09-6; Strategic Framework Agreement for a Relationship of Friendship and Cooperation, U.S.-Iraq, sec. III, November 17, 2008, Temp. State Department No. 09-7. (back to text)

44 Staff of S. Comm. on Foreign Relations, 112th Congress, Iraq: The Transition from a Military Mission to a Civilian Led Effort (Comm. Print 2011). (back to text)

45 Evaluation of Emergency Action Plans for Embassy Baghdad and Consulates General Basrah and Erbil (AUD/MERO-12-18, January 2012). (back to text)

46 Assessment of the Transition from a Military to a Civilian-Led Mission in Iraq: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Nat'l Sec., Homeland Def. and Foreign Operations of the H. Comm. on Oversight and Gov't Reform, 112th Congress (2012) (statement of Michael J. Courts, Acting Director, International Affairs and Trade, Government Accountability Office). (back to text)

47 Iraq Police Development Program: Lack of Iraqi Support and Security Problems Raise Questions about the Continued Viability of the Program (SIGIR 12-020, June 2012). (back to text)

48 SIGIR, Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience, Government Printing Office, Washington, 2009. (back to text)

49 U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Special Briefing by Thomas Nides, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, "Rightsizing U.S. Mission Iraq," February 8, 2012. (back to text)

50 Inspection of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (ISP-I-11-49A, May 2011). (back to text)

51 NEA compliance correspondence (12 MDA 23430). (back to text)

52 Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Historical Lessons: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Oversight and Investigations of the H. Comm. on Armed Services, 112th Congress (2012) (statement of Olga Oliker, Director, International and Security Policy Department, RAND Corporation). (back to text)

53 Afghan National Police Training Program: Lessons Learned During the Transition of Contract Administration (AUD/CG-11-42, August 2011); Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, Public Law No. 111-383, § 1235, 124 Stat. 4398 (2011). (back to text)

54 The U.S. Civilian Uplift in Afghanistan Has Cost Nearly $2 Billion, and State Should Continue to Strengthen Its Management and Oversight of the Funds Transferred to Other Agencies (AUD/SI-11-45, September 2011); Limited-Scope Audit of Department of State Management of the Afghanistan Civilian Uplift (AUD/SI-12-36, May 2012). (back to text)

55 Ibid. (back to text)

56 Joint Strategic Oversight Plan for Afghanistan Reconstruction FY 13 (July 2012). Inspectors General of the Department of State, Department of Defense, United States Agency for International Development, and Special Inspectors General for Afghanistan Reconstruction form the Joint Strategic Planning Subgroup for Oversight of Afghanistan Reconstruction. (back to text)

57 FY 2011 Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations. (back to text)

58 Inspection of Embassy Nairobi, Kenya (ISP-I-12-38A, August 2012); Inspection of Embassy Pretoria, South Africa, and Constituent Posts (ISP-I-11-42A, June 2011); Compliance Followup Review of Embassy Islamabad and Constituent Posts, Pakistan (ISP-C-12-28A, May 2012); Compliance Follow-up Review of Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan (ISP-C-11-53A, June 2011). (back to text)

59 ISP-I-12-10A. (back to text)

60 ISP-C-12-28A. (back to text)

61 Embassy Islamabad compliance correspondence (12 MDA 25018). (back to text)

62 18 FAM 300, "Program Evaluation Policy." (back to text)

63 OMB Memorandum M-12-13, "Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Guidance." (back to text)

64 Overseas Rightsizing: State Has Improved the Consistency of Its Approach, but Does Not Follow Up on Its Recommendations (GAO-12-799, July 2012). (back to text)

65 Inspection of: Embassy Vienna, Austria (ISP-I-12-16A, March 2012); Inspection of Embassy San José, Costa Rica (ISP-I-12-23A, May 2012); Inspection of Embassy Nassau, The Bahamas (ISP-I-12-08A, January 2012); Inspection of the Tri-Mission Vienna Joint Management Office (ISP-I-12-19A, March 2012); Compliance Followup Review of Consulate General Hong Kong, China (ISP-C-12-29A, May 2012); and ISP-I-12-12A. (back to text)

66 ISP-I-12-10A; ISP-I-12-16A; and ISP-I-12-23A. (back to text)

67 Inspection of Embassy Berlin, Germany (ISP-I-11-65A, September 2011); Embassy Athens, Greece (ISP-I-11-15A, February 2011); and ISP-I-11-42A. (back to text)

68 ISP-I-12-24A. (back to text)

69 The Department recently established a Joint Management Board with the U.S. Agency for International Development. (back to text)

70 Compliance Follow-up Review of Embassy Bogotá, Columbia (ISP-C-09-08A, December 2008); Embassy La Paz, Bolivia (ISP-I-08-56A, September 2008). (back to text)

71 "Message from Under Secretary Tara Sonenshine to All Public Diplomacy Officers and Staff," State 84040, August 15, 2012. (back to text)

72 Inspection of Embassy Caracas, Venezuela (ISP-I-12-09A, February 2012); Inspection of the U.S. Mission to United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris, France (ISP-I-12-26, May 2012); and ISP-I-12-16A. (back to text)

73 Inspection of Embassy Singapore (ISP-I-12-36A, June 2012); Inspection of Embassy Bucharest, Romania (ISP-I-12-45A, August 2012); Inspection of Embassy Ljubljana, Slovenia (ISP-I-12-46A, August 2012); and Inspection of Embassy Hanoi and Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (ISP-I-12-11A, February 2012). (back to text)

74 ISP-I-12-12A. (back to text)

75 Inspection of Embassy Lusaka, Zambia (ISP-I-12-41A, August 2012); ISP-I-12-45A; ISP-I-12-46A; ISP-I-12-11A; and ISP-I-12-38A. (back to text)

76 ISP-I-11-49A and ISP-I-11-42A. (back to text)

77 Memorandum Report-Implementation of a Process to Assess and Improve Leadership and Management of Department of State Posts and Bureaus (ISP-I-10-68, June 29, 2010). (back to text)

78 ISP-I-12-09A. (back to text)

79 ISP-I-12-36A. (back to text)

80 Executive Order No. 13597, Establishing Visa and Foreign Visitor Processing Goals and the Task Force on Travel and Competitiveness, signed January 19, 2012. (back to text)

81 ISP-I-12-09A. (back to text)

82 ISP-I-12-24A. (back to text)

 




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