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REVIEW OF FOREIGN SERVICE PERSONNEL
Section 413 of the Act of October 7, 1978, suggests that the Secretary conduct a thorough review of the personnel needs of the Foreign Service and of the suitability of the current compensation system. Section 413(c) directs that a report be submitted describing the results of this review.
The Department finds that it has been asked to perform more and more functions without comparable increases in its personnel resources. The reports accompanying section 413 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1979 point out that the United States has expanded its diplomatic representation abroad dramatically and that our consular workload has increased significantly while the total number of personnel of the Department has remained approximately the same. In addition, the Department has found it necessary to assume or strengthen a number of other responsibilities in recent years. These include activities in the science and technology, counterterrorism, human rights, narcotics, ethics oversight, declassification, and Freedom of Information and Privacy Act areas.
These pressures have caused a number of shifts in departmental personnel resources. Since 1970, the following trends have taken place: The number of positions (both overseas and domestic) for Americans doing political reporting and analysis has declined 18 percent; although the economic/commercial functions has increased sharply in importance during this period, the number of positions for Americans in this function has been increased by only 2 percent. In contrast, American positions in the consular function have increased by 26 percent. There has also been a substantial shift of positions as the Department converted reimbursable administrative positions to direct positions in fiscal year 1977 to cope more effectively with the increasingly large burdens of supporting other agencies overseas. Moreover, there has been an overall reduction of American positions in the regional bureaus as the Department sought to comply with mandated requirements for strengthening its functional bureaus.
The Department has reviewed its personnel requirements within the severe constraints imposed by the congressional mandate to reduce its personnel ceilings to 1977 levels (Leach amendment) and by the President's directive that all Government agencies seek ways to reduce expenditures. It is in this context that the Department, through the zero-based budget process, made the hard choices required in developing its 1980 budget request.
During the review, we searched for ways to achieve reductions and determined that the following would be necessary: Closing more than a dozen of the least essential Foreign Service posts; reducing the schedule for prison visits abroad; reducing the central management, personnel, and administrative positions of the Department; reducing the Foreign Service national positions abroad through tightening and curtailing of post operations; reorganizing domestic operations in consular affairs, reducing operations in the international organization affairs and intelligence and research areas; and reducing administrative support provided other agencies to the extent possible.
Personnel needs are reviewed not only in the determination of budget year programs but also on a daily basis both within the organizational components of the Department and at the central management level. However, we now believe that the Department is reaching the limit in terms of its ability to reprogram positions to meet new workload requirements with current personnel resources.
Accordingly, some very hard choices are going to have to be made concerning the Department's ability to continue performing certain of its basic functions. Specifically, in taking personnel reductions over the past several years the Department has had no choice but to focus on the most immediate demands placed upon it. This has tended to force resources from long-term and less measurable needs (such as indepth reporting and analysis) to more immediate and pressing requirements. Future central management review of the allocation of Department personnel resources must make provision to insure that valid long-term capabilities are not further eroded.
The Department could not spare the personnel resources to conduct the in-depth study of the Foreign Service compensation system contemplated by section 413. Accordingly we have arranged to contract for such a study with the internationally respected consulting firm of Hay Associates.
The contract calls for the firm to review and evaluate the adequacy of all aspects of the existing Foreign Service compensation system in relation to other governmental and private organizations with overseas operations. The firm's report will include an overall analysis related to the overseas salary and benefit structure, viz. what is required to attract, retain, and motivate employees selected for overseas employment. The contract also calls for Hay Associates to present the Department optional approaches to the linkage problem-the appropriate relationship of the Foreign Service pay structure to other Government and private pay structures.
Since the contract has just been let, the results will not be known for several months. As soon as they are, we will send you the results along with recommendations which we now have under consideration to simplify and improve the Foreign Service salary structure.
REPORT TO CONGRESS ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
The international activities of the Government relating to science. and technology are now so extensive that almost no department or agency is unaffected. With the widening number of agencies involved and the growing complexity of interaction, new problems relating to the consistency between foreign policy and domestic science policy and resources have arisen.
There is, in fact, no sharp distinction between domestic and international aspects of science and technology. The National Science, Engineering, and Technology Policy and Priorities Act of 1976 lists as the first priority goal for U.S. science and technology,
"fostering leadership in the quest for international peace and progress toward human freedom, dignity, and well-being by enlarging the contributions of American scientists and engineers to the knowledge of man and his universe, by making discoveries of basic science widely available at home and abroad, and by utilizing technology in support of U.S. national and foreign policy gcals."
Title V of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act seeks to further these national objectives. The legislation sets forth certain responsibilities of the President and the Secretary of State in the interaction of science. technology. and foreign policy. The Department of State's analysis of the provisions of title V concluded that their impact would be felt most strongly in three areas:
-long-term planning related to the interaction of science, technology, and foreign policy;
-procedures for interagency coordination of international scientific and technological activities; and
-procedures for recruiting, training, and motivating personnel to carry out title V's objectives.
This report deals separately with these three topics.
To strengthen its planning capabilities, the Department of State has established a policy assessment staff in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Science Affairs (OES). This staff began operations this month and will be the focus of the Department's long-range science and technology planning efforts. It will work with
the OES operating offices, the Department's policy planning staff (S/P), and the planning offices of the Department's regional and functional bureaus. In addition, the staff will be responsible for improving the flow of information on planning and long-term objectives between the Department of State, other agencies, the Congress, and the public.
The Department will make use of the Committee on International Science, Engineering, and Technology (CISET) of the Federal Coordination Council on Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET) as a vehicle for the review and evaluation of long-range planning with interagency significance.
The Department of State plans to establish pilot programs with a few key domestic agencies whose programs affect foreign policy objectives, to explore joint long-range planning initiatives. The effort will identify current or potential agency programs with foreign policy implications and relate these to foreign policy objectives and priorities in a country and regional framework.
To improve the use of experts and ideas from outside the Government, the Department of State plans to establish, subject to approval in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, a Department of State Public Advisory Committee for Science and Technology. Discussions have begun with representatives of the academic, industrial, and other elements of the science and technological communities. The Department is also evaluating the adequacy of its research program in international science and technology."
Criteria and guidelines by which to measure the value of new science and technology initiatives both in terms of U.S. foreign policy and scientific and technical benefits will be established on a country, and where appropriate, regional basis. OES, in cooperation with technical agencies, will be responsible for developing such criteria.
A systematic interagency evaluation of U.S. Government international science and technology activities needs to be established. Provision for interim evaluations and periodic reviews should be built into international science and technology agreements.
OES will maintain close contact with the governmental and private sectors to identify new technologies and to assess their potential impact on foreign policy. The Department of State will explore with domestic agencies how they may strengthen the relations between those elements of their agencies engaged in technology development and those elements concerned with the planning of international programs. The Chairman of CISET will review the results of these discussions. The information needs of the U.S. Government in this field will be periodically reviewed to insure that they fairly reflect priority requirements in the civil science and technology areas. OES will be the focal point for preparing, updating, and circulating reporting priorities to science counselors and attachés abroad with the concurrence of the geographic bureaus of the Department and in consultation with other agencies.
COORDINATION AND OVERSIGHT
The growing importance and complexity of international activities involving science and technology has required adaptation of current coordinating relationships and mechanisms and the creation of new ones. These activities involve North-South problems and the impact
of global energy, environmental, and other issues on our economic, political and security relationships with other countries and international organizations. The report describes the principal modalities for executive branch coordination and oversight of these international activities and identifies the existing problems and opportunities to improve performance.
Communication must be improved between State and the technical agencies, between Washington and the field, and between the executive branch, the Congress, and the public. The Department of State plans to develop an information system to provide necessary data about the purpose, participants or organization, duration, cost and agency responsibilities for selected international activities. There will be a special emphasis on information on international agreements in science and technology. Stress will be placed on early notification of an intent to negotiate agreements. The Department will review requirements for information on foreign scientific and technological developments and will ask overseas missions for requisite reporting and analysis. OES will establish a science attaché support unit to coordinate this and related tasks with the geographic bureaus.
The Department of State will strengthen coordination between OES and the geographic and functional bureaus. Using CISET as a vehicle, and in coordination with OSTP and the technical agencies, State will be responsible for the preparation of the annual report called for in section 503(b), will ask agencies to designate a central contact point for international activities relating to science and technology and will designate OES staff members to serve as central contact points for each of the agencies with which it deals.
The Department of State believes that to carry out its responsibilities to coordinate and oversee the international science and technology activities of the Government both scientific and technical professionals and career Foreign Service personnel with background in foreign political and economic affairs will be required. The Director General's office in conjunction with OES is about to undertake a major survey to provide a detailed data base for future decisions on recruitment, training, and assignment of personnel in the science and technology
The adequacy of training resources has been the subject of several studies in recent years. There is a consensus that while existing training opportunities meet many of the needs of the Government, over the next several years present programs may need to be augmented. Increases in training programs should be introduced gradually, as resources permit and as career professionals become better motivated to acquire this training through a recognition of its relevance and a perception of career rewards in the field of science, technology, and foreign affairs.
Both in the Department of State and in a number of technical agencies there is support for an expansion of staff exchanges. Some 13 Foreign Service officers are currently working in such agencies as NASA, EPA, and the Council on Environmental Quality. Such programs offer Foreign Service personnel the opportunity to learn how major science and technology activities are planned and carried out.