There’s a problem with the State Department.
To be fair, it didn’t start with Rex Tillerson. It began in 2015, under John Kerry’s watch (figures), but it’s troubling, all the same.
The State Department’s Office of the Inspector General have released a report saying the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have apparently lost track of more than $30 billion in foreign aid.
There was no infrastructure in place to track the funds.
From The Hill:
“Because the Department had made such limited progress in building the capacity to centrally track foreign assistance data, [the Office of Inspector General] strengthened and reissued the recommendation in the original report and made an additional recommendation focused on the need for executive leadership to address this Department-wide management challenge,” it read.
Despite the recommendation made by the inspector general in 2015, the State Department “cannot obtain timely and accurate data necessary to provide central oversight of foreign assistance activities and meet statutory and regulatory reporting requirements.”
To date, there has been no cooperation, and no progress in tracking those funds.
While the latest Trump administration budget suggests a 37 percent cut in foreign aid, some Republicans feel that may pose a problem.
“It’s not going to happen,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in late February. “It would be a disaster. A budget this lean would put those who serve overseas for the State Department at risk. And it’s not going to happen.”
This comes at a time when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is seeking autonomy in running the Department.
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan has said that the department is in agreement with the recommendations of the watchdog group, and that measures will be taken to begin implementation.
I shudder to think of how much of our American tax dollars were wasted, and who benefited, under John Kerry’s “leadership.”