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International Affairs (1 - 10 of 47 items) in Past Year
Building Partner Capacity: Inventory of Department of Defense Security Cooperation and Department of State Security Assistance Efforts
GAO-17-255R: Published: Mar 24, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2017.
Since 9/11, the Departments of Defense and State have worked to build the capacity of foreign partners to address security threats—for example, by training and equipping foreign security forces. However, the rapid increase in these efforts has led to questions about whether these agencies are adequately coordinating (and not duplicating) efforts. We conducted an inventory and found 194 DOD and...
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...
Immigration Benefits System: Significant Risks in USCIS's Efforts to Develop its Adjudication and Case Management System
GAO-17-486T: Published: Mar 16, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 2017.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) most recent cost and schedule baseline, approved in April 2015, indicates that its Transformation Program will cost up to $3.1 billion and be fully deployed no later than March 2019. This is an increase of approximately $1 billion with a delay of more than 4 years from its initial July 2011 acquisition program baseline. In addition, the progra...
Government Procurement: United States Reported Opening More Opportunities to Foreign Firms Than Other Countries, but Better Data Are Needed
GAO-17-168: Published: Feb 9, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2017.
Under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), the United States has reported opening more procurement covered by the agreement to foreign firms than have other parties to the agreement. For example, U.S. data for 2010—the most recent available—show that the United States reported $837 billion in GPA-covered procurement. This amount is about twice as large...
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...
Contractor Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program: Improvements Needed to Ensure Effective Implementation
GAO-17-227: Published: Mar 2, 2017. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2017.
The Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program (pilot program) provides enhanced legal protections to contractor employees who believe that they have experienced reprisal as a result of disclosing certain wrongdoings. Among other enhancements, the act expanded the persons and entities to which a whistleblower could disclose wrongdoing and identified which office within an agency has responsibility fo...
International Taxation: Information on the Potential Impact on IRS and U.S. Multinationals of Revised International Guidance on Transfer Pricing
GAO-17-103: Published: Jan 27, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 2017.
In 2015, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) issued revised guidelines, including 15 actions to help reduce base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) of multinational enterprises (MNEs). One action focuses on transfer pricing guidance with the intent of aligning MNE profits with the location of economic activity, and preventing corporations from shifting and assigning p...
Cuba: U.S. Policy Changes Increased Engagement with Private Sector, but Agency Information Collection Is Limited
GAO-17-201: Published: Dec 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2017.
View Spanish version of Highlights (PDF, 1 page).What GAO FoundThe Cuban private sector has grown rapidly since 2008 but remains small compared with other economies and faces various constraints. The Cuban private sector includes (1) self-employed entrepreneurs, (2) agricultural cooperatives and other private farmers, and (3) nonagricultural cooperatives. Cuban government data indicate that the pe...