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Open Recommendations

Economic and Commercial Diplomacy: State and Commerce Could Build on Efforts to Improve Coordination and Effectiveness

GAO-22-105860
Jun 09, 2022
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23 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of State The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State should indicate the methods the agencies will use to maintain an effective working relationship in their Memorandum of Understanding for the Partner Post Program. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State should indicate the methods the agencies will use to maintain an effective working relationship in their Memorandum of Understanding for the Partner Post Program. (Recommendation 1)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of State The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State should clarify how Commerce and State will sustain program leadership over the long term, such as with succession planning, in their Memorandum of Understanding for the Partner Post Program. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State should clarify how Commerce and State will sustain program leadership over the long term, such as with succession planning, in their Memorandum of Understanding for the Partner Post Program. (Recommendation 2)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of State The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State should ensure Commerce and State articulate and agree to a process for making and enforcing program decisions in their Memorandum of Understanding for the Partner Post Program. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State should ensure Commerce and State articulate and agree to a process for making and enforcing program decisions in their Memorandum of Understanding for the Partner Post Program. (Recommendation 3)
Open
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

International Development Association: Additional Information Sharing Could Enhance U.S. Treasury Oversight of Key Risks

GAO-22-104657
Jun 02, 2022
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury should direct the U.S. Executive Director of IDA to work with the other Executive Directors to request additional information underlying IDA's loan loss model—including key assumptions of the model and sensitivity analyses of model results—necessary to conduct oversight of IDA's financial sustainability. (Recommendation 1)
Open
Treasury concurred with this recommendation in its official comment letter included as an appendix in GAO-22-104657, published in June 2022. In this letter, Treasury stated that it would direct the U.S. Executive Director to convey this recommendation to the World Bank. The World Bank also provided a letter in which it acknowledged GAO's recommendations and the World Bank's commitment to work closely with Treasury and the other members of its Board of Directors to facilitate their understanding of the model IDA uses to estimate risks from potential borrower country defaults. The World Bank's letter is also included as an appendix in GAO-22-104657.
Department of the Treasury The Secretary of the Treasury should direct the U.S. Executive Director of IDA to work with other Executive Directors to request information from IDA on steps it is taking to account for uncertainty in certain debt data, such as incomplete information on loan terms and state-owned enterprise debt, as it measures the risks of borrowers defaulting. (Recommendation 2)
Open
Treasury concurred with this recommendation in its official comment letter included as an appendix in GAO-22-104657, published in June 2022. In this letter, Treasury stated that it would direct the U.S. Executive Director to convey this recommendation to the World Bank. The World Bank also provided a letter in which it acknowledged GAO's recommendations and the World Bank's commitment to work closely with Treasury and the other members of its Board of Directors to facilitate their understanding of the model IDA uses to estimate risks from potential borrower country defaults. The World Bank's letter is also included as an appendix in GAO-22-104657.

Global Food Security: Coordination of U.S. Assistance Can Be Improved

GAO-22-104612
Jun 01, 2022
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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
U.S. Agency for International Development The Administrator of USAID should ensure that the country coordinator at the U.S. mission in each GFSS target country takes steps to ensure that all relevant U.S. agencies are included in the planning and coordination of food security assistance. (Recommendation 1)
Open
USAID concurred with GAO's recommendation and stated that USAID will work with GFSS interagency country coordinators to ensure all relevant U.S. agencies are included in the planning and coordination of food security assistance. GAO continues to monitor agency actions related to this recommendation.
U.S. Agency for International Development The Administrator of USAID should work with other participants in the GFSS Interagency to establish a mechanism, such as a shared database, to ensure that each agency has ready access to information about the other agencies' current and planned U.S. global food security assistance. (Recommendation 2)
Open
USAID concurred with GAO's recommendation and stated that USAID will work with interagency partners to explore whether there are additional mechanisms that can be used to track planned global food security assistance. GAO continues to monitor agency actions related to this recommendation.

Consular Affairs: State May Be Unable to Cover Projected Costs if Revenues Do Not Quickly Rebound to Pre-Pandemic Levels

GAO-22-104424
Apr 18, 2022
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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of State The Secretary of State should ensure the Bureau of Consular Affairs develops a plan to assess and document what fee amounts, statutory changes, supplemental and annual funding, or other actions would allow State to cover future consular costs. (Recommendation 1)
Open
State did not concur with our recommendation to develop a plan to assess and document what measures would allow State to cover future consular costs, indicating that its cost model presents unrecovered costs by service. State does not believe the recent legislative change authorizing retention of the passport application fee impacts its planning for what other measures (including State's existing requests for legislative changes) it may need to cover future consular costs. We maintain that a plan to assess and document which measures would be sufficient to cover costs is important, and that State should perform and share such analysis with policymakers to enable them to understand the potential impact of each option, in isolation or in combination, before taking legislative action.
Department of State The Secretary of State should ensure the Bureau of Consular Affairs measures the statistical variability of unit costs to improve the transparency of the cost estimates used in the fee-setting process. (Recommendation 2)
Open
State partially concurred with our recommendation to measure statistical variability of unit costs to improve the transparency of the cost estimates used in the fee-setting process. In response, State notes that that it calculates unit costs based on a deterministic mathematical model. However, State's data on unit cost used in this model still inherently have statistical variability (e.g. associated uncertainty) because they come from a survey, which introduces statistical variability. We still believe that not considering the statistical variability of unit costs may limit management's ability to identify, analyze, and respond to risks to full cost recovery arising from fluctuations in costs.
Department of State The Secretary of State should ensure the Bureau of Consular Affairs fully documents its process for generating cost, demand, and revenue estimates for consular services. (Recommendation 3)
Open
State partially concurred with our recommendation to fully document its process for generating cost, demand, and revenue estimates for consular services, indicating that they believe they have sufficiently documented their process for estimating costs. As was already included in our report, State has partially documented its process for generating cost estimates. Additionally, as noted in the report, State has not documented its processes for demand and revenue estimates. We still believe that without fully documenting its processes for cost, demand, and revenue estimates, State's ability to identify and respond to risks to full cost recovery is limited.
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