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Office of Rightsizing the U.S. Government (USG) Overseas Presence
Washington, DC
April 26, 2005

P.L. 108-199: FY 2004 Department of State Appropriations

DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR PROGRAMS

For necessary expenses of the Department of State and the Foreign Service not otherwise provided for, including employment, without regard to civil service and classification laws, of persons on a temporary basis (not to exceed $700,000 of this appropriation), as authorized by section 801 of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948; representation to certain international organizations in which the United States participates pursuant to treaties ratified pursuant to the advice and consent of the Senate or specific Acts of Congress; arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament activities as authorized; acquisition by exchange or purchase of passenger motor vehicles as authorized by law; and for expenses of general administration, $3,420,000,000: Provided, That not to exceed 69 permanent positions and $7,311,000 shall be expended for the Bureau of Legislative Affairs: Provided further, That, of the amount made available under this heading, not to exceed $4,000,000 may be transferred to, and merged with, funds in the `Emergencies in the Diplomatic and Consular Service' appropriations account, to be available only for emergency evacuations and terrorism rewards: Provided further, That, of the amount made available under this heading, $301,563,000 shall be available only for public diplomacy international information programs: Provided further, That of the amount made available under this heading, $3,000,000 shall be available only for the establishment and operations of an Office on Right-Sizing the United States Government Overseas Presence: Provided further, That funds available under this heading may be available for a United States Government interagency task force to examine, coordinate and oversee United States participation in the United Nations headquarters renovation project: Provided further, That no funds may be obligated or expended for processing licenses for the export of satellites of United States origin (including commercial satellites and satellite components) to the People's Republic of China unless, at least 15 days in advance, the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate are notified of such proposed action.

Conference Report Language (House Report 108-401): FY 2004 Department of State Appropriations

DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR PROGRAMS

The conference agreement includes $4,106,701,000 for the Diplomatic and Consular Programs account, instead of $4,099,961,000 as proposed by the House and $3,874,778,000 as proposed by the Senate. The conference agreement includes $646,701,000 to continue funding for worldwide security upgrades, $301,563,000 for public diplomacy programs, and $40,000,000 for worldwide OpenNet and classified connectivity infrastructure. The conference agreement represents an increase of $210,868,000 above the fiscal year 2003 appropriation.

The conference agreement includes a program increase of $72,572,000 to support the hiring and training of new foreign service and civil service employees, including foreign service positions dedicated to visa adjudication as described in both the House and Senate reports. The conferees are concerned that not all of the new full-time equivalents hired by the Department under the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative (DRI) are available for worldwide deployment. One of the primary objectives of the DRI was to allow the Department to address staffing shortages at U.S. diplomatic posts overseas. The Department shall submit a report to the Committees, no later than February 1, 2004, on the number of personnel hired under DRI that are not available for worldwide deployment and on the Department's plan for ensuring that personnel yet to be hired under DRI are available for worldwide deployment. To the greatest extent possible Foreign Service Officers hired during the third and final year of DRI should be available for worldwide deployment.

The conferees urge the Department to move forward expeditiously with its right-sizing plan. Right-sizing refers to the reconfiguration of overseas U.S. Government personnel to the number necessary to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals. The conferees recognize that, as the property manager for all U.S. Government properties overseas, the Department of State faces considerable pressure to accommodate ever-greater numbers of non-State Department personnel in its overseas facilities.

For any right-sizing framework to be effective, it must have two main components: (1) a process for determining, internally, the appropriate numbers of State Department personnel stationed overseas, and (2) an interagency process for determining the appropriate numbers of non-military U.S. government personnel stationed overseas. To this end, the conference agreement includes up to $2,000,000 for the Department to establish and operate an Office on Right-Sizing the United States Overseas Presence, and adopts, by reference, the language on this matter in the House report. The conferees expect this new Office, which shall report directly to the Undersecretary for Management, to lead the Department's effort to develop internal and interagency mechanisms to better coordinate, rationalize, and manage the deployment of U.S. government personnel overseas.

The conferees commend the Department for its recent steps to strengthen internal processes for determining staffing projections for overseas personnel needs. However, more needs to be done. The conferees are not aware of any right-sizing analysis in the past three years that has resulted in a proposed reduction to a country-wide staffing presence. The conferees are supportive of the concept of regionalization. Regionalization refers to the practice of basing certain administrative functions and personnel in regional centers, or `hubs', thereby creating efficiencies. The conferees note that the Department has made less than notable progress towards developing an interagency right-sizing process. The conferees urge the Department, with the Office of Management and Budget, to take the lead in establishing an interagency process for developing staffing projections for U.S. government facilities overseas. The conferees support the Department's cost-sharing plan which will encourage other Federal agencies to examine more closely whether the personnel they send overseas are truly mission-critical. The conferees remind the Department that this interagency process should not supercede the authority of the Chiefs of Mission (COM) to determine the composition of their posts, but rather to serve as a tool and support mechanism for the COM's. The post must remain at the center of the right-sizing process.

The conference agreement includes the requirements stipulated in the House report regarding a report on the impact of new staffing analysis requirements in the Mission Performance Planning process, and the direction to undertake a review and report on the size of the largest overseas missions using the mission performance plan and the right-sizing criteria developed by the General Accounting Office.

House Appropriations Committee Report Language (House Report 108-221): FY 2004 Department of State Appropriations

Right-Sizing the U.S. Government Presence Overseas- The Committee continues to define right-sizing as the reconfiguration of overseas U.S. Government staff to the number necessary to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals. The Committee is convinced, and agrees with the recommendation of the Overseas Presence Advisory Panel, that rationalizing staffing and operations abroad has the potential for significant budgetary savings. It costs two to three times as much to maintain an employee outside of the United States as it does within the United States. The notion of right-sizing as a desirable means to improve security and gain efficiencies implies that the current number of overseas staff in some locations is greater than the minimum number necessary, and that the presence of a number greater than the minimum number presents an unnecessary and unacceptable financial and security burden. The Committee is not aware of any right-sizing analysis in the past three years that has resulted in a proposed reduction to a country-wide staffing presence.

The recommendation identifies $3,000,000 from within base resources to establish and operate an Office on Right-Sizing the United States Government Overseas Presence. The Committee expects this new Office, reporting directly to the Undersecretary for Management, to lead the effort to develop internal and interagency mechanisms to better coordinate, rationalize and manage the overall deployment of U.S. Government personnel overseas. The Committee believes that the creation of this Office will facilitate the Department's ability to establish and enforce a uniform right-sizing methodology to link overseas staffing levels to physical security considerations, mission priorities, and costs. The Committee also expects that this Office will hold the responsibility and accountability for ensuring that right-sizing standards are applied systematically to final planning estimates for staffing of new mission facilities.

The Committee understands that the Department has changed its annual Mission Performance Plan and Bureau Performance Plan process to require that staffing be related to performance goals and that the chief of mission must confirm that each mission is right-sized. The Department shall report to the Committee by November 1, 2003, as to what actual impact those new requirements have had on the operations, size and performance of the missions and bureaus. In addition, the Department is directed to undertake a review of the size of the 20 largest overseas missions including all staff, contractors, foreign service nationals, temporary duty officers, and other temporary staff, using the mission plan and the right-sizing criteria developed by the General Accounting Office, and report to the Committee by February 1, 2004, as to whether those missions are right-sized.

The Committee strongly supports the Department's effort to initiate a consolidation, streamlining and regionalization of country and multi-regional staffing in Frankfurt, Germany. The success of this initiative will be measured largely by the streamlining reductions made possible at less secure locations throughout Germany, Europe, Eurasia, Africa and the Near East.

House Report 108-221 - DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE, JUSTICE, AND STATE, THE JUDICIARY, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, FISCAL YEAR 2004

RIGHT-SIZING

The Committee strongly supports interagency efforts to right-size the overseas presence of the United States Government. The Committee understands the definition of right-sizing to be the systematic and thorough review of all overseas missions and staffing levels and the reallocation of resources to achieve a leaner, streamlined, more agile, and more secure U.S. Government presence abroad. The Committee expects agencies funded in this bill to cooperate fully with all interagency efforts to achieve effective right-sizing.

The 1998 terrorist attacks on two U.S. Embassies in Africa highlighted security deficiencies in diplomatic facilities. The recent bombings in Saudi Arabia, the assassination of a U.S. AID employee in Jordan, and the recent closure of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya underscore continued threats against U.S. personnel overseas. The attacks on the American Embassies in Africa prompted the creation of the Overseas Presence Advisory Panel, which proposed significant recommendations regarding right-sizing that have subsequently been embraced by this Committee, and included in the President's Management Agenda. In addition, the General Accounting Office (GAO) has studied right-sizing the Nation's overseas presence. The GAO reports found that U.S. agencies' staffing projections for new embassy compounds are developed without a systematic approach or comprehensive right-sizing analysis. In response, the GAO developed a framework of questions designed to link staffing levels to three critical elements of overseas diplomatic operations (1) physical/technical security of facilities and employees; (2) mission priorities and requirements; and (3) cost of operations. In light of continuing security vulnerability, the Committee intends to ensure that such a framework is established and followed.

The Committee expects that the fiscal year 2005 budget request will reflect the application of a right-sizing methodology. Increases or expansions should be justified in terms of mission priorities both within the agency, and within the specific diplomatic mission, and should be, to the maximum extent possible, accompanied by offsetting decreases to maximize the allocation of scarce resources to emerging priorities. A proper plan should include a systematic analysis to bring about a reconfiguration of overseas staffing to the minimum level necessary to meet critical U.S. foreign policy goals. The Committee expects to receive this additional analysis prior to the establishment or expansion of any activities beyond those currently approved.

House Report 108-221 - DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE, JUSTICE, AND STATE, THE JUDICIARY, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, FISCAL YEAR 2004

EMBASSY SECURITY, CONSTRUCTION, AND MAINTENANCE

The Committee recommends a total appropriation of $1,394,335,000 for Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance. This amount is $139,047,000 above the amount available in fiscal year 2003 (excluding supplemental appropriations) and $120,065,000 below the budget request. The recommendation designates $861,400,000 as available only for priority worldwide security upgrades, acquisition, and construction, the full amount requested for such activities. The recommendation includes $532,935,000 for non-security related costs, which is $27,740,000 above fiscal year 2003 and $120,065,000 below the budget request. The Committee recommendation includes requested wage and price increases for the Department's Office of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), which will support 787 positions in fiscal year 2004.

This account provides funds to manage U.S. Government real property overseas and maintain Government-owned and long-term leased properties at approximately 260 posts, leasing office and functional facilities, and residential units, not only for the Department of State, but for all U.S. employees overseas.

Worldwide Security Upgrades.--The Committee recommendation includes $861,400,000 for security projects, the full amount requested, including $761,400,000 to continue the capital security program of constructing new secure replacement facilities for the Department's most vulnerable embassies and consulates. The Committee expects that projects undertaken under this program will address the highest priority facilities from a security standpoint. In previous fiscal years the Department has proposed to reprogram funds under this activity for projects that do not address top priority security vulnerabilities and for projects that will not result, when complete, in a facility that meets existing security standards. The Committee expects that worldwide security funds will be used only for projects that meet these specifications. To the extent that a top priority security replacement project also involves a plan for a separate building on the compound for another agency, the Committee expects that these, also, will be included in the spending plan described below, including a justification regarding the necessity for such a separate building.

The Committee recommendation for the capital security program includes $120,000,000 for the first year cost of the Capital Security Cost Sharing Program. The Committee expects that the continuing growth in the Department's contribution to this program will be further enhanced by contributions from other U.S. Government agencies starting in fiscal year 2005. The Committee believes that such a program, in addition to creating an enhanced funding stream to accelerate the replacement of vulnerable facilities, will also create new incentives for all agencies with a presence overseas to rationalize and right-size their overseas operations.

The Committee recommendation also includes $100,000,000, the amount requested, to continue the compound security upgrade program. The Committee understands that this program includes the installation of forced entry/ballistic resistant roof hatches, vault doors and power-assisted vehicle barriers, and other similar measures. The Committee expects that this funding will also provide physical security improvements to residential compounds.

The Committee expects that a proposed spending plan for the entire amount of available resources for worldwide security upgrades will be submitted through the normal reprogramming process within 60 days from the date of enactment of this Act. The Committee expects the Department to notify it immediately if there are any facilities that the Department believes face serious security risks.

Right-Sizing the U.S. Government Overseas Presence. The Committee continues to be disappointed at the lack of discernable progress in the pursuit of an interagency process of determining the right size and makeup of overseas posts, including exorbitant staffing projections at posts scheduled for new embassy or consulate compounds. The Committee directs the Office of Overseas Buildings Operation (OBO) to work closely with the new Office on Right-Sizing the U.S. Government Overseas Presence to ensure that projected staffing levels for new embassy compounds are prepared in a disciplined and realistic manner, and that these estimates become a basis for determining the size, configuration and budget of new embassy compound construction projects. The justification for all facilities projects funded under this account must include a full explanation of regional efficiency and security planning, and related staffing assumptions. Such projects will not be approved for funding absent evidence of the application of a uniform right-sizing methodology.