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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2001 > April

Testimony on President's State Department Budget for FY 2002 (as delivered)

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Statement before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary
Washington, DC
April 26, 2001

[As Prepared]

As Delivered

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee for your warm welcome, and thank you, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me to submit my full statement for the record. Let me make a brief opening statement, then I would be more than pleased to take the questions you might have.

I am pleased to appear before you for the first time as Secretary of State and to testify in support of the President's State Department budget for Fiscal Year 2002. This budget, as has been noted, represents a significant increase in the Department's resources for the upcoming fiscal year, and we are very pleased with that. This is a very good start on helping to get the Department ready for the 21st century. But it really is just the first fiscal step in our efforts to align both the organization for and the conduct of America's foreign relations with the dictates and the demands of the 21st century.

As Secretary of State, I wear two hats -- one as CEO of the Department, the other as the President's principal foreign policy advisor. And being successful in both roles is important because we must be properly organized and equipped and manned to conduct America's foreign policy, as well as formulate good policy.

So wearing my CEO hat, I want to highlight what this budget contains with respect to my three highest priorities, the President's three highest priorities, with respect to the running of the State Department: first, embassy construction and security; second, information technology, and; third, hiring new people. Frankly, I would just as soon put hiring new people first, because people are the lifeblood of the State Department in American diplomatic efforts.

Our important multi-year program for embassy construction, refurbishing, and security and maintenance will continue apace if this budget is approved. $1.3 billion supports this effort for 2002, including $665 million for construction of new secure facilities.

In addition to continuing this ambitious program set in place by my predecessors and by the Congress last year, we are using new, more efficient ways to execute the program. For example, as we have notified the Congress, I intend to move the Foreign Buildings Office out from under the Bureau of Administration and put it directly under the Under Secretary for Management, Mr. Grant Green, a distinguished leader and management expert and, by the way, a close friend of 20 years who knows how to run things.

Moreover, to run the Foreign Buildings Office, I have hired another experienced executive, Major General Charles Williams, United States Army Corps of Engineers. Chuck Williams is well known throughout the congressional community, frankly, and the military community for his ability to get construction projects completed on time, under cost, and in the most efficient way possible. He built the Dulles Greenway, he helped refurbish the Washington, D.C., schools, he did the same thing in New York City, and he has worked with Congress and he is already making a difference in the running of this important office. Talented, experienced, dedicated people running this very important and expansive program. And his adaptation of industry best practices to our overall program, plus skilled management techniques, are going to make this program hum.

And we are committed to getting the average cost of embassy construction below the current figure of $100 million per embassy, and if anyone can do it, Chuck William can. It will be no mean feat because, as you are well aware, there are special provisions and requirements for every embassy, and these provisions and requirements drive up costs enormously. But we're going to give it all we've got to get the price down and under control.

Along with well-built, secure and modern embassies, we want broad-based Internet access for all our people. I want every employee in the Department of State, no matter where they are located throughout the world, to have access to the Internet, access to the power of the Information Revolution so that they can get their jobs done in a more efficient way and bringing all of the 21st century technology. We also want to modernize our classified information systems, and we've got $210 million in the budget for that purpose.

There is no disputing that America needs to have the right people on the front lines of diplomacy, but we also need to have enough people. The budget has $134.5 million for a major investment to recruit, hire, and train sufficient new people, not only to fill critical posts (inaudible) training (inaudible) so that we have enough people we can send to school, a little bit of reserve that we can deal with high-profile problems that come along without robbing Peter to pay Paul.

In addition, we are seeking $488 million to continue and enhance our worldwide security readiness program. This enhancement includes having more security personnel, and we have $17.1 million within the $488 million to hire those security people.

On the CEO side of my ledger, these are the priorities: embassies, people, and information technology. Wrap all three up in a fourth priority called "security," and you have the high points of the President's FY2002 Budget for State operations.

I know that Deputy Secretary Armitage and Under Secretary Green will be meeting with you in three weeks or so to examine more closely the intricate pieces of the Department's operations, and Assistant Secretary David Welch and, if confirmed by then, Ambassador John Negroponte, will be here to talk about international organizations. And I ask you and encourage you to press these people on all the detailed issues that we have had concerns about and that you want to know about.

I want to also talk about one other change. There are many other changes you mentioned. But one other change I want to highlight and this has to do with the ways we manage our funding. When I first arrived at State and looked around during the transition period, I did not find any single authority in charge of all of the Department's financial activity. There was a chief financial officer, but he had no control over the foreign operations portion of the money, two thirds of the overall budget. And I knew that we needed to change that situation.

Under our planned change, we will bring together all our dollars, both those at State operations and for foreign operations, bring them together and we'll put them all under one bureau headed by the Assistant Secretary of State for Resource Management. And the Assistant Secretary will report directly to the Deputy Secretary. And this new bureau will also be responsible for strategic planning so we can link strategic planning firmly and closely to fiscal planning and fiscal accountability and responsibility.

This is just the highlight of some of the things we are doing, Mr. Chairman. I want to close, though, with one observation about the management style we are going to be using down at the State Department, the leadership style that we have already implemented. I am not just somebody who worries about getting the EP-3 plane back from China or a particular problem we have in the Middle East. That department has been given to me to lead and to manage as the Secretary of State. So there is no leadership problem and there is no management problem that is not mine; it is my responsibility.

To help me in discharging that responsibility, I am hiring some of the best people I can find. In Deputy Secretary Armitage, I have found a manager who knows how to get things done. And he can crash through walls and scale the tallest building and is occasionally faster than a speeding locomotive. And we have all the studies we need. I've got the State study, I've got the Simpson Study, which I was a member of, and I've got the Carlucci study. It's now the time to stop studying and get the job done, and we're doing that.

I signed a delegation of authority the other day to give Secretary Armitage all the authority that I had, with the exception of a few legal things that I could not delegate. And the reason for that is to show the Department that we are a team working together, the Deputy and I. And both of us are responsible for foreign policy and for management and leadership activities at the Department. Grant Green is going to have all the authority he needs to plow through and get things fixed.

We're going to get the Foreign Buildings Office fixed, we're going to get the resource management and financial control system fixed. I've got people already at work figuring out how to get people into the Department faster, how to cut down that 22-month lag time it takes to get somebody from the time they express an interest in the Department until the time we graduate them and send them out into the foreign service to do the job. Every day we work on foreign policy issues, but we also work on leadership, management, organizational and financial issues. And I can assure you that as you work with the leadership team that I have put in place, I am quite confident you will be impressed that it is no longer a let's-wait-for-another-study-to-come-along or contemplating our navel or sucking our thumb; we're going to get the job done, and we're going to get it done in a (inaudible) way with (inaudible) leaders having authority and responsibility to crash through the problems that have existed for years and get the job done.

We are trying to create an attitude in the Department that we are there to execute the people's foreign policy, as given to us by the President, and we are going to empower everybody in that Department to let them know they're part of the scene. And we're going to empower every ambassador to let him or her know that they are on the front lines of diplomacy, the front lines of foreign policy. And we look forward to working with all the members of the this committee and all the committees that have oversight of the State Department to let you know that we are going to be good stewards of the resources that we'll be asking you to provide to us for the discharge of the American people's foreign policy.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Released on April 26, 2001

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