Inspection of Embassy Lilongwe, Malawi

ISP-I-24-15
    Report Contents
    Unclassified
    Unclassified

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

    What OIG Recommends
    OIG made 24 recommendations to Embassy Lilongwe. In its comments on the draft report, Embassy Lilongwe concurred with all 24 recommendations. OIG considers all 24 recommendations resolved. The embassy’s response to each recommendation, and OIG’s reply, can be found in the Recommendations section of this report. The embassy’s formal response is reprinted in its entirety in Appendix B.

    What OIG Found

    • Since 2020, the Department has categorized Embassy Lilongwe as a historically difficult staff post. Despite incentives and allowances, one of the embassy’s greatest challenges is attracting bidders to fill its Foreign Service positions, particularly mid-level positions.
    • The Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission generally modeled the Department of State’s leadership and management principles.
    • Embassy Lilongwe had consular internal control deficiencies related to its facilities, cashier operations, crisis preparedness, fraud prevention, nonimmigrant visa policy, and the panel physician program.
    • The embassy had several deficiencies in its management of federal foreign assistance, including the lack of a comprehensive foreign assistance and coordination mechanism and standard operating procedures.
    • Embassy Lilongwe had multiple internal control issues in its facility management, general services, and human resources operations.
    • The embassy had information management internal control deficiencies related to satellite phones, records management, information systems security officer duties, and physical infrastructure.
    Category
    Locations
    Bureaus/Offices
    Recommendation Number
    1
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should comply with Department guidance for consular cashier operations.

    Recommendation Number
    2
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should comply with Department standards for consular crisis preparedness.

    Recommendation Number
    3
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should conduct its fraud prevention program in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    4
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should bring its nonimmigrant visa application process into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    5
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should bring its panel physician program into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    6
    Open Resolved

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

    Recommendation Number
    7
    Open Resolved

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

    Recommendation Number
    8
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe, in coordination with the Bureau for Global Health Security and Diplomacy, should implement a corrective action plan to investigate and mitigate data integrity problems for the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief.

    Recommendation Number
    9
    Open Resolved

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

    Recommendation Number
    10
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should bring its fire protection program into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    11
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe, in coordination with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, should conduct the required annual review of the Zomba Mountain Cottage to determine whether the property is economical to retain and if continued U.S. government ownership of the property is justified.

    Recommendation Number
    12
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should comply with applicable Department overseas motor vehicle safety requirements for chauffeurs and incidental drivers under chief of mission authority.

    Recommendation Number
    13
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should manage its bulk fuel operation in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    14
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should obtain authorization from the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations to use shipping containers for storage or remove them in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    15
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe, in coordination with the Bureau of Administration, should bring its furniture and appliance pool program into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    16
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should bring its property management procedures into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    17
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should administer its contracts in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    18
    Open Resolved

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

    Recommendation Number
    19
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should bring its local compensation plan and practices into alignment with Department authorizations.

    Recommendation Number
    20
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should bring its performance management program into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    21
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should bring its human resource procedures into compliance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    22
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should activate and test its satellite phones in accordance with Department standards.

    Recommendation Number
    23
    Open Resolved

    Embassy Lilongwe should implement a procedure for the post records coordinator to coordinate with the embassy’s sections on implementing records management requirements.

    Recommendation Number
    24
    Open Resolved

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