Public officials (1 - 10 of 126 items)
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...
Rule of Law Assistance: DOD Should Assess Workforce Size of Defense Institute of International Legal Studies
GAO-17-118: Published: Dec 14, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 14, 2016.
For fiscal years 2013 through 2016, the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) conducted over 500 rule of law events in almost 100 countries, and it assessed the quality of its assistance in a variety of ways. DIILS provides three types of assistance: (1) core rule of law training in the United States and abroad, (2) defense institution-building, and (3) statutorily required huma...
Human Trafficking: State Has Made Improvements in Its Annual Report but Does Not Explicitly Explain Certain Tier Rankings or Changes
GAO-17-56: Published: Dec 5, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 5, 2016.
The Department of State's (State) Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (Trafficking Office) compiles information on countries' actions to combat human trafficking and recommends tier rankings for the Trafficking in Persons Report but did not post information on waivers within mandated timeframes. The figure below shows the percentage of countries by tier in the 2015 and 2016 repor...
Security Assistance: Guidance Needed for Completing Required Impact Assessments Prior to Presidential Drawdowns
GAO-17-26: Published: Oct 20, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 2016.
In fiscal years 2011 through 2015, the President authorized 13 drawdowns to provide security assistance and build foreign partner capacity to France, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and countries in West and Central Africa (see fig.). According to Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of State (State) data, the total value of articles and services authorized for these drawdowns was $321.5 millio...
Foreign Assistance: Actions Needed to Improve Transparency and Quality of Data on ForeignAssistance.gov
GAO-16-768: Published: Aug 24, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 2016.
Since 2013, the Department of State (State) has collected and published quarterly data on ForeignAssistance.gov from 10 agencies that provide the majority of U.S. foreign assistance and more recently has initiated a process to prepare the12 remaining agencies to collect and report data. The 2012 Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin No. 12-01 outlined requirements for collecting and publi...
Cultural Property: Protection of Iraqi and Syrian Antiquities
GAO-16-673: Published: Aug 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 2016.
U.S. agencies and the Smithsonian Institution (Smithsonian) have undertaken five types of activities to protect Iraqi and Syrian cultural property since 2011, which include awareness raising, information sharing, law enforcement, overseas capacity building, and destruction prevention. For example, the Department of Homeland Security reported coordinating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation an...
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: U.S. Assistance to Combat This Harmful Practice Abroad Is Limited
GAO-16-485: Published: Apr 27, 2016. Publicly Released: May 19, 2016.
U.S. and United Nations (UN) studies since 2010 have identified a variety of factors contributing to the persistence of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). In many communities where FGM/C is prevalent, FGM/C is an influential social norm that ensures social acceptance and is commonly perceived as a religious obligation. In addition, medicalization of the practice— when it is performed by...
Security Assistance: Better Records Management and More Reporting Needed on Presidential Drawdowns
GAO-16-291: Published: Apr 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 2016.
Drawdown proposals to provide U.S. assistance for an international crisis are typically developed through an interagency process led by the Departments of State (State) and Defense (DOD), and involving the National Security Council and the Executive Office of the President. State and DOD work with other agencies to determine whether to use a drawdown authority and identify the assistance to be pro...
Nuclear Nonproliferation: Preliminary Observations on IAEA's Role in Verifying the Iran Agreement
GAO-16-417: Published: Feb 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 2016.
As outlined in the JCPOA, IAEA was asked to verify Iran's implementation of a range of nuclear-related commitments, and IAEA uses its authorities and conducts additional verification activities to do so, according to IAEA. Iran's commitments include limits on uranium enrichment levels and enriched uranium inventories. GAO's preliminary observations indicate that IAEA plans to verify Iran's impleme...
U.S. Border Communities: Ongoing DOT Efforts Could Help Address Impacts of International Freight Rail
GAO-16-274: Published: Jan 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 28, 2016.
Factors such as inspections and crew changes affect freight rail movements in the four U.S. border port of entry (POE) communities GAO visited, which can result in blocked highway-rail grade crossings. Federal agencies and others have taken actions to expedite rail in these communities. As part of its mission to safeguard the border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) scans inbound rail cars...