Department of State (1 - 4 of 4 items) in Past Month
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...
Immigrant Investor Program: Proposed Project Investments in Targeted Employment Areas
GAO-17-487T: Published: Mar 8, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 8, 2017.
Congress created the Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) immigrant visa category to promote job creation and encourage capital investment in the United States by foreign investors. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5 Program) requirements include investing $1 million in a new business that will result in the creation of at least 10 full-time positions for qualifying employees, or a reduced...
Foreign Assistance: Agencies Can Improve the Quality and Dissemination of Program Evaluations
GAO-17-316: Published: Mar 3, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 2017.
An estimated 73 percent of evaluations completed in fiscal year 2015 by the six U.S. agencies GAO reviewed generally or partially addressed all of the quality criteria GAO identified for evaluation design, implementation, and conclusions (see fig.). Agencies met some elements of the criteria more often than others. For example, approximately 90 percent of all evaluations addressed questions that a...