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Highlights

GAO reported on problems resulting from the transfer of authority for commercial work from the Department of State to the Department of Commerce, which created the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS).

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce 1. The Secretaries of State and Commerce should direct Ambassadors at FCS posts to: (1) fully abide by pertinent provisions of the State-Commerce Memorandum of Understanding and accompanying codicil, so that supervision or authority over commercial activities overseas is not delegated below the Deputy Chief of Mission level; and (2) require regular staff meetings, at all levels, between the economic sections and FCS and joint distribution of economic and commercially related cable traffic. This will ensure FCS the necessary level of independence and provide for an adequate interchange of information between FCS and the economic sections.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of State 2. The Secretaries of State and Commerce should direct Ambassadors at FCS posts to: (1) fully abide by pertinent provisions of the State-Commerce Memorandum of Understanding and accompanying codicil, so that supervision or authority over commercial activities overseas is not delegated below the Deputy Chief of Mission level; and (2) require regular staff meetings, at all levels, between the economic sections and FCS and joint distribution of economic and commercially related cable traffic. This will ensure FCS the necessary level of independence and provide for an adequate interchange of information between FCS and the economic sections.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of Commerce 3. The Secretary of Commerce should direct the Under Secretary for International Trade to reduce the level of detail required in the Post Commercial Action Plans in order to improve the post commercial planning process and decrease the administrative burden placed on the officers overseas.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of Commerce 4. The Secretary of Commerce should direct the Assistant Secretary for Trade Development, in conjunction with the Director General of the Commercial Services, to drop the World Traders Data Report program in those countries for which there are suitable alternatives.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.
Department of Commerce 5. The Secretary of Commerce should direct the Assistant Secretary for Trade Development, in conjunction with the Director General of the Commercial Services, to change the Agent/Distributor Service routing system to route requests directly between the district offices and overseas posts, with an information copy of all such correspondence being sent to Commerce headquarters.
Closed - Implemented
Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

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