A review of foreign businesses contracting with the U.S. government found one firm was also doing work in Iran's energy sector, violating an international embargo designed to put pressure on stopping the Middle East nation from furthering its nuclear program, said the Government Accountability Office, Congress' watchdog arm.
Investigators found that Daelim Industtrial in South Korea was hired by the U.S. government for $1.5 million to construct military housing at a U.S. base in South Korea. But the GAO said the company was also "engaged in commercial activity in Iran’s energy sector."
The information was passed along to the State Department, and the GAO report did not give indication as to what action, if any, U.S. officials might take against the South Korean company.
The State Department has still not implemented a comprehensive way to review the performance of leaders at posts and bureaus around the world, according to a letter from the agency's Office of Inspector General.
Investigators "found that while 75 percent of ambassadors, deputy chiefs of mission and principal officers are doing a good to excellent job, 25 percent have weaknesses that, in most cases, have a significant impact on the effectiveness and morale of their posts and certainly warrant intervention by the Department."
The American Institute in Taiwan is a nonprofit private organization staffed mostly by federal workers and directed by the State Department. It's this straddling of the public/private line that is leading to some problems according to a report by the State Department Office of Inspections.
The U.S. embassy in Baghdad overpaid a private contractor$2.7 million for maintenance and upkeep of the embassy compound, according to an investigation by the State Department's Office of Inspector General.
Pacific Architects and Engineers was hired to provide a range of services including trash removal, pest control and elevator servicing. But the inspector general said the contractor was overpaid because embassy officials didn't double check paperwork and make sure all work was getting completed.
The State Department issued a statement Wednesday that it’s relieved that a former Marine arrested for spying in Iran is off death row, but worries about his lack of legal rights and reports of his deteriorating health, The Associated Press reports.
An annual report from the State Department on the state of terrorism said killing Osama bin Laden and other top leaders has left al Qaeda severely weakened, though threats remain in Iran and Hezbollah, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
A new Government Accountability Office report says the State Department needs better tools to analyze the progress made with the World Health Organization's reform agenda. Weaknesses include unclear definitions and determinations in its assessment process, the report says.
The State Department mostly agreed with the GAO's recommendations to enhance its assessment tools, the report says.