State Department:

Facilities in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union

NSIAD-92-284: Published: Sep 22, 1992. Publicly Released: Oct 23, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on State Department actions and plans for new facilities in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, focusing on: (1) progress and costs associated with facility acquisition and renovation; (2) building security, safety measures and differences with State standards; and (3) the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' role in renovations.

GAO found that: (1) State has occupied or leased 13 of 14 embassies, but has not acquired all the necessary embassy staff residences require due to difficulties in finding suitable housing; (2) State is considering acquiring and shipping U.S.-manufactured housing units to several posts; (3) initial cost outlays are expected to be insubstantial due to the lease of structures rather than purchase or construction; (4) estimates for the initial outlay for leasing embassy buildings and housing total $3 million to $6 million per year; (5) renovation cost estimates for 6 of the proposed facilities total $44 million, or approximately $7.3 million per location, and total renovation cost estimates for all 14 locations total $100 million; (6) earthquake prevention and higher transportation costs could increase embassy renovation costs in the Central Asian republics; (7) the 14 embassy buildings selected do not and can not, even including renovation, meet State standards for security, electrical, plumbing, safety, and fire systems; (8) the Corps of Engineers will oversee renovations of the first 6 embassies; and (9) delays in the renovation schedule are expected and involve continued leasing problems, previous tenant evacuation, logistical problems, and harsh winter weather conditions.

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