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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Foreign Service's merit personnel system, focusing on recruitment, appointment, assignment, and promotion of minorities and women.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of State||The Secretary of State should establish numerical goals for hiring and advancement by race, ethnic origin, and gender category.|
|Department of State||The Secretary of State should compile information needed, such as the race, ethnic origin, and gender of applicants for Foreign Service specialist positions, to monitor the implementation and progress of affirmative action efforts.|
|Department of State||The Secretary of State should analyze personnel processes for artificial barriers and eliminate any barriers found. Such analyses should include determinations of: (1) whether the Foreign Service written examination is a valid predictor of success in light of current Foreign Service job requirements; (2) why minorities and women are eliminated at a higher rate than white men by the final review panel process; (3) why women and minorities are disparately assigned to certain work areas; and (4) whether artificial barriers hinder the promotion of minorities and white women in the Foreign Service specialist ranks and the advancement of minorities in the Senior Foreign Service.|