Foreign Assistance:

Meeting the Training Needs of Police in New Democracies

NSIAD-93-109: Published: Jan 21, 1993. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed U.S. assistance to foreign law enforcement agencies in Central and Eastern Europe, focusing on: (1) whether the needs of the police forces in the region have been adequately assessed; (2) whether the assistance to police forces directly supported democracy-building initiatives; and (3) whether the executive branch has developed a plan to provide police training in support of consolidating democratic values in this region.

GAO found that: (1) the Department of State has not thoroughly assessed the specific training and assistance needs of police forces in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union; (2) the United States has provided some training to police forces in Central and Eastern European countries, but this has been primarily to support U.S. antiterrorism and counternarcotics objectives; (3) the Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program provided most U.S. police assistance to Central and Eastern Europe; (4) the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) is the only U.S. program established specifically to address the developmental and training needs of foreign law enforcement agencies; (5) State has not developed plans to involve ICITAP in law enforcement assistance to Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union; and (6) the Department of Justice has recently requested foreign assistance funds from State to provide training to Central and East European police forces in such areas as money laundering and fraud.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of State announced that it will initiate assistance programs addressing criminal activity in the newly independent states and eastern Europe per congressional direction.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should ensure that assistance to foreign law enforcement entities is given the appropriate priority relative to the other assistance needs of the region.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: To better address police training assistance needs, an Interagency Law Enforcement Working Group was established. The Group, in concert with State and AID overseas missions, assesses police training needs. A fundamental premise is that assistance should be driven by the requirements identified in the field, by the host country as well as the U.S. Embassy.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should adequately assess the assistance needs of the law enforcement entities in each of the countries in the region.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: ICITAP is a member of the Interagency Law Enforcement Working Group and is working with the State Department and other law enforcement agencies to determine how and where ICITAP's expertise can best be utilized to meet U.S. foreign policy goals. To date, ICITAP has initiated activities in the Former Soviet Union, and is exploring activities in Central and Eastern Europe.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should utilize ICITAP to held carry out the law enforcement assistance program in this region, in line with congressional intent.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

 

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