Inspection of Embassy Abuja and Constituent Post, Nigeria

ISP-I-23-09
    Report Contents
    Unclassified
    Unclassified

    What OIG Inspected
    OIG inspected the executive direction, policy and program implementation, foreign assistance, resource management, and information management operations of Embassy Abuja. The inspection included Consulate General Lagos.

    What OIG Recommends
    OIG made 40 recommendations: 37 recommendations to Embassy Abuja, 1 recommendation to the Bureau of Administration, 1 recommendation to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, and 1 to the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. In its comments on the draft report, the Department concurred with 37 recommendations, partially concurred with 1 recommendation, and disagreed with 2 recommendations. OIG considers 39 recommendations resolved and 1 recommendation unresolved. The Department’s response to each recommendation, and OIG’s reply, can be found in the Recommendations section of this report. The Department’s formal responses are reprinted in their entirety in Appendix B.

    What OIG Found

    • The Ambassador and the Deputy Chief of Mission maintained appropriate communications and led Mission Nigeria in a strategic and attentive manner consistent with Department of State leadership and management principles.
    • The mission’s Political and Economic Sections collaborated with other agencies to advance the embassy’s Integrated Country Strategy and other Department priorities.
    • Mission Nigeria did not meet Department standards for documenting the monitoring and evaluation of federal assistance awards.
    • The Consular Sections at Embassy Abuja and Consulate General Lagos were focused on resolving the long backlogs for nonimmigrant visas.
    • Consular personnel were not fully prepared to respond to a crisis due to a lack of training and insufficient attention on crisis planning.
    • The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief enabled more than 643,000 Nigerian residents to receive treatment despite challenges that arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Gaps in the oversight of Mission Nigeria’s management operations created shortcomings in bulk fuel management, property management, fire protection, travel management, human resources, and government vehicle operations.
    • The Department lacked guidance for the management and operation of watercraft used in an official transportation program, such as the one at Consulate General Lagos.
    • Spotlight on Success: During the COVID-19 pandemic, staff from Mission Nigeria’s American Spaces and EducationUSA used virtual outreach to increase the number of Nigerian students studying in the United States.

     

    Category
    Locations
    Bureaus/Offices
    Recommendation Number
    1
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should comply with Department standards for grant file documentation.

    Recommendation Number
    2
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should develop and implement a plan to institutionalize coordination between the mission’s Public Diplomacy Sections in accordance with Department guidelines.

    Recommendation Number
    3
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should incorporate public diplomacy analysis in cable reporting in accordance with Department guidelines.

    Recommendation Number
    4
    Open Resolved

    The Bureau of Consular Affairs should require that the visa appointment system provided to Mission Nigeria by the Global Support Strategy vendor complies with the Department’s public service and transparency standards.

    Recommendation Number
    5
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should perform the required oversight of services provided by the Global Support Services vendor in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    6
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should comply with the Department standards for consular crisis preparedness.

    Recommendation Number
    7
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should discontinue the practice of adjudicating Consular Reports of Birth Abroad before fees are paid.

    Recommendation Number
    8
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should resolve referrals to Fraud Prevention Units in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    9
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should post consular signage in accordance with Department guidance.

    Recommendation Number
    10
    Closed Implemented $6,405

    Embassy Abuja should verify and document whether $6,405 in award funds were used for their intended purpose. If the funds were not used for their intended purpose, Embassy Abuja should recover the funds in accordance with the award agreement.

    Recommendation Number
    11
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should develop and implement standard operating procedures for management of federal assistance awards to ensure compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    12
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja, in coordination with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, should update the letter of agreement with the government of Nigeria for Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs-funded projects.

    Recommendation Number
    13
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should conduct joint evaluation reviews with the government of Nigeria for Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs-funded projects in accordance with the letter of agreement.

    Recommendation Number
    14
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja, in coordination with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, should specify and document the intended roles, responsibilities, and associated training and file access requirements for relevant staff, in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    15
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should establish a comprehensive foreign assistance coordination and collaboration mechanism, in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    16
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should consolidate its motor pool and warehouse operations in accordance with Department guidance.

    Recommendation Number
    17
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja, in coordination with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, should implement an emergency exit plan in the chancery and consulate general building that complies with Department guidance.

    Recommendation Number
    18
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should mitigate the fire and life-safety risks of the high-rise residential properties in Lagos that do not comply with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    19
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should obtain authorization from the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations to use shipping containers for storage and office space or dismantle and remove them in accordance with Department.

    Recommendation Number
    20
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should manage bulk fuel operations in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    21
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should enforce duty driver limits for all mission drivers in accordance with Department guidelines.

    Recommendation Number
    22
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should require that all mission vehicle usage be recorded in the Fleet Management Information System in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    23
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should revise its motor vehicle policy to adhere to Department requirements for “other authorized use” of U.S. government vehicles and watercraft.

    Recommendation Number
    24
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should record all operational and maintenance data and costs for the mission’s watercraft into the Department’s Fleet Management Information System in accordance with Department guidelines.

    Recommendation Number
    25
    Open Resolved

    The Bureau of Administration, in coordination with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, should update the Foreign Affairs Manual with specific guidance on the management and operation of watercraft.

    Recommendation Number
    26
    Closed Implemented

    The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations should update and re-issue the generic watercraft policy template to include specific guidelines related to watercraft safety.

    Recommendation Number
    27
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should dispose of excess expendable and nonexpendable property in accordance with Department guidelines.

    Recommendation Number
    28
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should adhere to travel regulations in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    29
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should bring its contracting officer’s representative program into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    30
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should submit its foreign per diem reports in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    31
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should manage the fuel and motor vehicle transportation coupon program in accordance with Department guidance.

    Recommendation Number
    32
    Open Resolved $1,200,000

    Embassy Abuja should review its unliquidated obligations in accordance with Department standards and put up to $1.2 million to better use.

    Recommendation Number
    33
    Open Resolved $275,838

    Embassy Abuja should clear overdue travel advances in accordance with Department guidelines and put funds up to $275,838 to better use.

    Recommendation Number
    34
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should implement standard operating procedures outlining human resources support services provided and increase the frequency of American officer visits to Consulate General Lagos.

    Recommendation Number
    35
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should require supervisors to approve overtime in accordance with Department guidance.

    Recommendation Number
    36
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should review and revise locally employed staff position descriptions and classify them in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    37
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Abuja should manage its Active Directory accounts and security groups for its classified and unclassified networks in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    38
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should retire records in accordance with Department records management standards.

    Recommendation Number
    39
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should complete all information systems security officer responsibilities in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    40
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Abuja should install emergency power-off switches inside the server rooms adjacent to each egress door, in accordance with Department standards.