Image

Open Recommendations

Democracy Assistance: State Should Improve Information Sharing with Embassies

GAO-20-173
Jan 28, 2020
Show
1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of State The Secretary of State should direct the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor to develop a mechanism to facilitate the active sharing of information about democracy assistance projects between DRL and relevant staff at embassies.
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

U.S. Assistance to Central America: Department of State Should Establish a Comprehensive Plan to Assess Progress toward Prosperity, Governance, and Security

GAO-19-590
Oct 28, 2019
Show
1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of State The Secretary of State, working with the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, should collaborate with the Departments of Defense and Agriculture and other Departments as necessary, to develop a comprehensive approach to the monitoring and evaluation of projects that directly support the objectives of prosperity, governance, and security, and incorporate this approach into the Strategy monitoring and evaluation plan.
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Foreign Military Sales: DOD Should Strengthen Oversight of Its Growing Transportation Account Balances

GAO-19-678
Sep 24, 2019
Show
10 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Director of DSCA clarify internal guidance for daily account reviews by specifying criteria for the level (such as percentage or dollar amount) of change in transportation account balances that would require DSCA to contact DFAS for further examination. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

In DSCA's letter responding to this report, DSCA concurred with this recommendation and identified plans to address it, such as to establish a percentage threshold for monitoring daily account balance changes. We will monitor DSCA's implementation of this recommendation.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Director of DSCA establish a methodology to calculate a target range, with desired upper and lower bounds, for FMS transportation account balances that could be used to better inform DSCA's account reviews. (Recommendation 2)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

In DSCA's letter responding to this report, DSCA concurred with this recommendation and identified plans to address it, such as to create internal guidance for calculating upper and lower bounds and to monitor the accounts against them. We will monitor DSCA's implementation of this recommendation.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Director of DSCA modify the internal guidance for the annual review process to include the specific steps DSCA officials should take in preparing the annual report, including ensuring that they incorporate rigorous analysis into the annual reports. (Recommendation 3)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

In DSCA's letter responding to this report, DSCA concurred with this recommendation and identified plans to address it, such as to update internal guidance with specific criteria for measuring the health of the accounts and to perform rigorous analysis of historical account data as part of its annual review process. We will monitor DSCA's implementation of this recommendation.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Director of DSCA develop internal guidance related to the redistribution of funds between the FMS trust fund fee accounts. Such internal guidance could include criteria for when to consider redistributing funds between accounts and for when to return those funds, how to analyze the amount of any redistributions needed, and how to clearly report any redistributions to DSCA management. (Recommendation 4)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

In DSCA's letter responding to this report, DSCA concurred with this recommendation and identified plans to address it, such as to update internal guidance with specific criteria and analysis steps to follow when making determinations about redistributing funds between the FMS trust fund fee accounts. We will monitor DSCA's implementation of this recommendation.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Director of DSCA assess whether funds redistributed from the administrative account to the transportation account should be moved back to the FMS administrative account and document this decision. If the Director of DSCA determines that the funds should be moved back to the FMS administrative account, the Director should ensure the movement of funds in accordance with this decision. (Recommendation 5)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

In DSCA's letter responding to this report, DSCA concurred with this recommendation and explained certain steps DSCA has already taken in response. In particular, DSCA has completed an assessment of the health of the main FMS transportation account sufficient to determine that it plans to move the redistributed funds back to the FMS administrative account and DSCA has taken initial steps to move those funds. We will continue to monitor DSCA's implementation of this recommendation.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Director of DSCA develop internal guidance for the steps that DSCA, in combination with DFAS, should undertake when a Building Partner Capacity-specific transportation account closes to help ensure that any remaining unused funds are transferred to the miscellaneous receipts of the U.S. Treasury in accordance with DOD officials' stated intention to do so. (Recommendation 6)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

In DSCA's letter responding to this report, DSCA concurred with this recommendation and identified plans to address it, such as to develop guidance for DFAS to follow when Building Partner Capacity-specific transportation accounts close to ensure any remaining funds are transferred to the miscellaneous receipts of the U.S. Treasury. We will monitor DSCA's implementation of this recommendation.

Foreign Assistance: State Department Should Take Steps to Improve Timeliness of Required Budgetary Reporting

GAO-19-600
Sep 09, 2019
Show
3 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of State The Secretary of State should ensure that the Director of State's Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources conducts a review of the Section 653(a) process to identify process steps that can be streamlined or eliminated and determine the time frame needed to prepare the annual Section 653(a) report. If State determines that the time frame exceeds 30 days, the office should coordinate with other appropriate officials to submit a legislative proposal to Congress to extend the mandated time frame for submitting Section 653(a) reports. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

State indicated in their letter commenting on GAO-19-600 that they concurred with this recommendation. In their comments, State said they would determine a reasonable time frame for completing the report and will coordinate with appropriate officials regarding a potential legislative proposal to Congress.
Department of State The Secretary of State should ensure that the Director of State's Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources improves the data collection from the many sources contributing to the Section 653(a) reports, such as by enhancing their data information systems. (Recommendation 2)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

State indicated in their letter commenting on GAO-19-600 that they concurred with this recommendation. In their comments, State said they are taking steps to modify their Foreign Assistance Coordination and Tracking System database to improve the collection of relevant data.
Department of State The Secretary of State should develop a plan to address vacancies within State's Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources, consulting with the USAID Administrator as appropriate. (Recommendation 3)
Open

Recommendation status is Open.

State indicated in their letter commenting on GAO-19-600 that they concurred with this recommendation. In their comments, State said they are developing a plan in coordination with USAID to fill existing vacancies, and are recruiting State and USAID employees to serve on details to fill existing staffing gaps.