Inspection of Embassy Singapore, Singapore

ISP-I-24-09
    Report Contents
    Unclassified
    Unclassified

    What OIG Inspected
    OIG inspected the executive direction, policy and program implementation, resource management, and information management operations of Embassy Singapore.

    What OIG Recommends
    OIG made 23 recommendations: 21 to Embassy Singapore, 1 to the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and 1 to the Bureau of Information Resource Management.

    In its comments on the draft report, the Department concurred with 22 recommendations and disagreed with 1 recommendation. OIG considers all 23 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 did not model some Department of State leadership and management principles.
    • The Ambassador twice committed to consulting services for the embassy without following Department acquisition guidance and processes, leading to unauthorized commitments totaling $9,900.
    • The embassy had approximately $48,000 in outstanding travel vouchers, extending back to December 2021, related to the Ambassador’s travel that either had not been submitted for reimbursement or lacked sufficient supporting documentation to pay the travel claim.
    • Multiple embassy sections noted that the Ambassador developed poor relationships with some Singaporean ministries and that his actions, in some cases, hurt progress on Integrated Country Strategy goals and objectives.
    • The Ambassador’s many projects frequently were unattainable, diverted the embassy’s limited resources, and detracted from the staff’s ability to perform core duties. Staff also questioned the utility of some projects in promoting U.S. interests in Singapore.
    • The Economic-Political Section did not consistently meet Department deadlines for mandatory reports and cable reporting.
    • Information management operations had internal control shortcomings related to information security practices, management of printers and non-enterprise laptops, and emergency and evacuation radios.
    • Spotlight on Success: The Public Diplomacy Section teamed with 50 alumni to develop a program to mentor underserved students from Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education to enable them to compete more effectively in the workforce.
    Recommendation Number
    1
    Open Resolved $48,000

    Embassy Singapore should review all unliquidated obligations related to the Ambassador’s travel in accordance with Department guidelines and federal regulations and put up to $48,000 to better use.

    Recommendation Number
    2
    Open Resolved Significant

    The Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, in coordination with the Bureau of Global Talent Management, should assess the Ambassador’s compliance with the Department’s leadership and management principles and, if appropriate, take corrective action.

    Recommendation Number
    3
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Singapore should require the Ambassador to attend a briefing on the Nonimmigrant Visa Referral and Priority Appointment Request Program and sign a compliance agreement.

    Recommendation Number
    4
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Singapore should comply with Department standards regarding the acceptance of gifts.

    Recommendation Number
    5
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should schedule embassy-wide security drills when the Ambassador is present and able to participate, in accordance with Department guidance.

    Recommendation Number
    6
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should implement a plan to improve the timeliness of annual report submissions, Blue Lantern export control checks, demarches, and reporting cables, in accordance with Department guidance.

    Recommendation Number
    7
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should manage U.S. citizen services and visa wait times in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    8
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should resolve fraud referrals in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    9
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should destroy immigrant visa files according to Department guidance.

    Recommendation Number
    10
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should follow Department standards regarding incorrectly refused visa cases.

    Recommendation Number
    11
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should enforce driver duty limits for all mission drivers, in accordance with Department motor vehicle safety standards.

    Recommendation Number
    12
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Singapore should close out its procurement files in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    13
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should administer contracts in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    14
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore, in coordination with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, should bring its fire protection program into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    15
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should administer its facility management expendable supplies in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    16
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Singapore should submit its hotel and restaurant reports to the Bureau of Administration’s Office of Allowances in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    17
    Open Resolved

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

    Recommendation Number
    18
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should require its local Information Technology Configuration Control Board to comply with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    19
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should implement a standard operating procedure for managing its classified and unclassified printers in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    20
    Closed Implemented

    Embassy Singapore should manage its printers to maintain an optimal printing environment in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    21
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should implement procedures for issuing and tracking non-enterprise laptop devices that comply with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    22
    Closed Implemented

    The Bureau of Information Resource Management, in coordination with the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and Embassy Singapore, should implement a memorandum of agreement that outlines the roles and responsibilities for the management of the Classified Network Regionalization hub and the operation of Embassy Singapore’s classified network.

    Recommendation Number
    23
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Singapore should bring its emergency and evacuation radio program into compliance with Department standards.