The State Department suffers from management problems including overlapping or dispersed authority and “inexperienced staff, insufficient training, staffing gaps, and frequent turnover” in its workforce, an IG report has said.
The report was prepared for top management for compliance with the April OMB memo on reforming the government and reducing the workforce; although the department already has provided its reform plan to OMB, the IG offered suggestions as implementation work continues and the department is engaged in an overall redesign effort.
The IG pointed to its past work criticizing organizational issues, for example the existence of two separate bureaus with responsibility for information security that both report to the same undersecretary but do not coordinate with each other. It cited a similar lack of coordination among multiple entities with roles in the physical security of diplomatic facilities and in initiating security clearances.
It said the problems it cited regarding staff cut across functional areas and geographic regions, with results including dissatisfaction among Foreign Service officers with opportunities to improve their professional skills, and insufficient oversight of complex grants and contracts, particularly those in areas of conflict of extreme hardship.
Other areas needing more management attention, it said, include oversight and delivery of foreign assistance programs; improving the use and tracking of data to inform policy decisions; and the need for leadership on long-term security program improvements involving physical security, training, and intelligence sharing.