Embassies (1 - 2 of 2 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...