Briefing on FY 2002 International Affairs BudgetRichard Boucher, Spokesman
James L. Millette, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Budget and Planning; Joseph W. Bowab, Acting Director for the Office of Resources, Plans and Policy
On-the-Record Briefing on the President's FY 2002 International Affairs Budget
March 12, 2001
MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to a briefing on the State Department budget for 2002, the international affairs budget request that the President is making. Our briefers today will be on the record, and obviously on camera as well. The briefers are Mr. Joseph W. Bowab, the Acting Director of the Office of Resources, Plans and Policy; and Mr. James L. Millette, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Budget and Planning. They will have brief opening remarks, and then they will be glad to respond to questions.
Gentlemen, it's all yours.
MR. MILLETTE: Hi, I'm Jim Millette. I handle essentially the operating side of the Department's resources. And to just give you a flavor of where the resources are in that part, it's those that you would normally see in the Commerce-Justice-State appropriations bill.
One, there is four major priorities I would point out. The first one is the hiring of people to handle our priority staffing needs and to enhance the retention and training of folks. We'll be hiring about 360 people. We have an initiative for continued security enhancements. We'll be hiring about 186 security professionals. And we'll be doing some replacement of FSN system administrators overseas.
The second priority is information technology. In that area, we have two major priorities, one being classified LAN connectivity around the world, the second one being Internet connectivity at everyone's desktop. So that we'll be seeking in the vicinity of $273 million in increases to make those two priorities become a reality.
The third thing is something you have probably seen in the blueprint, which was a reference of $1.3 billion number for security. That is essentially made up of three major chunks of money: $665 million for the construction of secure embassies; $211 million for the continuation of our perimeter security program; and $424 million for security readiness around the world, which is again a continuation of a program we had going.
The final issue to be addressed is a $60 million increase to improve the infrastructure of our embassies around the world, which is your meat-and-potatoes replacement of machinery and maintenance around our embassies.
So those are the major priorities on the operating side.
MR. BOWAB: Hi, I'm Joe Bowab, and I handle most of the foreign assistance programs within the Department. As Richard said about ten days ago, and as there are many questions involved in the blueprint, this budget totals about $23.9 billion. It's a $1.2 billion increase over this year's appropriated level.
On the foreign assistance side of the house, what we are looking at are mainly increases to support an Andean initiative strategy, which is basically a follow-on to Plan Colombia; increased funding on the military side of the house, basically for Israel, Partnership for Peace countries in Europe, some Asian countries, and Latin America; increase for HIV-AIDS funding, mainly in Africa and Asia; increases for trafficking in women; and basic education for children.
That's the majority of the increases on the foreign assistance side of the house, and I think Jim and I are now prepared to answer any questions you may have on any part of the sheets that you have in front of you concerning accounts.
QUESTION: You talked about some of the increases in foreign assistance were going to be next year -- you've requested. Can you talk about countries that might be -- you've requested less international aid for? Cuts?
MR. BOWAB: Basically, we're not going to discuss any country allocations, because we haven't made final determinations on country allocations. So anything below the sub-account level that you see in front of you country-wise, final decisions have not been made on that. And as you know, shortly, on April 3rd, the President will be rolling out his policy budget. And at that point in time, we will also roll out the international affairs budget, which will have complete breakouts to the sub-account levels, including all bilateral and multilateral assistance.
QUESTION: You gave us the total for the budget, but what's the total for foreign assistance?
MR. BOWAB: Foreign assistance total? If you look right on the sheet that you have in front of you, it should be $15.16 billion for foreign assistance.
QUESTION: That's the second line? Foreign operations?
MR. BOWAB: Yes.
QUESTION: You said something about Andean support. Plan Colombia seems to peter out. I don't see any replacement for that. Maybe I can't see the right place, but where is that?
MR. BOWAB: If you look at the line just above Plan Colombia, you will see International Narcotics Control. You will see a rather large increase there. In the next two weeks, we will be further breaking that number down into an Andean narcotics initiative number, and a base number for counter-narcotics and crime.
QUESTION: And so that includes all money, including Colombia, not just other Andean countries but Colombia and --
MR. BOWAB: That includes Colombia, plus the other Andean countries.
QUESTION: Are there other accounts that also will be going towards the Andean strategy?
MR. BOWAB: Yes. We haven't finalized the other accounts, but accounts such as the Economic Support Fund, the Development Assistance Account. We are also looking at programs to support alternative development programs in the region.
QUESTION: On the second page -- this is something that has always puzzled me -- we talk about Commerce, Justice and State. But all of it is State; am I right? Where do Justice and Commerce come in?
MR. MILLETTE: No, we present -- the Secretary is just responsible for the State chapter. The other agencies are responsible for their parts of the bill.
QUESTION: Okay, gotcha.
QUESTION: Can I ask you about the hiring numbers again? You said it was 360 folks would be hired. Does that include the 186 security professionals?
MR. MILLETTE: No, that's in addition.
QUESTION: So the 360 are what kind of people, then?
MR. MILLETTE: They are what we would call our general hiring, both Civil and Foreign Service, to address current shortfalls in hiring, and need to have enough people and float to train them.
QUESTION: Your shortage was about 700, I think the estimate was, so this will leave you with a shortage of what?
MR. MILLETTE: This is an initial tranche that we would hope to be a multi-year program.
QUESTION: So the 700 is just Foreign Service, so the 360 is both Foreign Service and Civil Service?
MR. MILLETTE: Yes.
QUESTION: So this takes you somewhere less than half way where you're going?
MR. MILLETTE: I think some of the things that the DG has put out says there is a shortfall overall for the Department in the vicinity of 1,100. This, in total, addresses about a third. We have not come up with -- we haven't gotten to the level of saying whether these are -- what level are Foreign, what level are Civil. It's addressing an overall shortfall, and we'll get to the details later on as we refine the budget.
QUESTION: And how much of a training float does this give you, then?
MR. MILLETTE: This particular piece of it? I couldn't tell you that. I mean, it's a third of what the overall requirement is stated to be.
QUESTION: One of the largest increases is in ongoing operations for diplomatic and consular programs issues, about -- it looks like about more than 20 percent.
MR. MILLETTE: It's about 17 percent.
QUESTION: Perhaps you've already said this, but what accounts would that increase? And presumably, this is the part that people who work in the State Department are most interested in.
MR. MILLETTE: Right. Of everything I stated, that's where the people would be -- that's the account that people would be hired, and some of the information technology. We have the capital investment fund that pays for one directly, but there is also base resources and DNCP for ongoing operations of information technology. So it's -- and the overseas infrastructure would be paid for out of that account, as well.
QUESTION: In the 273 million that you talked about for information technology, you said the first one was for classified something or other?
MR. MILLETTE: Classified LAN connectivity around the world.
QUESTION: Classified what?
MR. MILLETTE: LAN, local area network. It's so we can communicate --
QUESTION: Oh, LAN. I thought you said land. And the second part was to make Internet available at all desks?
MR. MILLETTE: Desktop, right. The unclassified Internet.
QUESTION: At overseas and missions --
MR. MILLETTE: And domestic, as well.
QUESTION: Right. And that's only going to cost $273 million?
MR. MILLETTE: We expect that it will take us about two years to complete both programs. I think we will get much closer on the unclassified side in the first year, pretty much hoping to come close to completing that program. But the classified program, given the nature of tempested equipment and the lag to get out, that will take two years.
QUESTION: Do you guys have any idea how many people are without that kind of access, especially the Internet access, right now? How many desks are you talking about?
MR. MILLETTE: That's a difficult question to answer because at every desktop right now we have Internet email capability, but it's not the full browsing capability and that's much more limited. We're in the process of piloting right now where that one system would be combined -- it's called an OpenNet Plus where we could do that. It's being tested right now, so then it's moving that out across the world.
QUESTION: Wait. Where is that 273 contained in?
MR. MILLETTE: There is an appropriation called Capital Investment Fund. It's on the second page. The charts --
QUESTION: That one is 210.
MR. MILLETTE: 210, right. To that, we collect about $60-odd million in expedited passport fees, which we dedicate to that same activity. So it's not appropriated.
QUESTION: Expedited passport fees? The 50 bucks you folks nail people with when they need their passport overnight?
MR. MILLETTE: Right, exactly. That goes to paying for information technology.
QUESTION: Okay. So you're sure that that many people are going to need a passport yesterday, this coming year?
MR. MILLETTE: It's based on expectations.
QUESTION: I am from Tusan Daily, South Korean newspaper. Did you request the budget for heavy oil to North Korea? If so, and how much?
MR. BOWAB: Part of the budget submission will include heavy fuel oil payments under the Agreed Framework. I can't tell you exactly the dollar amount, but it is included in the budget. It's in the Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, De-mining and Related Programs Account. It's on your sheet of paper.
QUESTION: And then comparing to previous years, the amount will become smaller or larger?
MR. BOWAB: Because of the price of heavy fuel at this time, we would expect that the amount would be a little bit higher. As you know, heavy fuel oil has risen dramatically over the past year -- the cost -- and so we would expect the price to be higher to meet the 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil that we provide under the Agreed Framework.
QUESTION: But you can't say the exact --
MR. BOWAB: No, I can't say the exact number at this time.
QUESTION: Because you don't remember the --
MR. BOWAB: No, I remember. Because on April 3rd we will be providing all of the exact numbers at the sub-account level.
QUESTION: Okay, thank you.
QUESTION: Can you explain -- I still don't understand this thing with Plan Colombia. Why does Plan Colombia go to zero, and this money gets put into the line above it?
MR. BOWAB: Plan Colombia was appropriated as a separate line, as an emergency supplemental, and it was appropriated for a specific purpose. The Andean Initiative, which is to address something larger in the region than Plan Colombia, we will request a separate line that you do not see at this point in time, because we haven't decided on the exact funding level for it. But on April 3rd, you will see a separate line item very similar to Plan Colombia, and it will be entitled the Andean Initiative.
QUESTION: Okay. So the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement line right now is not only the Andean project; it's also other things as well?
MR. BOWAB: No, it's the global requirement for counter-narcotics and crime, of which the Andean Initiative is part of that number.
QUESTION: Well, is that -- do you know how much -- I mean, how much of a chunk is it going to be, about?
MR. BOWAB: It's going to be a fairly large chunk, I think probably -- I think probably that the Secretary will announce that number in front of the Senate Budget Committee this week.
QUESTION: That number would be included in the 900 and some million -- some billion -- million?
MR. BOWAB: Yes, that number is inclusive of the 948.
QUESTION: So it's a substantial cut in that activity since this present fiscal year, right?
MR. BOWAB: A substantial cut in what way?
QUESTION: Well, you had 1 billion for Plan Colombia and 304 million for International Narcotics; that comes out to $1.3 billion. And you've got $948 million in the request, which would be about a 30 percent cut.
MR. BOWAB: But if you look at the 1.3 that's under the 2000 column, the billion dollars was appropriated at the end of Fiscal Year 2000. So if you look at spreading the billion dollars over 2000 and 2001, it's probably somewhere on par with what we are doing right now, or maybe a little bit higher.
QUESTION: Perhaps I've lost track of this, but do you now consider all your arrears to the United Nations to be paid? Because you haven't allocated anything to pay arrears. I thought there was still some that's not --
MR. BOWAB: There's the Helms-Biden agreement on arrears, and we are seeking the ability to come forward and pay those. But in there, there is a contested arrears amount, which is defined by the legislation. So that hasn't all been paid, per se, but there is the agreement where they have changed the assessments down to 22 percent, which will affect the peacekeeping, and the peacekeeping rate was part of the deal.
Until that is all addressed, we are not able to pay this -- we have paid the first tranche on arrears. We need to pay the second tranche, pending the approval of the legislation to allow us to do that.
QUESTION: So you're not making any contingency provision for that?
MR. BOWAB: Not in this budget, no.
QUESTION: The Capital Investment Fund, the 210 million, is that all information technology or are there other things in there as well?
MR. MILLETTE: It's all information technology.
QUESTION: And what -- for instance, this year is the $97 million you had. What kind of things were paid for out of that?
MR. MILLETTE: Same thing. It's all -- that is the definition of what we can -- we use. What that account is for is for information technology.
QUESTION: Okay, all right. And the increase in your ongoing operations, which is about -- what, something under $500 million -- is that mostly for new hiring?
MR. MILLETTE: No, no, it's a variety of things that handles hiring, rebuilding infrastructure. There's over -- there's about $130-50 million that just goes for maintaining current services, inflationary aspects around the world. So it's all that. And that detail will be laid out in the budget when we get to it.
QUESTION: But roughly, the new hiring costs you about how much?
MR. MILLETTE: Well, I don't have that with me, because you can't -- it's just not the salaries of the people; it's training, it's -- and what we'll have is a separate budget unit in the budget that will break that out separately so you'll see what is coming in for the salaries, what's for the training, what's for the security clearances. We need to bring these people in there much quicker than we have. It's a high priority of the human resource bureau is to shorten the time it takes us to get people on board. So it's taking all those issues into account.
QUESTION: And that 360 takes you above attrition?
MR. MILLETTE: That, by definition, is all above attrition. We would still hire -- on an annual basis, it's somewhere in the vicinity of 700 people attrit out of the Department, so we'll be replacing that 700, plus this 360.
QUESTION: Could you explain a little bit under Other State Department Programs with some big changes in representational allowances, a decrease in protection of foreign missions and officials? That's a little confusing.
MR. MILLETTE: Yes, the representation you see is -- it's $9 million worldwide, which covers 260 posts. A number of -- it's really, when you break that down among all posts, it's miniscule money. That appropriation has been held constant for over ten years, so it's just -- it's a high morale issue when you have five to seven people at a minimum amount of posts who have representational responsibilities. So it's not a significant increase. It's a number -- it's significant in terms of the total dollars, but when you break it out into the many pieces around the world, it's not significant.
The $5 million reduction in the Protection of Foreign Missions was it's simply an unrequested earmark from the prior year for Seattle WTO costs that were earmarked in there that were no longer required.
QUESTION: And how about the next line: a huge increase in emergencies?
MR. MILLETTE: The Emergencies and Diplomatic and Consular is an appropriation that we use to pay for a number of items -- evacuations around the world during times of trouble. It pays for rewards to -- for terrorist acts and those kinds of things. And this is simply a no-year account that's been, given all the activity the other past couple of years, that has been bled pretty low, so we're trying to build it up to a reasonable level again.
QUESTION: Optimistic on the awards program, right. That would be good.
QUESTION: Excuse me, can you give us details about assistance programs for Russia and New Independent States?
MR. BOWAB: The funding lines under the Freedom Support Act are the same as what we discussed previously. At the sub-account level, final decisions have not been made for bilateral assistance. Those decisions will be made between now and April 3rd, and they will appear in the detailed budget rollout that we do on April 3rd. But we just can't speak specific bilateral country funding levels at this time.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) programs? And can you say about HIV programs?
MR. BOWAB: Yes. As the Secretary has said on numerous occasions, we are looking at increasing HIV programs, mainly in Africa and Asia. Right now, we are looking at somewhere around a 10 percent increase in funding for those programs. But we are still working out the particulars of the programs with USAID. Those particulars will appear in the April 3rd detailed rollout.
QUESTION: How much was the funding for HIV last year?
MR. BOWAB: It was $300 million.
QUESTION: Is that in addition to funding earmarked for HIV programs in other, you know, kind of development areas?
MR. BOWAB: What do you mean by "earmarks" in other development areas?
QUESTION: Well, I mean, you have money -- I'm assuming, because it's not itemized -- but specifically for HIV programs, and that there are other development programs, let's say, in Africa or Asia or development of a country, which would kind of eliminate, you know, some of the causes of HIV?
MR. BOWAB: Well, I mean, specifically it is a program that we address specifically in the budget so there won't be, per se, other programs that we are looking to fund HIV-AIDS out of.
QUESTION: What are Transition Initiatives?
MR. BOWAB: There is an office at USAID called Office of Transition Initiatives, OTI that it's referred to. It is an office at USAID that does assistance, normally after the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance has been in a country. For example, a recent example would be El Salvador, where you initially have to go in quickly, and then the follow-on would come out of the Transition Initiatives Office.
QUESTION: I've got two requests. Going back to Terri's thing about representational -- what is this, for entertainment? This is like booze and hors d'oeuvre money?
MR. BOWAB: Now, this is -- well, it's -- when someone is at post, there are authorities for people who have representation responsibilities to meet with their counterparts, to go out and have a lunch with counterparts and that kind of thing.
QUESTION: Okay, all right. And the second thing is, did the re-implementation of the Mexico City language cause any changes to the International Organization budget, or is that not something that's covered in this?
MR. BOWAB: No, it did not.
MR. BOWAB: The Mexico City language did not affect our funding that we provide under the International Organization programs.
QUESTION: Okay, does that mean, then, that no one is going to get -- no one is going to lose any US funding out there?
MR. BOWAB: No, no one is going to lose funding.
QUESTION: Well, where -- you said no one's going to lose money, but somebody might lose some money, but you'll find somebody else to take the money in their place; is that right? Maybe you should clarify that.
MR. BOWAB: Yes. I mean, I don't have all of the specific background. I believe when we looked at everything for both '01 and '02, that there were no organizations that we would provide money with that would be affected.
QUESTION: I know you don't want to talk about the specific country lines, but you mentioned that there would be some increase for aid to Israel. Is this for border security? Is this what they asked for last year?
MR. BOWAB: No, this is the agreement that we have with the Government of Israel to increase their military assistance $60 million annually to address their cashflow financing requirements.
QUESTION: But there's -- that's accompanied by a decrease in economic assistance, right?
MR. BOWAB: Yes, it is.
QUESTION: Okay. So is there going to be an end of -- is there going to be an increase in aid to Israel this year overall, if you add it all together?
MR. BOWAB: No. Right now, it will be the agreed-upon levels that we have with the Government of Israel. So they will gain $60 million in military assistance, and they will lose $120 million in economic support assistance.
QUESTION: And is there any other -- there's no other additional assistance at this point that they -- and it's not going to be in this budget?
MR. BOWAB: Not at this time, no.
QUESTION: Not at this time.
QUESTION: Thank you.
Released on March 12, 2001