State Department reorg largely employee led

A top official at the State Department testified at a House committee meeting this week, giving details and goals of the reorganization plans for the agency and its workforce.

Speaking at the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Sept. 26, Deputy Secretary John Sullivan said the workforce redesign occurring at the agency is 72 percent working-level employee led.

“I want to stress that the employee-led nature of the redesign is not an empty slogan,” he said during the hearing. “The Secretary wanted employees to drive this process from beginning to end, so that the Department and USAID can serve them better, even as they serve our country. An in-depth, bottom-up redesign effort of this nature has taken time – but it has generated strong proposals for reform that will meaningfully improve our ability to implement our mission.”

The agency used feedback from a survey of than 35,000 employees – nearly half of its entire global workforce to began its efforts – and found that: 41 percent of respondents said they did not have the tools needed to do their jobs; there are too many layers of approvals required to accomplish a simple task, with 75 percent saying that they have to use workarounds to get through complicated bureaucratic processes several times a year; and outdated technologies hinder their ability to coordinate with others and finish even a minor task.

“An in-depth, bottom-up redesign effort of this nature has taken time – but it has generated strong proposals for reform that will meaningfully improve our ability to implement our mission, Sullivan testified.

The working group has developed several key components of its reform plan, including: streamlining the policy creation process and optimize and realign our global footprint; maximizing the impact and accountability of foreign assistance; optimizing human resource support; and improving information technology platforms and modernizing legacy systems.

Changes such as these will save taxpayers a minimum of $5 billion over the next five years, with an aspirational whole of government target of up to $10 billion, he said.

Read the full testimony here.

Reader comments

Thu, Dec 21, 2017 jack

Hey, John: This isn't designed to be journalism. Journalism has been dead in North America for most of twenty years. This summary is 'reporting'. The words allowed to be reported here by the Deputy Secretary are intentionally vague for a reason. The words provide a skeleton of an outline and actually say nothing specific. The reason you don't recognize it as 'journalism' is because it doesn't polarize like the self-absorbed liberal/conservative mouth pieces you're used to hearing & reading. This is every bit a neutral report. That was its intent. Get over yourself.

Wed, Sep 27, 2017 John Frederick DC

This is not journalism. The ability to simply repeat the statements made with no fact checking or scrutiny is not what a reporter is supposed to be doing. TO simply report what was said and not determine if it was accurate or provide context and background makes this piece a forum for one viewpoint presented as ground truth. Do some digging, ask some questions, be a journalist not a historian.

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