Management, Department of State, Executive (1 - 4 of 4 items) in Past Year
Department of State: Foreign Language Proficiency Has Improved, but Efforts to Reduce Gaps Need Evaluation
GAO-17-318: Published: Mar 22, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2017.
Foreign language proficiency is a key skill for U.S. diplomats. For example, it helps the State Department effectively process visa applications and address security concerns. Yet, we've found that State has persistent shortfalls in this area—23% of its overseas positions that required foreign language proficiency were filled by staff that didn't meet the requirements (as of September 2016). St...
Embassy Construction: State Needs to Better Measure Performance of Its New Approach
GAO-17-296: Published: Mar 16, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 2017.
Will State's new approach produce better embassies, and how will we know? In 2011, the State Department began to shift from using a standard design for the construction of its embassies to customizing each embassy's design. This new approach (called Excellence) was meant to improve the appearance and functionality, as well as reduce the operating costs of these embassies. However, we found that...
Emergency Funding for Ebola Response: Some USAID Reimbursements Did Not Comply with Legislative Requirements and Need to Be Reversed
GAO-17-35: Published: Nov 2, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 2, 2016.
As of July 1, 2016, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State (State) had obligated 58 percent and disbursed more than one-third of the $2.5 billion appropriated for Ebola activities. In the early stages of the U.S. response in West Africa, USAID obligated $883 million to control the outbreak, and State obligated $34 million for medical evacuations, among ot...
Diplomatic Security: State Should Enhance Its Management of Transportation-Related Risks to Overseas U.S. Personnel
GAO-17-124: Published: Oct 4, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 4, 2016.
The Department of State (State) has established policies related to transportation security for overseas U.S. personnel, but gaps exist in guidance and monitoring. GAO reviewed 26 posts and found that all 26 had issued transportation security and travel notification policies. However, policies at 22 of the 26 posts lacked elements required by State, due in part to fragmented implementation guidanc...