Department of State, Executive (21 - 30 of 51 items)
Information Sharing: Progress Made and Challenges Remaining in Sharing Terrorism-Related Information
GAO-12-144T: Published: Oct 12, 2011. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 2011.
A breakdown in information sharing was a major factor contributing to the failure to prevent the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Since then, federal, state, and local governments have taken steps to improve sharing. This statement focuses on government efforts to (1) establish the Information Sharing Environment (ISE), a government-wide approach that facilitates the sharing of terrorism-rel...
Visa Security: Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen Overstay Enforcement and Address Risks in the Visa Process
GAO-11-910T: Published: Sep 13, 2011. Publicly Released: Sep 13, 2011.
The attempted bombing of an airline on December 25, 2009, by a Nigerian citizen with a valid U.S. visa renewed concerns about the security of the visa process. Further, unauthorized immigrants who entered the country legally on a temporary basis but then overstayed their authorized periods of admission--overstays--could pose homeland security risks. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ce...
Commercial Aviation: Program Aimed at High-Risk Parent Abductors Could Aid in Preventing Abductions
GAO-11-602: Published: Jun 23, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2011.
Since 2000, the annual number of new international parental child abduction cases reported to the Department of State--many of which likely involved air travel--has nearly tripled. Such abductions occur when a parent, family member, or person acting on behalf thereof, takes a child to another country in violation of the custodial parent's or guardian's rights. Once a child is abducted, the laws, p...
Border Security: DHS's Visa Security Program Needs to Improve Performance Evaluation and Better Address Visa Risk Worldwide
GAO-11-315: Published: Mar 31, 2011. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 2011.
Since 2003, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Visa Security Program (VSP) has participated in the visa process by reviewing applications at some embassies and consulates, with the intention of preventing individuals who pose a threat from entering the United States. The attempted bombing of an airline on December 25, 2009, renewed concerns about the security of the visa process and the e...
Maritime Security: Federal Agencies Have Taken Actions to Address Risks Posed by Seafarers, but Efforts Can Be Strengthened
GAO-11-195: Published: Jan 14, 2011. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2011.
The State Department and two components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Coast Guard, are responsible for preventing illegal immigration at U.S. seaports and identifying individuals who are potential security risks. The International Labor Organization (ILO) adopted the Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (ILO 185) to establish an inter...
Foreign Language Capabilities: Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and State Could Better Assess Their Foreign Language Needs and Capabilities and Address Shortfalls
GAO-10-715T: Published: Jul 29, 2010. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2010.
Foreign language skills are an increasingly key element to the success of diplomatic efforts; military, counterterrorism, law enforcement and intelligence missions; and to ensure access to federal programs and services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) populations within the United States. GAO has issued reports evaluating foreign language capabilities at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS...
Humanitarian Assistance: Status of North Korean Refugee Resettlement and Asylum in the United States
GAO-10-691: Published: Jun 24, 2010. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 2010.
Famine killed hundreds of thousands of North Koreans in the 1990s and compelled a large number of others to leave in search of food, economic opportunities, and escape from a repressive regime. This migration continues. Some North Koreans seek resettlement in other countries, such as South Korea and the United States. To promote a more durable humanitarian solution to the plight of North Korean re...
Border Security: Better Usage of Electronic Passport Security Features Could Improve Fraud Detection
GAO-10-96: Published: Jan 22, 2010. Publicly Released: Feb 22, 2010.
In 2005, the Department of State (State) began issuing electronic passports (e-passports) with embedded computer chips that store information identical to that printed in the passport. By agreement with State, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) produces blank e-passport books. Two foreign companies are used by GPO to produce e-passport covers, including the computer chips embedded in them....
International Trade: U.S. Agencies Have Taken Some Steps, but Serious Impediments Remain to Restricting Trade in Burmese Rubies and Jadeite
GAO-09-987: Published: Sep 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 2009.
Congress passed the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act in 2008 prohibiting the import of Burmese-origin jadeite, rubies, and related jewelry and calling for certain international actions. The act also requires GAO to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of this section of the act. This report assesses (1) key characteristics of the trade of Burmese-origin jadeite and rubies; (2) progress...
Defense Management: DOD Can Establish More Guidance for Biometrics Collection and Explore Broader Data Sharing
GAO-09-49: Published: Oct 15, 2008. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2008.
The events of September 11, 2001, and operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have made it critical for military units to identify individuals they encounter and share this information with other units and federal agencies. Biometrics are unique personal aspects such as fingerprints and iris images used to identify an unfamiliar person. Federal agencies with national security missions, such as the Depa...