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16

SEPTEMBER 2016

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

Though seldom the object of travel

advisories itself, the United States fre-

quently issues travel warnings on other

countries to its citizens. In July alone, the

Department of State issued warnings for

Bangladesh, Venezuela, Iraq and Mali.

—Gemma Dvorak, Associate Editor

Opening a Window

on Foreign Aid

O

n July 15 President Barack Obama

signed the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016 into law.

The new law requires government agencies

to closely monitor and evaluate all foreign

aid programs based on their outcomes.

The legislation also requires data to be

publicly shared down to the award level,

improving transparency and allowing

the public a window into what’s working

and what’s not. This is to be done through

the

foreignassistance.gov

portal (see the

September 2015 Site of the Month

).

The stated purpose of the law is to: “(1)

evaluate the performance of covered U.S.

foreign assistance and its contribution to

the policies, strategies, projects, program

goals and priorities undertaken by the

government; (2) support and promote

innovative programs to improve effective-

ness; and (3) coordinate the monitor-

ing and evaluation processes of federal

departments and agencies that adminis-

ter covered U.S. foreign assistance.”

Guidelines for evaluation are to be cre-

ated by the president within 18 months,

and the State Department is required to

update foreignassistance.gov to make

“comprehensive, timely and comparable

information on covered U.S. foreign assis-

tance” public.

There are some caveats, however: If

the administrators of a particular program

can prove that making a certain piece of

information public would jeopardize the

security of Americans, or negatively affect

U.S. interests, they may not be required to

make it public.

—Shannon Mizzi, Editorial Assistant

Securing Our Secrets

Act Introduced

O

n July 13 Senators Johnny Isakson

(R-Ga.), David Perdue (R-Ga.),

James Risch (R-Idaho) and Ben Sasse

(R-Neb.) introduced the Securing Our Secrets Act in the Senate.

The act appears to be a response to

the controversy surrounding Hillary Clin-

ton’s use of a private email server while

serving as Secretary of State.

The bill would require State Depart-

ment officials to use only government-

managed platforms for work activity—

unless their private alternative receives a

national security waiver.

The legislation would also create

information security training programs

and allow for random scans of depart-

ment emails to check for improperly

transmitted classified information. It

would also require a report of any viola-

tions to Congress every year.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation

determined that Mrs. Clinton would not

face charges relating to possible mishan-

dling of classified data. However, State

has reopened its internal review into any

mishandling of information. It is not clear

how long the investigation will take.

FSJ

Editorial: Senior

Seminar Grads in the

Rose Garden

I

t was a hot, muggy afternoon

Thursday, June 9. The Rose

Garden was nearly filled with Senior

Seminar graduates, their families,

some well-wishers and a few Presi-

dential aides. President Lyndon B.

Johnson’s message was pointed yet

sweeping. …

He said: “The … special ties

between the President and the

Foreign Service should always be

close. …The Foreign Service, like

the Office of the President, belongs

to no one department. It serves the

whole of government.”

We agree fully that our relation-

ship with the President must be

extraordinary if we are to do well

the jobs facing us in the area of

foreign affairs. Moreover, we fully

endorse the concept that ours is

the Foreign Service of the United

States (and not

merely of any

one organiza-

tion or agency).

The President

looked to us for

answers to the questions of what we

can do now “which will enlarge the

prospects of life” for all peoples a

generation and more from now. He

urged us neither to grow impatient

nor to be overawed by the tasks

ahead—reminding us that politics or

diplomacy is not magic and recalling

that 13 years witnessed the interval

between our Declaration of Inde-

pendence and our first President’s

Inauguration.

We applaud the President’s

remarks and join with him in con-

gratulating the graduates of the

Senior Seminar in Foreign Policy.

—From the September 1966

Foreign Service Journal

50 Years Ago