Under the rule of President Trump, many Americans and agencies within America are worried for their futures. Trump seems to leave nothing but destruction for many of those within the country.
A new survey indicated that thousands of State Department and U.S Agency for International Development employees are worried about what the future holds for their agencies. Some have expressed specific concerns about the blatant lack of support that they have been getting from the Trump administration and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The State Department paid consulting firm Insigniam nearly $1.1 million to compile the 110 page report, which includes feedback from 35,386 employees of two agencies; the State Department, and USAID. The report is to be given to Tillerson, as he carries on with efforts to reorganize the State Department, while they incur large budget cuts.
Among the employees who responded to the survey, the consensus seemed to be that they were fed up with the way that the agencies function. Some of the frustrations expressed included poor technology, along with redundant processes that make workarounds a necessity, according to the report, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Within the report, USAID employees said that they have specific worries about the repercussions of making the move to fully integrate USAID into the State Department, which is something that officials are seriously considering.
At the time of this report’s release, President Trump’s administration has still not filled the senior State Department positions, which both current and former officials say has been a big hindrance to decision making. The department is in charge of coordinating U.S. diplomatic policy around the world, and is presently contending with threats from North Korea and Russia in their attempt to end wars in the Middle East.
According to aides, the dismal results really reflect Tillerson’s willingness to learn from the feedback that is coming from these surveys, and work it into the plans for the future of the State Department. A senior adviser to Tillerson stated:
‘The first step in this is to give a platform to people to identify what needs to be fixed, the second stage is to give people a platform to fix it, and the third stage is to implement an improved design.’
The report showed that many employees have serious concerns about the management currently at the State Department. Their worries included existing structures, which they believed to be inefficient, as well as the attitude expressed by Trump and his administration.
The report reads:
‘People do not speak optimistically about the future. The absence of a clear vision of the future allows room for speculation and rumor about what the future could bring, such as further USAID integration into DOS [Department of State] or the militarization of foreign policy.’
Employees within the state Department expressed to Insigniam that they had concerns about Tillerson’s leadership skills, in addition to the Trump administration. One respondent who was quoted within the report said:
‘I am concerned that the dramatic reduction in budget, paired with extended staffing gaps at the most senior level, will result in the loss of not only an exceptionally talented group of people from our ranks, but will hamper our impact to fulfill our mission for decades to come.’
Eliot Cohen, who had served as State Department counselor with the George W. Bush administration, said that complaints regarding the department’s bureaucracy and technology are nothing new. He went on to say:
‘I would expect them [employees] to be in an incredibly sour mood because of the Trump administration.If you look at the way [Mr. Tillerson] has dealt with subordinates and the hammering he has taken from the administration…he has an ineffective team.’
Tillerson is expected to announce that a working group will be enacted to further examine the main areas highlighted within the report. That would include overseas operations, foreign-assistance programs, technology, and staffing.
These groups will add to a report which the State Department will then submit to the Office of Management and Budget by mid September, to look at how to reorganize going forward.
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