Report: State Department Swamped with Paperwork

Wednesday, 26 Jan 2011 12:47 PM

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The diplomatic corps is being overwhelmed by government mandated reports that now cost $50 million a year to complete and have become full-time jobs for some employees. The State Department’s inspector general concluded in a report of its own that the hundreds of reports are too long, repetitive, and too expensive, The Washington Post reports.

state, department, paperworkInspector General Harold W. Geisel, in a 55-page report, said the “reports themselves have become encyclopedic in detail and length. Shorter would be better.” The inspector general report queried staff at 55 embassies and visited small foreign posts, the Post said.

While the reports do provide vital information, they often overlap. Three separate reports deal with child labor and are mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, an executive order from 1999, and the Trade and Development Act of 2000, the Post said.

Instructions for compiling the reports are themselves lengthy. The 2009 Human Rights Report’s instructions run 36 pages with a separate section on style that hits 41 pages, the Post said.



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