State Department:

Survey of Administrative Issues Affecting Embassies

NSIAD-93-218: Published: Jul 12, 1993. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of State's management of its overseas posts.

GAO found that: (1) there were frequent staffing gaps in key U.S. administrative positions at many embassies; (2) 72 percent of the embassies experienced increased work loads to support non-State agencies; (3) many embassies did not give adequate attention to the formal training needs of U.S. and foreign service national employees; (4) one-third of the embassies reported dissatisfaction with the ability of their financial management systems to provide timely information necessary for making operational and management decisions; (5) deficiencies within the procurement process included the lack of a certified procurement system, lack of training leading to individual warranting of contract officers, weaknesses in the procurement process, and lack of a worldwide procurement database; (6) State identified inadequate rehabilitation and maintenance of real property overseas as a material weakness; and (7) embassies that have received communications, contracting and procurement, budget and fiscal, and personnel services from one or more of State's regional offices were satisfied with the timeliness and quality of services.

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