State Department:

Security Issues Related to Selected Employees

NSIAD-89-86: Published: Dec 28, 1988. Publicly Released: Feb 2, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) the appropriateness of the Department of State's use of foreign national employees to conduct security-related investigations at U.S. missions overseas; and (2) personnel security at State's diplomatic courier center.

GAO found that State: (1) regularly used foreign investigators to assist regional security officers in conducting background investigations of foreign national employees in order to cut costs and ensure continuity; (2) believes that foreign investigators are better able to obtain needed information because of their ability to deal with local officials, analyze local records, and understand languages and local customs; (3) has had difficulties in obtaining and retaining cleared personnel to work in the mail room; and (4) restricted uncleared personnel from classified operations and instituted some initiatives to improve security in its mail operation and minimize the impact of failed security reviews.

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