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IG Offers Recommendations for State Dept’s Office of Science and Technology Adviser

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IG's State STAS Report
IG's State STAS Report

The State Department’s office of inspector general has recommended that the office of the science and technology adviser to the secretary come up and communicate to personnel a plan to implement its functional bureau strategy and develop and train staff on clearance procedures in compliance with the department’s guidelines.

STAS should create procedures that delineate the responsibilities and roles of regional technology and regional environmental, science, technology and health officers, submit a statement of policy areas of responsibilities and nominate a contracting officer’s representative to help manage contracts associated with American Association for the Advancement of Science and Jefferson Science Fellowship programs, according to an IG report published in August.

STAS, which advises the department’s leadership on artificial intelligence, 5G, quantum computing and other emerging technologies, agreed with all five recommendations and noted that it expects to address them before the end of 2021.

OIG examined STAS’ policy implementation, executive direction, resource management and operational effectiveness and found that frequent leadership turnover resulted in challenges for the office. The inspector general also found that STAS did not use its FBS to facilitate and enhance office performance.

The report also noted accomplishments to meet U.S. data integrity goals, such as STAS' efforts to work with other government agencies, academia and nongovernmental institutions “to advance the candidacy of the United States as the new host of the World Data System’s International Program Office.”