Embassy Blueprints:

Controlling Blueprints and Selecting Contractors for Construction Abroad

NSIAD-87-83: Published: Apr 14, 1987. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO examined: (1) the availability of architectural blueprints of U.S. diplomatic facilities; and (2) the contracting procedures used to obtain construction and architectural and engineering (A/E) firms' services.

At the time of its review, GAO found that, although Department of State regulations required that A/E firms hold an industrial security clearance, 10 of the 16 firms under contract to design communications centers at 49 diplomatic posts did not have such clearance. However, since that time, State has: (1) identified internal control weaknesses in construction documents and site security; (2) established guidelines to develop security procedures for contractors and subcontractors; (3) hired a contractor to develop procedures for handling blueprints; and (4) started screening foreign offerers before releasing copies of blueprints. GAO believes that State is moving aggressively to meet the Defense Industrial Security Program's requirements.

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