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Washington, D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) released the followings statement on enactment of S. 1635, which represents the first State Department authorization enacted in 14 years:

“To secure peace in an increasingly dangerous world, it is imperative we have an efficient, accountable and modern State Department.  After working closely with our Senate counterparts, I am glad these important measures to strengthen embassy security and bolster Foggy Bottom’s top watchdog are now law.  I look forward to working with the new administration to build on them with additional reforms.”

Specifically, S. 1635:

Enhances Embassy Security
• Authorizes “best value” contracting, ensuring embassies hire the best local guards.
• Requires the State Department to designate a list of high-risk, high-threat posts – strengthening security by enhancing training and prioritizing resources.
• Directs the State Department and Defense Department to jointly develop contingency plans – including the rapid deployment of military forces.
• Increases accountability for conduct that puts embassies or personnel at risk.

Strengthens Accountability
• Mandates monthly briefings to Congress on embassy security.
• Empowers the Department’s Inspector General – an office that sat vacant for five years of the Obama Administration – and increases access to reports of waste, fraud, and abuse.
• Dictates reporting to Congress on unfulfilled GAO and IG cost-savings recommendations.

Advances Reform
• Introduces flexibility into the Department’s workforce and authorizes a pilot program to acquire talent from the private sector.
• Demands an annual report on all U.S. contributions to the United Nations.
• Orders a comprehensive strategy for reducing sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers.

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