State Department:

Widespread Management Weaknesses at Overseas Embassies

T-NSIAD-93-17: Published: Jul 13, 1993. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 1993.

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GAO discussed the Department of State's management of its overseas embassies, focusing on existing problems and the status of corrective actions. GAO noted that: (1) some embassies are not implementing recommended procedures for optimizing maintenance resources and most embassies have not prepared annual inspection summary reports; (2) embassies are not fully meeting overseas housing standards; (3) significant personal property management deficiencies continue at many embassies despite some improvement; (4) State continues to have weak internal controls over cashiering, travel advances, accounts receivable, and recoverable medical payments; (5) State's financial management systems are inadequate and corrective actions will not be fully implemented until 1999; (6) embassies rely on and use their own unofficial financial data which have different formats and methodologies due to financial system weaknesses; (7) State's overseas contracting and procurement system continues to have internal control weaknesses although State has made progress in improving its overseas procurement practices; (8) overseas embassies do not consistently follow State security standards for unclassified automated information systems; (9) staff responsible for key administrative functions have not received necessary training; (10) staffing gaps in management positions have reduced the embassies' ability to exercise controls; and (11) some embassies have planned or taken steps to improve its personal property management, but each embassy needs to adopt a formal management improvement program.

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