The report was issued by the State Department's Office of the Inspector General
President Trump's budget suggested slashing foreign aid by about $10 billion
A government watchdog on Friday criticized the State Department and the US Agency for International Development for not adequately tracking the over $30 billion they spend annually on foreign assistance, as the administration seeks dramatic cuts to its foreign aid budget.
In a new report, the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General – an independent arm of the agency that provides oversight of its programs – chided the government, saying it “cannot obtain timely and accurate data necessary to provide central oversight of foreign assistance activities and meet statutory and regulatory reporting requirements.”
Moreover, the report says the agencies failed to properly implement recommendations outlined in a similar report from 2015, despite launching a $1 million plan aimed at doing just that.
“Because the Department had made such limited progress in building the capacity to centrally track foreign assistance data,” the report notes, the inspector general has “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.”
The report comes three months after the administration unveiled its proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year, in which they suggested slashing the foreign assistance budget by about $10 billion to help reduce non-defense spending.
Foreign assistance is provided by the United States to other countries for everything from counter-narcotics programs, to the promotion of human rights and good governance as well as help addressing health crises and the fallout of natural disasters.
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan responded in a memorandum, written earlier this month and released alongside the report, saying he accepts the inspector general’s recommendations and will begin implementing them.
CNN’s Tal Kopan contributed to this report