Hello, this is Patrick Kennedy. I am the Under Secretary for Management here at the Department of State. I want to welcome you to the first Podcast on the Department’s Citizens’ Report for Fiscal Year 2008. It is important for us as public servants to report to the public on what we are doing and how well we are doing.
Many people askhow the Department uses taxpayer dollars to achieve foreign policy goals. Others would like to learn more about the progress the Department has made in achieving goals like Peace and Security, in promoting democracy, or in assisting American citizens overseas. And even more people would like to know how much it costs each American citizen to conduct our country’s diplomatic activities in virtually every country in the world (260 posts), in Washington and other offices in the United States while meeting the highest performance standards. For firsthand insights on these and other critical performance and financial-related issues, I invite you to read the Department’s Citizens’ Report for Fiscal Year 2008.
The Citizens’ Report contains key Department performance and financial information in a brief, reader-friendly format. Our goal with the Citizens’ Report is to make it easier for everyone to understand, in a transparent and accessible manner, the diplomatic strategies and solutions we implement, the progress made in our performance and the kind of resources we manage to achieve our mission.
The Department of State, like other federal agencies, is under increasing pressure to produce more and demonstrate results. The mission of the Department is to “advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.”
I realize that’s a mouthful, but it points out the wide diversity of responsibilities the Department has and how complex our mission for the American people is. As you can tell our focus is on democracy, security and prosperity.
State Department employees– whether Foreign Service, Civil Service, or Foreign Nationals – are also committed to demonstrating the relationship between our budget requests to Congress and the performance of the programs that these budgets support. In our Citizens’ Report, we describe how we measure and evaluate the performance results that are crucial to the Department’s efforts and to the nation’s security. The Citizens’ Report showcases key foreign affairs activities and programs that enhance the government’s capacity to: