ABSTRACT

State Department: Wide Range of Emergency Services Provided to American Citizens Overseas, but Improved Monitoring is Needed, Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 2MB]

"In 2008, the Department of State (State) estimated nearly 5 million U.S. citizens lived overseas, and 64 million trips were taken overseas by U.S. citizens. Since protecting and serving U.S. citizens abroad are among State's chief priorities, State must be prepared to provide emergency assistance to Americans abroad. This report describes (1) what services State provides to U.S. citizens who are the victims of crimes, suffer accidents, or otherwise need emergency services; (2) how State is prepared to assist U.S. citizens who are in need of emergency services; and (3) how State monitors the assistance it provides to U.S. citizens in need of emergency services. To ensure State has accurate, reliable data to monitor and evaluate its provision of emergency services worldwide, we recommend the Secretary of State direct State's Bureau of Consular Affairs to (1) provide guidance on information to be entered into the ACS system to ensure data are consistently captured and reflect workload; and (2) improve the reporting function in the ACS system. To ensure American citizens can easily find emergency contact information, we recommend the Secretary of State (1) require posts' main Web site pages to include emergency contact information; and (2) periodically test the accuracy of this information. State agreed with our conclusions and recommendations."

Report Number:
GAO-09-989
Publisher:
Date:
2009-09
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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