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 You are in: Bureaus/Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary > Deputy Secretary of State > Former Deputy Secretaries of State > Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage > Remarks > 2003

President's State Department Budget for 2004

Richard L. Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State
Under Secretary for Management Grant S. Green, Jr
Testimony before House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies
Washington, DC
April 3, 2003

As Prepared

Introduction

Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, Grant Green, the Under Secretary of State for Management, and I are pleased to have this opportunity to testify in support of the President’s State Department Budget for Fiscal Year 2004. Indeed, it is always a pleasure to appear before this subcommittee, given your focus on some of our most important priorities at the Department of State.

We appear before you in difficult times. I suspect for all of us, our thoughts are half a world away today, with our military men and women in the field. They are showing tremendous courage and skill, and I have no doubt we will prevail in our military objectives. We are equally certain that those of us who work at the Department of State will honor the hard work and sacrifice of our troops by doing everything we can to secure the peace. As the Members of this subcommittee know, those who serve the Department of State in the foreign and civil service share with our uniformed forces a spirit of dedication and distinction.

Indeed, for our workforce, this is a time of extreme challenges and exciting opportunities. To some extent, life in the foreign service has always been challenging; it is historically and all too frequently a dangerous profession. With the advent of terrorist attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and on our own soil in 2001, however, this has become a particularly dangerous time to be a diplomat. The murder of one of our own, Laurence Foley, in October brought this message home once again to our Department of State family. In addition, in recent weeks, a number of our embassies have served as a focal point in several nations for fear and anguish about current military operations.

As noted, though, this is also an exciting time of opportunity for our diplomatic corps. The fact is that we are standing at an astonishing juncture, where America’s place in the world and the world’s place in America are extremely important and extremely fluid. This nation needs the most talented and committed workforce we can possibly have at the Department of State in such a time.

In order to help attract, shape, and keep that workforce, the President’s budget for Fiscal Year 2004 requests $6.4 billion for the Administration of Foreign Affairs. This budget will help us advance our agenda for strengthening the Department of State’s management infrastructure. In particular, we will continue to increase and improve our staffing, hiring additional people and training them in specific skills and in general leadership and management abilities. We will make sure that they have the tools to be successful in their jobs, including a safe, comfortable, and technologically sound working environment.

As you are aware, in the FY 2003 supplemental, the President is requesting $217.6 million within Commerce, Justice, and State accounts, including $187.1 million for State Department operations for evacuations, emergency response and increased security, and opening a new mission in Iraq. The supplemental also includes $30.5 million for the Broadcasting Board of Governors for increased Iraq and Middle East broadcasting. These supplemental funds are necessary for the near-term support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As Secretary Powell has said, as elected officials, we recognize that we are merely temporary custodians of this institution. We feel some urgency, therefore, to locking in this agenda and the concomitant improvements in our way of doing business at the Department of State.

Traditionally, Department of State leadership has tended to focus on foreign policy itself rather than on the management structures that support policymaking. Secretary Powell’s characterization of himself as the Department of State’s Chief Executive Officer and of the Deputy Secretary as the Chief Operating Officer and his sustained attention to management have brought new focus to management issues.

Indeed, our emphasis on management has only taken on additional importance. This is not just because we must address immediate and growing security requirements, although that is certainly the case, but also because we must to address the full range of requirements that will give the United States the diplomatic infrastructure our people in the field need to do their work.

To be sure we are meeting that full range of requirements, the Department has a strategic planning and budgeting process, which squares our policy priorities with the allocation of our resources. We are continually fine-tuning this process, specifically by clarifying our goals, prioritizing our objectives, and developing measures of success. Such accountability will help us demonstrate clearly to the American public that we are allocating our resources wisely and doing our jobs well and honorably. And it is essential that we do our jobs well, as our fundamental mission is helping to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.

As Chief Operating Officer, the Deputy Secretary has a responsibility to play a key role in making sure this strategic process is operating smoothly. In particular, I am involved directly in ensuring that the Department has clear justifications for the resources requested, and that those resources are used efficiently. This summer, I will again chair the Senior Policy and Resource Reviews to determine our future resource needs based on a review of our progress and performance.

State’s Management Agenda

Our strategic planning and budgeting process is guided by the Secretary of State’s key management priorities, which are:

  • People
  • Security,
  • Technology,
  • Facilities, and
  • The resources that support those priorities.

People

The top priority at the Department of State is our people. For FY 2004, our key goals are to:

  • Improve recruiting, specifically by fully funding the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative to reach adequate staffing levels; and
  • Enhance retention of personnel, specifically by increasing training and career development opportunities for all employees.

The Department’s FY 2004 budget request includes an increase of 399 positions and $97 million to continue support for our Diplomatic Readiness Initiative.

As we indicated, we have a highly skilled and dedicated workforce, and we must manage our operations in a way to attract and retain these talented people.

Over the past decade, hiring shortfalls, inadequate training, and hundreds of unfilled positions have put a great strain on our people. In too many of our offices, meeting mission requirements has meant asking individuals to fill two or three jobs at once. Our managers often have been unable to release employees for training without seriously jeopardizing their missions or offices.

We began to systematically change this equation in 2002 with the three-year Diplomatic Readiness Initiative (DRI). Completing the DRI is one of our highest priorities.

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you and the Members of this subcommittee for your past support of the DRI. We have just started to get the traction we need to have enough people to respond to urgent concerns, such as the war on terrorism. We will need your continued support, however, if we are going to be able to meet our new and changing responsibilities. We have 40 people in Kabul now, for example, whom we had to take out of our existing resources.

The DRI’s three year plan calls for bringing on board 1,158 more foreign affairs professionals so that we can close the large gap in our personnel structure and ease the strain on our people. FY 2004 will complete our three-year drive to increase our staffing, bringing us to a “personnel complement” that will allow our people to get the training they need to do their jobs.

We made impressive gains in the first year of the hiring initiative. We met all our hiring goals, reformed the hiring process, increased interest in careers at the Department of State, and began to lay the groundwork with regard to minority recruitment, which we hope will pay off if we maintain our momentum. We not only hired 360 new employees under DRI, we also continued hiring to attrition and hired almost 600 additional employees in security, information technology, and consular areas . This was a huge increase in hiring – we brought on double the number of junior officers over 2001 – but by increasing and targeting our outreach, we broadened and deepened the talent pool and hired all those new employees without lowering our standards. And we did it faster, decreasing the time it takes to enter the Foreign Service from an average of 27 months to as little as 10 months.

Adequate resources are critical. We dramatically raised public interest in careers at the Department of State by putting more resources into our outreach, our advertising, our number of recruiters, and by adding a new website. These efforts paid off: the numbers of people taking the Foreign Service Written Exam rose from 8,000 in the year 2000 to over 17,000 in September 2002.

We also are making significant progress towards a Foreign Service that is not only talented and committed but is as diverse as we need to be in order to represent America. 36 percent of test takers in September 2002 were minorities, up from 27 percent in 2001.

We also targeted our recruitment to attract skill sets where we traditionally experience deficits. We have, for example, expanded the pool of candidates in such areas as management officers, information technology specialists, office managers, financial management officers, and consular officers.

Our new hires are already out meeting critical visa processing requirements, responding to emerging priorities such as the war on terrorism, and filling critical gaps overseas. In the past year, we were also able to increase training for new hires and leadership and management training for existing personnel, a direct result of higher staffing levels.

We have to continue this hiring momentum if we are to capitalize on the investment we have already made in recruitment and to realize the full gains from these initial successes. When the Secretary asked for funding for an increase in people at the Department, he was clear: the Department needs the tools to transform the way we do business and half measures will not accomplish this.

Recruiting more and better staff will also help us in our efforts to keep our existing, experienced personnel. Training and career development remain important components in the management and retention of our people, but such opportunities will not be available if we only have enough people to do the day-to-day work. We have to have the added strength to respond to crises without leaving gaping holes in our personnel. We have to have enough staff to allow for rotational training.

By emphasizing training and career development, we intend nothing less than to change the organizational culture of the Department. We have taken a number of key steps, including mandatory leadership training for mid-level officers. This year we are initiating a mandatory Senior Executive Threshold Seminar for newly promoted senior Foreign and Civil Service employees. We are strengthening consular training, particularly in the areas of improved visa interviewing skills and border protection. Public Diplomacy training is also being expanded to bolster our ability to not only explain U.S. policy to a foreign audience, but to improve America's image abroad. And to give our officers the communication skills needed for these and other tasks, we are providing even better language training, especially in critical and burgeoning language programs such as Arabic, Persian/Farsi, Dari, and Pashtu.

The Army builds in a cushion to their manpower to allow for training and transit. The Diplomatic Readiness Initiative would begin to give us a small version of that system. We need the kind of mentality that plans for crises, training, and new requirements.

Security

For FY 2004, our key security goals are to:

  • Sustain security readiness as threat levels remain elevated;
  • Strengthen existing programs; and
  • Maintain the flexibility to deal with the increasing threat worldwide.

The Department’s FY 2004 budget request includes $646.7 million for worldwide security upgrades.

The worldwide security upgrade funding continues to support (a) the security enhancements implemented soon after the 1998 embassy bombings and (b) new initiatives to keep current with measures to counter threats. Both the worldwide demand for security personnel and the need to protect our embassies during demonstrations and hostile acts will keep contract guard costs as a necessary and most expensive element of our security program. The largest element of our increase for this account ($36.7 million) includes funding for American contract guards to protect the U.S. embassy in Kabul, where neither local contractors nor infrastructure for hiring loyal guards can meet the needs for critical security currently met by the U.S. Marines.

The perimeter security projects for our embassies and consulates are scheduled for completion in FY 2004. By that time, all posts either will have received upgrades to existing perimeter security systems or will have them underway. All obsolete systems will have been replaced. All embassies and consulates will have upgraded wiring and security power infrastructure to support perimeter access controls, closed circuit television with digital recording, and imminent danger notification systems. This multi-year effort was the most significant overall improvement to our perimeter security systems since the late 1980s. With our FY 2004 request, we will continue similar and equally important work on annexes and other buildings not included in the original program. We also will maintain a lifecycle maintenance and replacement program to protect the upgrade investments we have made over the past four years.

Our efforts are already paying off. We attribute the minimal damage from the June 2002 attack on the American Consulate in Karachi to improved security awareness and training, as well as to significant investments in physical and technical security programs.

One of those key investments has been in the armored vehicle program. As many of the initial deployments begun in 1999 approach the end of their useful lifecycle, there will be unavoidable temporary spikes in requirements in FY 2004 and FY 2005. We will work to “level” these requirements over subsequent years.

The chemical/biological countermeasures program began distributing to all U.S. government personnel in overseas missions 35,000 escape masks, as well as training in the use of these masks. Refresher training has been focused specifically on posts in Near Eastern and South Asian areas to address the threat posed by Iraq. Military-grade chemical/biological suits are being deployed to selected posts in those regions.

Our FY 2004 request includes $4.5 million in response to a U.S. Olympic Committee request for federal agents to provide security support to the government of Greece for the protection of our U.S. athletes at the upcoming Olympics. Although we have not offered this level of support for previous events abroad, we believe that today’s threat environment, among other factors, makes this level of support prudent and necessary.

To improve our capabilities to connect to a variety of interagency databases supporting intelligence and antiterrorism activities and programs, we plan to upgrade the systems and networks that support Diplomatic Security law enforcement and investigative operations. Currently, we often depend on outdated modem communications that are inadequate.

We also are ensuring the security of our buildings and people in the United States. We are reviewing and improving our emergency planning and continue to work with District of Columbia officials to enhance the perimeter security of the Harry S. Truman building.

Even with the considerable improvements we have made to date, there will be times when tragedy still strikes. We will continue to review and understand the roots of such tragedies, as we did in the Accountability Review Boards (ARBs) that followed the bombings of our embassies in 1998. In January, Secretary Powell convened an Accountability Review Board, chaired by former Ambassador Wes Egan, to examine the facts and circumstances surrounding the murder of AID officer Laurence Foley in Jordan last October. In June the Secretary will send Congress a formal response to the recommendations and findings the Board has proposed. Historically, ARBs make an important contribution to the safeguarding of our employees and U.S. interests abroad.

Technology

Our top technology priorities for FY 2204 are:

  • Technology “refresh,” or keeping our modern IT systems current;
  • SMART, the State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset, which will replace the outmoded cable system;
  • IT security, which includes IT systems certification and accreditation, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) deployment, and overall strengthening of our cyber-security program;
  • E-Government, specifically expanding interagency collaboration and on-line services to U.S. citizens, businesses, foreign governments, and publics; and
Capital planning, to enhance and improve our planning and investment control processes to align IT spending more fully with the President's Management Agenda.

The Department’s FY 2004 budget request includes $271 million to support our IT budget initiative.

We are well on the way to providing the hardware and software needed to build, as the Secretary puts it, a state-of-the-art State Department. Our guiding principle, and the driving motivation behind the President’s E-Government initiative and the E-Government Act of 2002, is that business practices should drive every IT project we undertake. We have established an E-Government Program Management Office to reflect this orientation more directly.

We will complete modernization of the Department’s global classified and unclassified IT infrastructure through the successful OpenNet Plus and Classified Connectivity Programs this year. We will systematically refresh those systems to preclude IT obsolescence.

SMART will replace the Department’s outmoded telegram system with a modern, centralized, Internet-like system that integrates all the means through which people exchange information, which will replace today’s cables, emails, Department notices, and memoranda with e-documents. SMART will replace the fragmented processes, systems, and paper and automated documents in use today with a single web-based system.

An important element of information security for our worldwide networks is implementation of the requirements of the National Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (NIACAP) to protect the integrity and reliability of data and reduce the risk that sensitive data will be compromised. Our IT security professionals have increased their review, certification, and accreditation efforts to improve our cyber security profile.

In 2002 we established the e-Diplomacy Office and developed an E-Gov strategy. In 2003, we are making significant progress on OMB-required remedial actions in our E-Gov Improvement Plan. These include improving our capital planning process and documentation, evolving IT Capital Planning Board into an E-Gov Program Board, advancing the development of an “Enterprise Architecture,” expanding training of IT project managers, and developing a plan to assure the security (via a Certification and Accreditation process) of IT Systems.

Last year we brought on line a new application called "Post Profiles" that gives everyone with OpenNet access to essential data about all of our posts. People transferring from one place to another will find a common look and feel. This application is already resulting in improved efficiencies through the Department. It is becoming a “one stop shop” for information about posts, and thus will continue to eliminate the need for ad hoc data calls.

We have a vision to further strengthen the quality of administrative support service delivery at posts abroad and at home. It revolves around business process improvement, customer-centered activity, and performance measurement. It incorporates a commitment to the exploitation of e-government and web-based technologies. We will continue to expand the menu of services and information that can be accessed from the desktop and the links with American businesses for services and supplies needed to conduct our nation’s business around the world.

Technology improvements do not just make work easier for our employees. They relate directly to homeland security, through such activities as visa and passport name checks, increased data sharing with other agencies, border security controls, and services for American citizens abroad.

Facilities

More than 30 U.S. government agencies, including the Department of State, rely on the support platform our 260 diplomatic and consular posts provide.

Our key goals for FY 2004 facilities are to:

  • Provide for State Department employees and the employees of other government agencies the safe and comfortable working environments they deserve overseas and in the United States; and
  • Provide these facilities as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible.

The Department’s FY 2004 budget request includes $1.5 billion for Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance.

Secretary Powell has stated several times before this Congress that he is proud of the job Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) is doing in bringing down the costs of our embassy facilities around the world. The Department of State is carrying out its construction program in a way that maximizes our use of modern technology, state-of-the-art construction techniques, and standardization of products. At the same time, we are careful to operate with sensitivity to the culture of each country in which our facilities are located. Our accomplishments include saving an estimated $63 million in FY 2002 New Embassy Compound (NEC) awards and opening last month new embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. These are attractive, safe, and secure facilities, the kind that we must build for our people everywhere.

In FY 2002, OBO obligated nearly $1.8 billion. This performance represents the highest level of obligations in OBO history – 84% over the previous high in FY 2001. We obligated nearly $700 million for 13 NEC projects alone, and another $152.6 million in Perimeter/Compound Security Upgrades.

It is critical that the United States sustain this level of effort for more than a decade even to replace the most inadequate facilities on our list.

We will continue to upgrade the security of our overseas facilities in FY 2004. The budget request includes $1.5 billion to fund major security-related construction projects and address the major physical security and rehabilitation needs of embassies and consulates around the world. The request includes $761.4 million for construction of secure embassy compounds in seven countries and $128.3 million for construction of a secure new embassy building in Germany.

The budget also initiates a new mechanism to provide financial support for the overseas buildings program and the OBO long-range plan. The budget proposes a Capital Security Cost-Sharing Program that allocates the capital costs of new overseas facilities to all U.S. government agencies. This program will encourage agencies to evaluate their overseas positions carefully and accelerate construction of new embassy compounds. Vital overseas work will continue, of course, but through this initiative, we will encourage more efficient management of personnel and taxpayer funds and we will support the President’s Management Agenda directive to rightsize the official American presence abroad.

An example of the sort of facility we hope to support is the former Department of Defense hospital compound in Frankfurt (known informally as "Creekbed"), the new site for the Consulate General. As you know, the facility, when renovation is complete, will be the new site for Consulate Frankfurt, consolidating operations of many agencies currently scattered throughout Frankfurt at six separate, insecure locations. As such, it will be home to numerous personnel with regional responsibilities throughout Europe, Eurasia, Africa, and the Middle East. Construction remains on schedule.

Supporting Resources

Domestic Infrastructure and Operations
We continue to improve administrative services, enhance quality of work and life for employees, advance the use of technology, and leverage information resources. At the same time, we have faced a broad range of challenges, for example, closure of our central mail facility because of an anthrax attack, stepping up emergency preparedness and enhancing the security of our domestic buildings, and procuring and moving equipment in short order to set up Embassy Kabul.

Vital to improving the quality of work and life for employees is our program for the modern management and renovation of domestic facilities, including the consolidation of office space in Foggy Bottom and multi-year renovation of the Harry S. Truman Building. The security of our domestic facilities became significantly more visible after September 11, and security elements are a major factor in our domestic infrastructure requirements.

Our partnership with the General Services Administration for the new building for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations will provide appropriate security measures, as well as a functional, energy-efficient working environment for Department employees in New York City. The construction of new space in the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center will accommodate additional employees and provide a second permanent daycare center.

Consular Affairs
Consular affairs, while not directly related to how we manage the Department of State and U.S. diplomatic posts, is critical to the Department of State’s work.

September 11 altered the world and the context in which consular work is done at home and abroad. Our first priority remains the protection of U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens traveling, studying and working abroad have always been on the front lines of America's struggles with terror, crime and threats to safety.

Terror and political uncertainty abroad require intensified services to Americans overseas using the best available technology. Our improvements over the coming year include:

  • On-line registration of U.S. citizens;
  • Enhanced crisis management capability;
  • Improved information management to allow us to track how many U.S. citizens abroad are victims of terrorism and other serious crimes such as kidnapping, homicide, rape, assault, and child abuse; and
  • Innovative knowledge management, using modern tools to get user-friendly information and guidance to our consular officers quickly even when they are away from their offices assisting Americans at remote locations.

Our consular work also protects Americans at home in the United States. Continuous improvement of passport and visa programs makes it ever more difficult for terrorists or criminals to operate with forged or altered American passports or visas.

Implementation of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention in 2004 will be a focus of our efforts. We anticipate that the treaty will enter into force for the United States in FY 2004.

All domestic passport facilities now issue the highly secure photodigitized passport, which incorporates printed digital photos and related security devices. The digitized photo makes photo substitution very difficult to do. Photo substitution was formerly the most prevalent form of passport fraud. However, we know that we cannot be complacent, and we continue to explore ways to enhance passport security. We also are now providing these more secure passports to Americans abroad: last year we transferred all but emergency passport production to the United States. Most overseas Americans appear to understand the security benefits of the new procedures, even though they increase the amount of time that applicants abroad must wait to receive a passport. We recently successfully completed pilot testing of electronic transfer of passport data between two posts and a domestic passport center. This electronic data transfer process will be available at all posts in 2003 and will significantly reduce the wait time for applicants overseas.

Workload projections show that yearly passport demand could rise to more than 9 million by 2006 and 2007. This exceeds the production capacity of our existing infrastructure. In order to handle this workload, we are developing plans to construct and equip a passport megacenter in the western United States.

We are continuing through FY 2004 a project to scan as quickly as possible into our digital passport application database (PRISM) 32 million passport applications from 1994 to 1999. The scanning of these applications for older but still valid passports will make data and images of valid passport holders available via our intranet to consular offices worldwide. We also plan to transfer passport data and photos electronically to U.S. ports of entry where the information will be used to verify the authenticity of passports and the identity of the passport bearer.

Last year, we completed development of the Consular Lost and Stolen Passport System (CLASP), an electronic database that serves as the central repository for information regarding lost or stolen United States passports. All overseas posts and domestic passport agencies have access to CLASP. We are sharing CLASP data with the U.S. Customs Service's Treasury Enforcement Communication System (TECS) for use at ports of entry and anticipate sharing it with the law enforcement community by next year.

We have underway the worldwide deployment of the more secure Lincoln visa, a redesigned Automated Cash Register System, a new Back-Up Namecheck system featuring real-time update of local lookout files from the central database, and a new Nonimmigrant Visa release expanding electronic capture of data elements. Within the next year, we plan to deploy a reengineered and machine-readable immigrant visa with electronic photo and a totally reengineered American Citizens Services system.

As you know, fees fund a significant portion of our consular operations. The budget request includes $736 million in MRV fees to fund the Border Security Program.

Educational and Cultural Exchanges
The President’s budget request for the Educational and Cultural Exchanges (ECE) account includes $100 million to cover the shift of exchange programs previously funded under the FREEDOM Support Act and SEED Act as part of the Foreign Assistance appropriation. We urge the Subcommittee to make this full amount available for programs that are helping train the next generation of leaders in Eurasia and southeastern Europe. These educational, visitor and citizen exchange activities are one of the best investments we can make in the future stability and democratic orientation of the Balkans and the former Soviet Union.

The President’s Management Agenda

Secretary Powell’s management agenda for the Department is entirely consistent with the President’s overall Management Agenda for the U.S. government. Moreover, the Secretary is committed personally and professionally to advancing the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) and improving the Department’s scorecard on all elements of the PMA. The Under Secretary for Management serves as the Secretary’s representative to the President’s Management Council, and meets monthly with the representatives from other agencies to review progress.

We would like to give you a brief status report on where the Department of State stands on each of the Agenda’s five government-wide initiatives.

Strategic Management of Human Capital
Our centerpiece program in the Human Capital area is, of course, the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative, which we discussed earlier. We are aiming, through our PMA efforts, to establish processes that will allow HR managers to make better decisions and establish accountability so results can be measured.

Competitive Sourcing
We have established an Executive Steering Committee on competitive sourcing, and hired a Competitive Sourcing Program Manager to develop systematic procedures and facilitate the completion of public-private competitions. We have initiated feasibility studies for printing and reproduction services and functions of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations.

Expanded E-Government
Three accomplishments worth citing: We have reached agreement with OMB on the objectives for a credible Enterprise Architecture, and on our requirements for collaboration with USAID. We have overhauled our information technology capital planning process, and will continue improving our capital planning documents. And, we have defined a new information security program and expect near-term progress in the “certification and accreditation” process.

Some specific E-Government initiatives include electronic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and responses, use of e-Signatures for Privacy Act requests, electronic forms submissions, and access to agency information via the Internet website. We are working to develop and implement a clear, unequivocal framework of standards and procedures for the integrity, confidentiality, accountability and availability of electronic records.

Improved Financial Management
We have resolved all of our material weaknesses, except for the information systems security issues that impact both this initiative and E-Government. We are exploring collaboration with USAID on financial systems.

Budget and performance integration
We have made good progress on improving various planning documents and processes:

  • We are preparing a joint State-USAID strategic plan for FY 2004 – 2009.
We have restructured the FY 2004 Performance Plan to better convey the linkages among policy priorities, budgetary decisions, and program outcomes.
The FY 2002 Performance Report has also been restructured with key improvements that better evaluate results.
The automation of the MPP and BPP submission processes allows for better collection of information, coordination, and performance tracking. With more streamlined processes, the Department is now better equipped to focus its resources on the highest policy priorities.

Rationalizing Overseas Presence
In addition to the five major initiatives, there are a number of government-wide initiatives involving selected agencies. The most important of these, from our perspective, is the interagency effort led by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to rationalize overseas presence. This includes regionalization and rightsizing, where the Administration is working to improve the link between assignment of personnel to overseas posts with mission, funding, and embassy construction planning. OMB has established an interagency working group to pursue this initiative.

The Department of State is committed to working with OMB to ensure the initiative is implemented in a successful manner.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has proposed a definition of rightsizing with which the Administration agrees:

Rightsizing [is] aligning the number and location of staff assigned overseas with foreign policy priorities and security and other constraints. Rightsizing may result in the addition or reduction of staff, or a change in the mix of staff at a given embassy or consulate. (GAO-02-780 Overseas Presence: Framework for Assessing Embassy Staff Levels Can Support Rightsizing Initiatives, p. 1, July 2002)

Conclusion

The dedication and diligence of our people, working and living in what are often very difficult and dangerous circumstances, are truly remarkable. Secretary Powell is committed to giving these remarkable people the tools they need to get the job done. That commitment only meets a bare minimum, however. Ultimately, we want a workforce that sees fitting rewards for the level of commitment they show to public service. With the support of this subcommittee, we believe that the management initiatives we have outlined will help rectify past neglect and support our personnel in the manner they earn and deserve.

Mr. Chairman, we look forward to working with you as we address the challenges facing the Department of State. We would be happy to answer any questions you and the other members of the subcommittee have on our budget request and our plans.


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