Extracted from CRS report: Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad: Background and Policy Issues, May 7, 2013 via Secrecy News:
Extracted from CRS report: Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad: Background and Policy Issues, May 7, 2013 via Secrecy News:
Back in January, we posted a brief item about Ambassador Beth Jones, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State of Near Eastern Affairs. (see QotW: Will Beth Jones Be Formally Nominated as Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs?)
Recently, Laura Rozen of the Back Channel posted more on the rumored potential successor to Jeffrey Feltman at the NEA Bureau. Excerpt:
Acting Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs Beth Jones will not stay in the job in Obama’s second term, the Back Channel has previously reported. Among the rumored candidates in the mix to possibly succeed her, US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson, Syria envoy Ford, and US Ambassador to Jordan Stuart Jones, who previously served as deputy US Ambassador in Iraq and DAS for Europe, diplomatic sources said. Other possibilities mentioned include US envoy to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft, US envoy to Turkey Francis Ricciardone, and NSS Senior Director for the Persian Gulf Puneet Talwar. The administration is, however, unlikely to pick an outsider/non career diplomat for the sensitive NEA post, especially in the wake of Benghazi, diplomatic sources said Friday, and suggested Patterson or Ford, both with past ambassadorships in the Arab world, would have an edge.
Read in full here.
While Ambassador Jones is not in the running for the top job at the NEA Bureau, we think she deserves credit for yanking out a deputy chief of mission described as “a disaster” from one of her NEA posts. Instead of letting things fester, as is often the case in the bureaucracy, this one was sent out packing to land back in WashDC.
The traditional arrangement for running an embassy assigns internal management of the mission to the deputy chief of mission. And while we recognize the many challenges in doing that, we are also convinced that not everyone who is a DCM is cut out to be one. When the bureau let it stew too long particularly in a sort of pressure cooker place, the mission gets, well, overly chewy and unpleasant.
So let’s hope that whoever takes over Ambassador Jones’ job at the NEA Bureau will show a similar propensity for tackling difficult managers in our overseas missions. And while Secretary Kerry is reportedly relying on senior managers to take care of the big house while he is starting to beef up his miles, he ought to do something about the State Department’s Recycling Division for bad managers. We’re getting awfully tired seeing recyclees pop up here, there and the most unexpected places.
Dear Secretary Kerry, can you please send these recyclees to a leadership bootcamp, and no we don’t mean to the NFATC/ Foreign Service Institute where they cure them with Myers-Briggs.
A side note –
We recently posted about the “abysmal morale” at the US Embassy in Cairo, another NEA post (see US Embassy Bangui: 15% Danger Post With Terrifically Bad Trimmings, It’s Not Alone –Wassup Cairo?). While writing this post, we received a note that a high-level visitor from DC will soon be in Cairo to discuss post morale. We hope that trip is fruitful. We’d volunteer to be baggage handler so we can live-tweet the trip and the expected town hall with mission staff but folks might get shy ….
The 12:35 minute video features Secretary Clinton, US Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney, US Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White, a management analyst from the Foreign Service Institute giving a tour of the pretend jail at FSI, and several officers who may or may not be entry level officers on their first or second tours.
The video above came with a 1:16 minute trailer and the following media note:
As part of an effort to continue to attract smart, dynamic, capable people into the Foreign Service, the Department of State is releasing a new one-minute trailer and an accompanying short video that showcases the faces and stories of the amazing men and women who have helped make the world a better place through a career in the Foreign Service.
The video is meant to inspire and promote participation in American diplomacy through joining the Foreign Service. Through compelling stories and powerful imagery, the film aims to educate and engage Americans on the incredible career opportunities available in the Foreign Service.
As Secretary Clinton says, “The challenges of the 21st century offer something for everyone in the Foreign Service and they also demand a wide range of skills and experience…we need you now.”
The Foreign Service represents the United States around the world and provides the opportunity to experience cultures, customs and people of different nations in a career truly unlike any other. In this constantly changing world, we want to continue to recruit adaptable, resourceful, intelligent, and innovative strategic-thinkers, from diverse educational, geographic and cultural backgrounds.
If that sounds like what you’re looking for – sign up now at careers.state.gov: http://careers.state.gov/officer/selection-process.
The video is meant to inspire, as they say, so it does not mention the timeline on the hiring process (still about two years) or the challenges for dual-income families reduced to one when the accompanying spouse is unable to find work overseas. It’s a recruitment video, so that’s understandable. But perhaps the most glaring omission of all — out of about a dozen officers featured in this video, did you see anyone shown working in the danger zones of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan? Other than that, the video is a nice showcase.
To help the film educate Americans, below are some related posts from former FSO now Gadling columnist, Dave Seminara. Do not/not skip the “How To Avoid Posts Where You Might Get Eaten Alive.” That seems important.
Here is also a must-read piece by retired FSO Peter Van Buren who underwent quite a bit of beard shaving and shunning in the aftermath of the publication of his book, We Meant Well:
And just to be clear — Papua New Guinea now only has one tribe, the Korowai (numbering about 3,000) reported to practice ritual cannibalism. They do not/not live anywhere near the US Embassy compound in Port Moresby. So that should make you feel better….
In any case, we are not in the business to encourage or discourage anyone from joining the Foreign Service. What we will say is that the Foreign Service is not for everyone. You can have the best times of your lives, you can have the worst times of your lives. Not one or the other at all times. So if you join, make sure you got a Plan B … because stuff happens.
One of the saddest people we’ve encountered is a mid-level employee with kids, a mortgage, and nowhere to go but stay put even when the FS has lost its sparkle. As Yoda would probably say in a galaxy far, far away – having more than one option, success is. Good luck!
In the same article where the above stats is extracted, the Office of Civil Rights says that “the Department
wants its workforce to reflect the diversity of the country we represent to the world.” It also reports the EEO complaints for fiscal year 2012:
Formal complaints: 133
Top three protected bases:
reprisal (57), race (40) and sex (38)
Top three issues:
non-sexual hostile work environment (51)
performance evaluation/appraisal (19)
Findings of discrimination: 3
And — to State Department-affinity groups who requested the demographic stats from DG/HR and are repeatedly told that this is not available, you’ve got one stop if DG/HR would not budge – the Office of Civil Rights, S/OCR, Room 7428, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520; Email: email@example.com Tel: (202) 647-9295 or (202) 647-9294, Fax: (202) 647-4969. An executive agency’s workforce demographics is not protected, secret information and should be public record, good grief!
I almost forgot this item I saw from the US Army a few weeks ago. After the “build phase” is completed, we can expect at least five battalions of “warrior diplomats.” Since a battalion has around 300–1,200 soldiers, the new warrior diplomats brigade can have a as low as 1,500 soldiers or as high as 6,000 for a brigade consisting of five battalions.
FORT HOOD, Texas, Sept. 22, 2011 — A brand new unit now has a home at Fort Hood. The 85th Civil Affairs Brigade officially stood up at the “Great Place” Sept. 16, after years of planning and coordination.
“In 2007, the Army saw a need for additional civil affairs capabilities,” Ruth explained. At that time, only one active-duty brigade-sized civil affairs unit existed — the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) which is aligned under U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.
After the surge in Iraq was announced in 2007, Ruth said nearly half of the USASOC civil affairs Soldiers were deployed to the Middle East to support ongoing operations. Plans were made to build another brigade, although that process took some time.
“We are in the build phase now,” Ruth said. “By the time we finish building the brigade, we will have five battalions. Each battalion will be oriented on a geographic combatant command.”
The 85th Civil Affairs Bde. is a direct-reporting unit to U.S. Army Forces Command. In addition, the brigade’s first battalion, the 81st Civil Affairs Battalion, stood up Sept. 16 at Fort Hood. That battalion is oriented to Southern Command.
In September 2012, two additional battalions will stand up. They include the 83rd Civil Affairs Battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C., which will be oriented to Central Command, and the 82nd Civil Affairs Battalion at Fort Stewart, Ga., which will be oriented to Africa Command.
The two final battalions will activate in September 2013 and will include the 80th Civil Affairs Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., which will be oriented to Pacific Command, and the 84th Civil Affairs Battalion at Fort Bliss, which will support European Command.
There’s a simple reason for the roll out of the brigades, according to Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Berry, the brigade’s senior enlisted advisor.
“Part of the challenge of what we have (is) the MOS (military occupational specialty) and the branch have only existed since 2007,” he said. “So as we’re building capacity in the branch, we’re expanding the units at the same time.”
Soldiers that are interested in the civil affairs branch have a challenging road ahead of them before they can join a battalion or a brigade.
“We recruit from inside the Army,” Berry said. “The process is quite lengthy.”
Interested Soldiers must first meet the qualifications and go through a screening process. If they make it through that level but are not yet parachutists, they must complete Airborne school. After that, there is the official civil affairs MOS qualification course, and finally, the Soldiers must learn a foreign language, which means months of additional schooling.
“It’s very busy, but it’s also very rewarding to do something that not very many people have an opportunity to do in the Army, and that’s stand something up from nothing.”
Standing up a brigade requires identifying unit facilities, creating procedures and policies, and working closely with Human Resources Command to make sure positions are properly staffed, in addition to dozens of other tasks on a daily basis.
“I don’t think we could do this at any other place except Fort Hood, and that goes back to the superb level of support we’re getting,” Ruth said.
The Civil Affairs brigade at Fort Hood equips FORSCOM with a crucial tool, a team of “warrior diplomats,” eager to leave their mark on the world.
“The mission is to provide FORSCOM with a civil affairs capability,” Ruth said. “It can do three things, (including) support the Army Force Generation cycle with civil affairs operators. The second capability that we provide FORSCOM is the ability to provide peacetime engagement throughout the world, and then the last thing we provide is the ability to support any emergent operations.
“So if we have another Haiti (earthquake) or flood in Indonesia, now we have civil affairs Soldiers who can go out and lend their expertise in mitigating those disasters,” he added.
Civil affairs Soldiers play a crucial role in both war and peace, although Ruth admitted that the branch is sometimes misunderstood.
“There’s a misnomer out there that what we do is hand out MREs (meals, ready-to-eat) and dig wells,” he said. “That’s not exactly what we do. We can facilitate that, but we do things for specific reasons, and that’s really to legitimize the local, regional or national government, and facilitate the commander’s ability to operate in theater.”
At the tactical level, civil affairs Soldiers serve as an intermediary between a commander on the ground and local village representatives. That’s where the in-depth training and language skills make all the difference in the world.
“Because of all that training and the way we select those Soldiers, we’re going to be able to provide the Army with a mature Soldier, a Soldier that has the ability to think on his or her feet,” Berry said.
“You can put them in a situation and they may not know the answer when they get there, but they’re going to keep working at it until they figure out what the answer is. They also have the ability to work with people and understand people.”
“Our motto is ‘warrior diplomat’ because we have to be warriors. We have to be Soldiers,” Ruth said. “But the Soldiers also have to add the diplomatic capability to where they can diffuse dissension, identify what the local vulnerabilities are and really bring people together.”
To mark the brigade’s activation, the unit will host a ceremony at the flagpole in front of III Corps Headquarters Sept. 30 at 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend.
The full article is here.
By September 2013, the full brigade with an upper count of possibly 6,000 soldiers will be in place. One battalion of warrior diplomats will support each combatant command: Central, Southern, Pacific, European and Africom.
To put this in perspective: the diplomatic service, officially called the United States Foreign Service and tasked with carrying out the foreign policy of these United States in over 270 posts overseas has about 13,000 staff members. Only about 6,500 are Foreign Service officers. Indeed, they could easily fit aboard a single aircraft carrier.
In the FY2012 budget State requested an addition of 197 full time Foreign Service and Civil Service – a growth of 1 percent, and 165 new positions for USAID. I can’t tell how many additional staffing was granted. But the FY2012 budget request for the State Department was $62.7 billion, and only $53.4 billion was enacted.
For FY2013, State has again requested additional staffing, this time, for 121 new positions (83 Foreign Service and 38 civil service) in high priority programs and regions.
And that’s that for the chopping block, until the next round.
Also — the State Department’s hiring effort called Diplomacy 3.0 to increase its Foreign Service workforce by 25 percent by 2013 was derailed due to emerging budgetary constraints. It is anticipated that this goal will not be met until 2023.
On July 22, USCG Karachi announced the arrival of the new Consul General Michael Dodman to Karachi:
CG Dodman’s prior State Department assignments include Economic Counselor at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and Political and Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Prague. He has also served in Ankara and Warsaw, as well as in Washington, DC.
“I am very pleased to be here in Karachi,” CG Dodman said. “I look forward to getting to know this vibrant city and the people of Sindh and Balochistan provinces as I work to strengthen the relationship between our two countries.”
CG Dodman graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and has Masters degrees from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and Boston University.
William Martin, the previous Consul General, recently departed Karachi after a successful two year posting and is en route to his next diplomatic assignment.
Here is CG Dodman asking, “What should I know about Pakistani culture?”
USCG Peshawar, still considered the most dangerous assignment in the Foreign Service is also undergoing change. No announcement was made of the departure of Dr. Marie Richards, who was the Consul General since last year. But she did pin this note on FB last June.
As many of you know, I will be leaving Peshawar very soon. My time here was always meant to be for only one year due to family responsibilities back home. The people I have met here in the past year have impressed me deeply with their openness, generosity, and commitment to making Peshawar and KP/FATA what it should once again be: a crossroads of civilizations marked by tolerance, trade and respect for diversity of cultures. I am grateful for the kindness shown to me by our many contacts and friends, and am confident that my successor will enjoy a similar welcome.
her successor the interim Consul General has released a Ramadan message via YouTube on July 18, 2012. Below is a video message from Consul General Stephen Engelken who was formerly DCM at the US Mission to UNESCO.
It’s summer so we will see a lot more rotation and staffing changes particularly in the AIP posts where assignments are mostly one year rotations (although sometimes two years for senior folks).
Correction: US Mission Pakistan tells me that Steve Engleken is the interim CG in Peshawar. The new Consul General assigned to Peshawar is Robert Reed who is scheduled to arrive shortly.
The following numbers and info from the July 30 SIGIR report:
As of early July, according to DoS, 15,007 personnel were supporting the U.S. Mission in Iraq:
In a change from its past reporting practice, DoS said that it obtained this quarter’s data on the number and role of contractors from the Synchronized Predeployment and Operational Tracker (SPOT) database maintained by DoD. SIGIR also obtained data from the SPOT database that showed 12,477 employees of U.S.-funded contractors and grantees were working in Iraq as of July 2, 2012—1,295 fewer contractor personnel than reported by the Embassy. The data may have been accessed on different dates, but SIGIR does not know if that would completely account for the difference in reported number of contractor personnel.
Reconstruction Staff Down to 6, But Wait –
According to DoS, only 6 personnel—the number of staff in the Iraq Strategic Partnership Office—support “reconstruction activities.” DoS estimated that 67 contractors also support reconstruction programs. However, in its tally of reconstruction personnel, DoS excludes the entire staff of the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq (OSC-I), which manages Iraq Security Forces Fund (ISFF) projects and the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programs; DoS Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) personnel working on the Police Development Program (PDP); and personnel working on U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs.96 DoS contends that it excludes these individuals because they work on “traditional assistance programs (assistance programs that are found in embassies worldwide).” However, SIGIR takes the position that Economic Support Fund (ESF) and FMS, for example, are reconstruction programs in Iraq—a position supported in a March 31, 2011, letter by the Chairmen of the House Committees on Oversight and Government Reform and Foreign Affairs to the Secretary of State.
Less Expensive Staffing/Life-Support Options
DoS is working to reduce direct-hire staffing by 25%–30% by the end of 2013. Moreover, the Embassy is continuing to hire more Iraqis to fill direct-hire positions, reporting that 240 of the planned 400 were on board, as of June 28.
With regard to life-support contractors, DoS’s goal is for 50% of all life-support contractors to be Iraqis. As of late June, Iraqis made up about 24% of life-support contractors.
US Consulate Kirkuk Closes Today, Maybe…
The U.S. Consulate in Kirkuk—which has been operational, though not providing most traditional consular services, for about one year—has been scheduled to close by the end of July 2012. The consulate, which had been colocated with the OSC-I site on the grounds of an Iraqi Air Force base, will transfer most of its personnel to the Erbil Diplomatic Support Center (EDSC). To accommodate this move, the EDSC is preparing additional containerized housing-units that will serve as living quarters and office space for those personnel relocated from Kirkuk. About 30 private-security contractors will move from Kirkuk to Erbil as part of this plan. U.S. facilities in Kirkuk had been subject to regular indirect fire attacks since they opened. OSC-I will close its Kirkuk site by the end of September.
That’s a “maybe” because nowhere in US Mission Baghdad’s website or social media digs is there an announcement or an indication that the consulate in Kirkuk is about to close. In fact, the embassy’s lengthy job vacancy list, still has the following:
Jobs/Vacancies in Consulate General Kirkuk:
Political Assistant, FSN-8; FP-6* (PDF 93kb) Closing Date: Open until filled
An FSN-8 at $40,102 USD per year. Not bad for a local rate in a country where the average annual income is $3,500. But Iraqis may still not want their neighbors to know where they work. The job was originally published in February and republished in May.
On June 21, 2012, the State Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) posted the following report: Compliance Followup Review of Embassy Islamabad and Constituent Posts, Pakistan (ISP-C-12-28A) [563 Kb] dated 05/31/12.
It made the news cycle for a couple of days because it contains the following:
Official Pakistani obstructionism and harassment, an endemic problem in Pakistan, has increased to the point where it is significantly impairing mission operations and program implementation [(b) (5) REDACTED] The issue of harassment must be made an integral part of high-level policy discussions with the Pakistani Government regarding the future of the bilateral relationship.
That’s about all that was reported in the mainstream press. But enough to rile everyone up. Our officials being harassed by officials in Pakistan, the same country which is the recipient of one of the largest aid bucket in recent years. That’s just really offensive. Of course, the extra fine details of that official harassment had been extensively redacted in the published report. Which is understandable. With both countries trying to hold on to this extremely difficult marriage, do we really need to pour more fuel to what is already a raging fire. So we’ll even accept that the redactions were necessary.
We’re slowly catching up with our reading and noticed one other key judgement in that report, as follows:
In the management section, a highly centralized and controlling management style, coupled with the lack of focus and effective oversight from the front office, has had a detrimental impact on the functioning of the mission and the timely delivery of administrative services.
Okay, that doesn’t sound good, particularly because the management section holds almost all the keys to the proper and effective functioning of any overseas mission. An effective management section can help mitigate the fall out from a dysfunctional front office. But a dysfunctional management section can undermine even the best front office; although if it’s really the best, the management section should not be dysfunctional for long.
And then there’s this:
Um, excuse me, but why should a delegation of authority from the Front Office of the US Embassy in Islamabad (Ambassadors Munter and DCM Hoagland) to the Management Counselor (listed in the IG report as Sandra Muench) require the redaction above?
And then there’s this:
The management section is led by an experienced and highly motivated management counselor, serving in her third successive hardship tour. She supervises a cadre of well-qualified and experienced unit chiefs, many recruited by her personally. This team has worked hard to improve management controls and strengthen delivery of ICASS to all mission elements, and the effect of its efforts is palpable in every aspect of management at this mission.
The DCM, as he has with other senior counselors, delegated significant responsibilities to the management counselor.
Jeez! Even the recommendation had been redacted!
The meat in the OIG’s teaser of a “highly centralized and controlling management style, coupled with the lack of focus and effective oversight” was effectively erased for public consumption. Because, obviously, the American public cannot handle the truth about bad leadership and management.
We heard talks and separate unconfirmed rumors that the draft report actually included a rather serious recommendation. The Under Secretary for Management Pat Kennedy’s name had been mentioned as well as something about the redacted officer having “a stellar reputation in D.C.”
我的媽和她的瘋狂的外甥都 Holy mother of god and all her crazy nephews! Don’t you just hate that? No wonder these bad managers get recycled more often than bottle caps.
This is, of course, not the first time that we’ve seen such redactions particularly in reference to the performance of career diplomats. Early this year, the OIG released its inspection report of the US Embassy in Lebanon. The section on the embassy’s deputy chief of mission (or deputy ambassador, if you will) was also extensively redacted. According to the IG report, the US Embassy in Beirut is encumbered by US Ambassador Maura Connelly who arrived in September 2010 and DCM E. Candace Putnam who arrived in June 2011. Wait, it looks like Richard M. Mills arrived in March 2012 as the new DCM at the US Embassy in Beirut, the same month the IG report was released online.
Here is the key item:
Embassy Beirut performs its core policy and operational missions well. However, its substantive strengths are undercut by front office leadership shortcomings [REDACTED].
That’s not the only redaction. Here are a few more:
And below is one of our favorite portions, because it shows how artfully the inspectors can understate somebody’s micromanagement skill; intense front office attention almost sounds like a talent.
Frankly, we can’t help but feel sorry for this poor sod working as the management counselor at the US Embassy in Beirut. And unlike the embassy’s CLO (an eligible family member) who called it quits, the management officer is a career employee and must sucked it up if he/she wants to continue his/her career with the State Department.
Given the harsh OIG report on the management style of then US Ambassador to Luxembourg Cynthia Stroum (a report that obviously needs more redactions were it not a European post) we asked the OIG about the Lebanon redactions on the DCM’s performance and received the following response:
Whereas the Embassy Luxembourg report dealt with many of the same issues, the geopolitical situation in Lebanon is quite different from that in Luxembourg, and our Freedom of Information Act analysis led to more extensive redactions.
O-kay! So technically, you can be an ass at any of the priority and hardship posts and the OIG will cover up your performance in blackouts under the guise of something called a “geopolitical situation”?
We want to make sure we got this thing right. So last night, we sent off another email to the OIG asking about the redactions specific to the Pakistan report. We haven’t heard anything; we will update this post if we get a response.
Our main concern about this is twofold: 1) the appearance of a double standard and 2) recycling FSOs with problematic leadership and management skills is not going to make another embassy greener or healthier nor make for better FSOs. Without effective intervention, they’re just going to make another post as miserable as the last one and impairs the embassy mission and operation. Can’t fix the faulty bottle caps if you just recycle the faulty bottle caps, simple as that.
The OIG slams hard the performance of political appointees and puts it all out to hang for the pundits and their neighbors. And yet when it comes to career appointees, the OIG slams them somehow less hard? Don’t know, maybe the OIG slams career diplomats just as hard in their reports (we want to believe that) but that is hard to know since the details are effectively removed from the reading consumption of the American public with thick, black Sharpies. As if somehow, we need to be protected from such grainy details.
Oh wait, it’s not really us they are protecting … but dammit, who …?
The GAO just released its June 2012 report on the Foreign Service staffing gaps (GAO: Foreign Service Midlevel Staffing Gaps Persist Despite Significant Increases in Hiring (June 2012). Here are the main take aways:
Mind the Gaps – Location, Location
Mind the Gaps – Where the New Jobs Are
Foreign Service Conversion Program
Accelerated Promotion, Anyone?
State’s Five Year Workforce Plan, officers hired in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 under the first wave of Diplomacy 3.0 hiring will begin to be eligible for promotion to the midlevels in fiscal years 2014 or 2015. In recent years, State has accelerated the average time it takes for officers to be promoted into the midlevels, in part to fill gaps. However, officials from State’s regional bureaus and AFSA expressed concerns that this creates a different form of experience gap, as some officers may be promoted before they are fully prepared to assume new responsibilities.
A few striking things here besides the obvious –
State created new positions under Diplomacy 3.0, all midlevel positions. Instead of hiring midlevel personnel to fill those positions, it continued to hire entry level personnel. Why? Because “State only hires entry-level Foreign Service employees.” Gocha! Because that makes perfect sense. Read this on why the State Department’s hiring philosophy needs an extreme makeover.
State has 10,490 Civil Service employees and was only able to convert four employees to the Foreign Service. That’s like what – 0.03813 percent conversion rate to help bridge the gap? That’s not going to make any dent whatsoever.
Given the number of FS retirees, some forced out in the up or out system, others through mandatory retirement, State has not put those experience to effective use. In FY2011, some 350 retirees were given WAE (When Actually Employed) appointments. These retirees who return to work have a cap of 1,040 hours of employment per calendar year. But as GAO notes, individual bureaus maintain their own lists of retirees and hire them as WAEs from their own budgets. State has no initiatives currently under way to expand its use of WAEs.
So there. We’ll be extremely relieved come FY 2023.