Inspection of Embassy Baghdad and Constituent Post, Iraq

ISP-I-24-06
    Report Contents
    Unclassified
    Unclassified

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

    What OIG Recommends
    OIG made 37 recommendations: 35 to Embassy Baghdad, 1 to the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and 1 to the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations.

    In its comments on the draft report, the Department concurred with 36 recommendations and neither agreed nor disagreed with 1 recommendation. OIG considers all 37 recommendations resolved. 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 Deputy Chief of Mission led Mission Iraq in a professional and collaborative manner consistent with Department of State leadership and management principles.
    • The mission’s coordination of foreign assistance programs did not systematically include bureau program managers.
    • Consular operations did not meet Department standards for crisis preparedness and lacked American Liaison Network coverage.
    • Embassy Baghdad used power generation that was costlier than procuring power locally.
    • The embassy’s property management practices did not comply with Department standards for expendable property and fuel deliveries.
    • Embassy Baghdad and the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center’s safety, health, and environmental management program did not comply with standards.
    • Mission Iraq did not fully comply with the Department’s guidance for employment of third-country national staff.
    • Spotlight on Success: Mission integration of public diplomacy drove comprehensive outreach and transparency in bilateral dialogue.
    • Spotlight on Success: Embassy Baghdad and the U.S. Agency for International Development in Iraq coordinated social media efforts through the use of a shared platform, which increased public diplomacy outreach and engagement.
    • Spotlight on Success: The Information Management Section staff developed a database application that enhanced personnel accountability.

     

    Category
    Locations
    Bureaus/Offices
    Recommendation Number
    1
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should manage the Political Section in accordance with the Department’s leadership and management principles.

    Recommendation Number
    2
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should update its Leahy vetting standard operating procedure in accordance with the requirements of the Leahy Vetting Guide.

    Recommendation Number
    3
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should document risk mitigation measures for the mission’s public diplomacy grants in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    4
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should bring consular crisis preparedness at the Baghdad and Erbil Consular Sections into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    5
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should expand the American Liaison Network in Baghdad and Erbil in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    6
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should implement a written fraud prevention strategy and standard operating procedures at the Baghdad and Erbil Consular Sections, in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    7
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should implement internal controls procedures at Consulate General Erbil to prevent potential or perceived manipulation of consular procedures by non-consular personnel.

    Recommendation Number
    8
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should conduct its second validation study on issued nonimmigrant visas.

    Recommendation Number
    9
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad, in coordination with the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, should implement a coordination process to improve oversight of Department-funded foreign assistance programming in Iraq, in accordance with Department guidance.

    Recommendation Number
    10
    Open Resolved

    The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, in coordination with Embassy Baghdad and the Bureaus of Counterterrorism; Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; Economic and Business Affairs; International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; International Security and Nonproliferation; Political-Military Affairs; and Population, Refugees, and Migration, should implement a process to confirm that monitoring data for foreign assistance programs in Iraq is recorded in the official system of record as required by Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    11
    Open Resolved

    The Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, in coordination with Embassy Baghdad and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, should conduct a cost-benefit analysis and determine the feasibility of connecting the Baghdad Embassy Compound to the local power grid.

    Recommendation Number
    12
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should bring its safety, health, and environmental management program into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    13
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should obtain authorization from the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations to use shipping containers as functional space or dismantle and remove them, in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    14
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should comply with Department training standards on the use of powered industrial trucks, such as forklifts.

    Recommendation Number
    15
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should comply with all Department motor vehicle safety management program standards for incidental drivers under chief of mission authority.

    Recommendation Number
    16
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should manage its armored vehicles in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    17
    Open Resolved

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

    Recommendation Number
    18
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should bring its management of expendable property and fuel deliveries into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    19
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should dispose of excess motor vehicle inventory at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center, in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    20
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should manage locally employed staff position descriptions in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    21
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should obtain written confirmation from the government of Iraq that U.S. direct-hire employees assigned to the mission are accredited and will receive diplomatic privileges and immunities.

    Recommendation Number
    22
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad, in coordination with the Bureau of Global Talent Management, should update the mission’s local compensation plan, in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    23
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should manage its third-country national employment program in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    24
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should manage locally employed staff official personnel folders in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    25
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should adhere to the Department’s recruitment standards for locally employed staff positions.

    Recommendation Number
    26
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should implement a system for oversight of U.S. direct-hire employee compliance with Department mandatory training requirements.

    Recommendation Number
    27
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should bring its cashier operations into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    28
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should submit design plans to the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations for the unapproved modifications to government properties located on the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center compound.

    Recommendation Number
    29
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should adhere to Department guidance on the sale of goods and enforce the restriction on prohibited items distributed by private vendors operating on mission property.

    Recommendation Number
    30
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should comply with mandatory training requirements for system administrators.

    Recommendation Number
    31
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad, in coordination with the Bureaus of Overseas Buildings Operations and Information Resource Management, should remediate the telecommunications infrastructure at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center, in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    32
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad, in coordination with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, should configure mailrooms at the Baghdad Embassy Compound and the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    33
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should perform self-assessments of its Diplomatic Post Offices in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    34
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should comply with mandatory training requirements for Diplomatic Post Office staff.

    Recommendation Number
    35
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should upload to the State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset all diplomatic notes it prepares and receives in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    36
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad should manage mission records in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    37
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Baghdad, in coordination with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, should comply with Department standards for server room safety controls.