Briefing on Release of the First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR)

Special Briefing
Anne-Marie Slaughter
Philip J. Crowley
   Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
USAID Deputy Administrator Donald K. Steinberg
Washington, DC
December 15, 2010

MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. As you all saw a little bit ago with the Secretary unveiling the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review at a town hall here at the State Department, it kicks off a lengthy process where we will be introducing this very important document that will guide reform here at the State Department and reform of our operations around the world.

Two of the, shall I use the term shepherds of – I mean, this is a document and a process, and the document is released today. The process is going to be ongoing and will be incorporated into the day-to-day work here at the State Department. But this represents two years of effort to both do the working groups and the analysis and the difficult thinking and tradeoffs to get to concepts that will be very important to the conduct of diplomacy and development for years to come.

But two of the primary shepherds throughout this process here at the State Department, Anne-Marie Slaughter, our Director of Policy Planning, and at USAID, the Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg. And they’ll give you some kind of additional detail extending beyond what the Secretary said this morning. Just to – by the time we finish here in the briefing, the executive summary will be up online. Later in the day, the full document will be available, so you’ll have a chance to digest all 200 pages of it. But we’ll start with Anne-Marie.

DR. SLAUGHTER: Thank you. Thank you. No one is happier than I am that this day is here. (Laughter.) I should say it has been a very long process, not quite two years. We actually – she launched it in the summer of 2009, so it’s really been a year and a half from the moment she launched until today. But it has been a report that brought together an enormous number of people on an enormous number of issues. We actually have copies of the executive summary for you to pick up right here, and it will be online.

I don't think I could possibly do better than the Secretary this morning in terms of explaining why we’re doing this and what we’re really doing in overview. What I thought I could do is fill in a couple of places where – to make clear what some of the more specific reforms. And then as she said, it’s 150 pages, and there’s plenty of other material. She starts from the proposition and the report starts from the proposition that we are really adopting a new way of doing business to respond to a very different world, a world of rising powers, of changing global architecture, of evolving threats and of new opportunities.

To do that, we’re responding in two big ways, focusing on civilian power so that the civilian power is the first face of American power, supported by the world’s finest military. When we talk about civilian power we’re talking about the power of civilians across the federal agency, across the federal government. So it is not just State and USAID. State and USAID play an indispensible role in terms of coordinating what other agencies do within an overall strategic and development framework. But this report signals a fundamental shift in how we do business with the rest of the interagency. It’s about rewarding people for working together rather than defending turf.

Second, as the Secretary said, we really have focused on streamlining, on focusing, on setting priorities, and on developing procedures to make sure that those priorities translate into resources and then into results. That is necessary given the environment we’re in. It’s essential, just more broadly, to be more effective across all agencies. In the diplomacy arena, we are reorganizing ourselves to meet the challenges we face, and the Secretary talked about an Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment. Within that bureau, we are creating – within that under secretary, we are creating a new Bureau for Energy Resources, which will focus on energy security, energy access, and energy regulation and will bring together all the different places in the Department that we currently focus on energy.

Also, we – as the Secretary talked about, the other Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. We’re not creating new under secretaries. We’re reconfiguring the current under secretaries for Democracy and Global Affairs and for Economic Affairs. Under the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, we’re creating a new Bureau for Conflict and Stabilization Operations. We are also proposing to Congress a new bureau for counterterrorism. There we obviously have the coordinator for counterterrorism. We’ll have to work with Congress. But there are a hundred people working for the coordinator now, and as we look at how we need to partner across the government, we want to propose that bureau in addition to the two that we’re creating.

Finally, we’re also creating a chief economist who will support the Secretary in really looking at the intersection of economic and political issues so that we are able to integrate economic issues into everything we do, and again, to be a better party with the interagency.

And finally on the diplomatic side, we are integrating women and girls into everything we do. Don Steinberg will talk to you about that on the development side, but in all of our diplomacy, in our diplomacy with other governments, in our work with regional and multilateral organizations, in our work on conflict and crisis, and of course, engaging women and girls directly.

Let me just say a few more things on conflict and responding to conflict and crisis and on working smarter, and I’ll then turn to Don Steinberg to talk about development. As the Secretary said, we start with the proposition that preventing and responding to conflict and crisis within fragile states is a core part of the State Department’s mission going forward, so that we need to build the expertise that is developing, not on conflict around the world but on the specific nexus of weak governance and violence, and how above all, you start by trying to prevent conflict from breaking out. Only then do you move to conflict management or reconstruction and stabilization. But we’d like to start before the troops actually have to be in the field.

And finally on working smarter, there are a set of recommendations about how we build the technical expertise we need. Obviously, there’s tremendous technical expertise across the interagency. That’s one of the big changes in how we conduct international relations. The Department of Energy, Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, they have that expertise. They ultimately have to be a core part of how we work in those areas. But we need enough expertise to be able to work effectively with them. So we are also increasing our technical expertise and becoming more operational in terms of training people better to operate on the ground, better balancing our workforce between insourcing and outsourcing, and finally, planning and budgeting, which in many ways sounds boring. You know, administrative.

But the whole QDDR is really about the proposition that if you really want to be effective, if you want to spend your resources in accordance with your priorities, you have to have the processes that the QDDR represents. You have to have a long-term planning process. And then every year, you have to look at your priorities from the top down. You have to go to the missions, you have to build those priorities into specific plans, and then those plans are connected to how we spend our resources. Pretty elemental, but we have a new deputy secretary for management and resources. It’s really about connecting those processes. What we want to do, how we’re going to do it, and how we spend the money, and finally, how we evaluate for results. So with that, let me turn to Don Steinberg, and we’re happy to take your questions.

MR. STEINBERG: Thank you. I’ve only been a part of this process for the past couple months, and so to begin with, I wanted to pay tribute to Anne-Marie for the remarkable effort that she has done. This has been a completely collaborative approach. As we’ve all sat around a room, at some point you start losing a sense as to what agency you’re representing and start to think about how to draw it all together. And Anne-Marie has fostered that attitude, and so thank you for that.

At USAID, we really do view the QDDR as a vote of confidence from the President and Secretary Clinton in AID’s capacity to help lead the development effort and to run the U.S. Government’s most important development initiatives. It’s important to remember the QDDR in the context of President Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive on Development that he announced at the United Nations in October. And in that document, as well as the QDDR, there are three important points.

The first is that development matters. It is a key part of our national security policy, recognizing that poor states are unstable and represent threats to our national security interests, that development is in our economic interest – it creates exports, it creates jobs, jobs, jobs. It also reflects our values and our moral considerations around the world.

The second key point is that, indeed, USAID has to be revitalized, re-empowered to be at the center of these efforts, and given the resources needed to make this happen.

And then finally, the notion that we need to be doing things in a different way. We need to be focusing our scarce resources selectively on areas where we have a comparative advantage in order to make sure that the development that we’re encouraging is sustainable, that it’s transparent, that we are accountable for what we’re doing, and that we are indeed drawing on all the contributions from elsewhere within the United States Government, but also from the private sector, from nongovernmental organizations, as well as governments and foreign donors who we cooperate with. In terms of the focus and selectivity, the document identifies six areas that we’re going to be focusing on.

The first three are presidential initiatives, one in food security, one in global health, and one in climate change. In addition, it highlights our need to encourage economic growth, to promote democracy and governance, and to prepare for humanitarian response around the world when disaster strikes. And as Anne-Marie said, a further – maybe six plus one is the role of women and girls in all of these efforts, recognizing that unless we mainstream women, unless we empower them, ensure their participation, and, in periods of conflict, protect them, we’re not going to be able to achieve our results.

The QDDR represents the whole process we’ve been going on, not just the single document that you have. And given that we’ve been identifying over the past 14, 16 months key steps that AID needs to take, we haven’t waited till today to launch them. And so a variety of the provisions that you’ll see in the documentation are reflections of what we are already doing under Administrator Rajiv Shah’s USAID Forward Initiative. And in particular, we have already reestablished a Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning, giving us back policy capability.

We have rebuilt our own budget capacity through the creation of an Office of Budget and Resource Management. We now have a center for innovation, trying to draw in generation-skipping innovations. We’ve brought in fellows from the AAAS to improve what we do in cooperation of science and technology. We’ve launched a program on procurement reform to ensure that we are reaching out to governments around the world to encourage them to develop their own capability to use our resources as well as reaching out to nongovernmental organizations in the countries we operate in, and we’ve expanded our capacity to partner not only with U.S. Government agencies, but with development institutions, with multi-lateral bodies, with civil society, as well as the private sector.

Perhaps most significantly, the QDDR states the USAID will immediately assume responsibility for leadership and accountability of the President’s interagency Feed the Future Initiative with a coordinator based at USAID and reporting to the Administrator and the Secretary of State, and it says that USAID will assume leadership and accountability for the President’s interagency Global Health Initiative with a transition target at the end of FY12 when certain agreed benchmarks have been met. This is particularly important, given that USAID is the development agency for the U.S. Government, and it simply makes sense that the key development initiatives of the President and the Secretary of State are based at that agency.

Nonetheless, this hasn’t always been true in the past, and we do recognize this as a vote of confidence. But with that vote of confidence comes responsibility. And it is a responsibility to act in what we’re calling a situation of inclusive leadership where we have to reach beyond an AID-centric approach to involve our colleagues from the rest of the U.S. Government, some 30 organizations that are involved in these development efforts in a spirit of cooperation and mutual accountability.

As Anne-Marie said, the QDDR is only as powerful as we make it, and we at AID intend to do all that we can to make it powerful indeed. So thanks.

QUESTION: Thank you. First of all, congratulations on reaching this milestone and thank you for taking the time to explain it to us. I’d like for you to please talk more about the implementation. Over what time period do you expect the majority of these changes to take place? Will you need authorizations and billets from Congress, and does that mean we can’t see a lot of these changes until FY2012, which means next October? And also dealing with Congress, could you please explain what’s your message to Democrats on the Hill who might have different ideas about foreign aid reform and Republicans on the Hill who have made a clear statement that they intend to seek the cutting of foreign aid budgets and State Department budgets as their key deficit priority next year?

DR. SLAUGHTER: So on implementation, implementation starts January 1. We will begin developing plans and doing everything we can do on our own immediately. I think some of the reorganizations you can – we don’t need authorization from Congress to do any of the reorganizations with the two under secretaries, the Energy Bureau, the Bureau for Conflict and Stabilization Operations, all of those we have those positions authorized. Counterterrorism is the one exception.

How long it takes to actually work through all the bureaucratics, I can say Secretary Clinton is going to start right away and she wants to get it done as fast as she can. Well over 50 percent of what is in this report can be done without further authorization. A lot of it is doing what we do a lot better, and we can start doing that. At the same time, there are a number of places where we obviously not only want to inform Congress – we do have to request things from Congress – and more importantly, we want to work with Congress in implementing things that we think on both sides of the aisle are very welcome.

Many of the things the new members are calling for, we’ve been focusing on. How can we work better? How can we streamline? How can we measure our – what we do? How can we deliver results? This is really the agenda that Secretary Clinton launched a year and a half ago. So we’re ready to work with Congress. I think there are specific areas around earmarks where it would certainly make it a lot easier to implement what we’re doing if we could work with Congress on that kind of legislation. I think we’ll want to talk across Congress, Democrats and Republicans, on how you could put some of these changes together in more – in broader legislation rather than just doing it piecemeal.

MR. STEINBERG: On the USAID side, one of the points that I was trying to make is that we’ve already begun the implementation process, and so you’ve already seen a wide variety of changes. But there are others that are going to be implemented as we move along. For example, our Office of Budget and Resource Management will prepare a comprehensive budget proposal for FY13 for foreign assistance that will be sent to the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary for their review and approval, and then incorporate it into the broader assistance budget.

So that you will only see occur as we move ahead. But most of the other provisions that we’re talking about do indeed already have credence at the USAID or are being implemented even as we speak. In terms of Congress, we have two immediate needs within the QDDR. One is for a 1 percent capital fund to fund the operating expenditures for much of what we’re trying to do right now. And then we have a request for special hires, called Schedule B hires, because we have a situation at AID which is very worrisome. We have a third of our people who have less than three years on the job, and yet we have 95 percent of our senior officers who could retire at full pensions tomorrow. So we’ve got this middle gap. And there are a variety of things within the QDDR that help us meet that in a way that will solve the problem, while at the same time not completely undermining our commitment to our Foreign Service officers who are coming into the system now. So minimum mid-level hires, Schedule B authorities, the ability to hire very talented Foreign Service nationals on the ground, all of these things will be moving ahead.

And on the second part of your question regarding Congress, Anne-Marie nailed it right on the head. What we’re trying to do to say – is to say to Congress we get it. We’ve got to do things in new ways. We’ve got to adapt to a restrained budget environment. We’ve got to prove to you and to the American people that we are good stewards of your money, that we’re streamlining, that we’re eliminating duplicative systems, and that we’re fully engaging other communities.

One of the things that I think is very important is that even as we look at the amount of money that the United States spends as a government, that is dwarfed by remittances that people send to their relatives, it is supplemented by private contributions, it’s supplemented by business investments not just in corporate responsibility, but in their own interest in these countries. And we have to be developing models that adapt not just to getting assistance out the door, but producing accountable development.

And one last point, we are, as of January, putting in place at USAID what we consider to be a gold standard monitoring and evaluation system for all of our provisions. And this has been developed by one of the true masters in these areas and we’re very proud of it.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) So if I can – so could you say again on this budgeting question that overall this is a revenue neutral proposal or is that too far?

DR. SLAUGHTER: Thanks. First, the last thing I’ll just say to you, Josh, is the first thing we need from Congress is to legislate that this happens every four years. That is something – and that Don Steinberg and I are not part of that team. (Laughter.) But the Secretary is determined to make this quadrennial, and the only way to do that is to do what you have at DOD and the Department of Homeland Security, which is Congress asks us to review ourselves every four years.

On the budget, it’s not – there’s a great deal of it that we can do that is revenue neutral. There are specific places in building AID’s resources after 40 percent cuts over the last decade, in building up our response to conflict and crisis to really be able to deploy people quickly. There are some areas there where we do need additional funding, and we’ll be making that case to Congress in very targeted areas.

But the question is always – well, wait a minute, what aren’t you going to do? Where are the tradeoffs? I mean, this is lots of nice recommendations, but what aren’t you going to do? And the answer is I can’t tell you specifically, but I can tell you that this is budget guidance for the next four years, just the way the QDR is for the Defense Department. So what that means is that gets translated into specific budget guidance that goes out to the missions and to the bureaus, and what comes back from them is a list of budget requests. And we’re saying the things that fit these priorities will be funded within the constraints we have, and the things that don’t will be on the bottom of that list. And those are the tradeoffs. So we’re totally prepared to make them, we just can’t tell you – we’re not lopping off some part of State or AID; we’re saying we need to build and we need to build across the agency. But we have thought a great deal about what this means in practice, and that’s really the job of Deputy Secretary Nides when he’s confirmed – if he’s confirmed.

QUESTION: Just a couple of quick ones. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about the new bureau of counterterrorism, why we need this now, what role it will fill that isn’t being filled by other existing organizations, and how it will fit into the overall sort of security apparatus.

And also for Mr. Steinberg, I was wondering – the Secretary talked a little bit about it, but it’d be interesting to hear your views on these questions that have been raised by some of the development groups saying that this, in effect, sort of sublimates development to politics and that this means that USAID, in particular has even become a political tool in the hands of the government and maybe that will somehow pervert its mission.

DR. SLAUGHTER: Right. So the shift from the coordinator for counterterrorism to a bureau when we have to work with Congress is not a shift in terms of resources. We have, as I said, over a hundred people already working for the coordinator. It is now at a point in terms of its growth and what it does to become a bureau. Equally important, our whole focus is how we’re going to engage with the rest of the interagency. And it was very much coordinator Benjamin’s view – Ambassador Benjamin’s view, and the Secretary’s view that we would be more effective in working with the White House, in working with the Justice Department, with Department of Homeland Security if we actually had a defined structure as we always do with parallel positions across the government. So this is one that makes sense.

It also makes sense to do it now. If you’re going to have a reorganization, they are hard. Anybody who’s ever been through one knows that. It doesn’t make sense to be changing a number of different bureaus, and if this makes sense to do, not do it now.

Your final question’s a good one: Where will it actually report? That is a question we’ve explicitly left open. We don’t have permission to create it, so it would be a little in advance. But also there really are some important questions between the Bureau of International – Arms Control and International Security and the new Under Secretary for Civilian Security and Democracy and Human Rights – where exactly that should fit. And there we didn’t want to prejudge. The folks who are going to actually be implementing need to answer that question.

MR. CROWLEY: Goyal. No, hold on, one second. I’m sorry.

MR. STEINBERG: First of all, as you would expect, I endorse everything that the Secretary said in response to that question. The purpose of the QDDR, in part, and the purpose of the PPD was indeed to recognize that development per se is in our national interest, as I’ve said. It’s in our security interest. It’s in our economic interest. It’s in our value-based interest. And the QDDR, in fact, does indeed elevate development. When you speak of whether AID’s mission or the development mission is sublimated to foreign policy, first of all, foreign policy is part and parcel of everything that we’re doing overseas, and development ties into that. But more importantly, think about where we were before this process began. AID did not have a policy-planning section. We did not do policy planning at AID prior to the QDDR. We did not have a budget office. Everyone has always said an agency that doesn’t in some way have input into its own budget isn’t really capable of performing. And indeed, we now have a budget office, and as of 2013, we will be preparing that guidance that I mentioned about before.

We had suffered from 1990 to 2007 a 38 percent drop in our personnel, our direct hires, forcing us into business models that stressed getting assistance out the door as opposed to focusing on development. That’s being reversed, both within the context of the QDDR and within the context of new budget proposals that are being put out. We are enhancing our capacity to do humanitarian relief through an expansion of our OFDA office, same thing regarding the mission of the Office of Transition Initiatives. And so what I would – again, I would challenge the basic assumption that there is some dichotomy between development and our overall foreign policy. But I would also say this is all about elevating development, elevating USAID to play the role in that, but doing it in a smart way.

MR. CROWLEY: All right. I’m sorry, Goyal then --

QUESTION: Thank you. Thank you, sir, madam. AID is playing a great development role around the globe. My question is now that as far as Pakistan, if you can update, what – because people are still asking the basics. What can you report now? And also overall if you can say about the image, U.S. image around the globe, especially in Pakistan, if it has improved? Or what is the role of Ms. Pandith as far as this report is concerned?

DR. SLAUGHTER: What is the role of?

MR. CROWLEY: Farah Pandith.

DR. SLAUGHTER: Farah Pandith, oh.

QUESTION: Special envoy.

DR. SLAUGHTER: Well, I can answer the last one. So I want to frame this in terms of the QDDR rather than our relations with Pakistan as a whole. The work that Farah Pandith does is extremely important. There’s an entire section which we haven’t had a chance to talk about in the diplomacy chapter on engaging beyond the state. And the Secretary’s starting point is that we cannot partner with a nation if that nation’s people are opposed to us. So it is essential that we engage directly with those people, and that doesn’t just – that doesn’t mean traditional public diplomacy of giving a message out. It means developing relationships. It means projects and programs on the ground, engaging with women is a great example, engaging with civil society.

What Farah is doing in terms of making clear the diversity of Muslim communities in the United States, and linking those communities, and making clear that the diversity of our views in terms of how we see Muslims around the world is an essential part of engaging beyond the state. And there’s – as I said, it’s an entire basket of recommendations in the diplomacy chapter really trying to elevate that. The last thing I’ll say is making it very clear that’s also part of what we expect every diplomat to do. It’s not a specialized public diplomacy over here and economic and political counselor here. It’s that’s what we have to do in the 21st century.

QUESTION: But how is the USAID reaching out to Pakistan for the basics? Thank you.

MR. STEINBERG: In terms of the QDDR, what I’ll say is that there is an emphasis throughout the QDDR on sustainability of our development efforts. It highlights the need wherever possible to work with host governments to develop their capacity to do all the things that we’re looking for. And indeed, the procurement reform that I was referring to before highlights that need.

We believe that the job of USAID is essentially to put itself out of business, and unless you can develop the capacity of governments and government institutions, both at the federal level but also to the extent that there are state and local levels, and in addition, as Anne-Marie was saying, civil society organizations within the country itself, we’re going to be continually operating in these countries.

And so in the case of Pakistan, we have identified a wide variety of government agencies and institutions that we will be increasingly working with. We demand accountability for those procedures. We demand a transparency, and we’re going to be looking very specifically at monitoring and evaluation measures to ensure that the American taxpayer know that their dollars are well spent. But wherever possible we want to empower our partners and to learn from their experiences as well and to support their efforts.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Two quick questions if I may. First of one is regarding the issue of coordination and cooperation with other governmental agencies. The Secretary said that audience stressed the role of ambassadors overseas as the – to play the role of CEOs, to coordinate the U.S. efforts in that country. How do you perceive or what is the way that you see you can implement that in practical way, if in fact that this review is not mandated by Congress? I understand Secretary think regarding the role of ambassadors is there to coordinate all efforts, but there is a lack of that to a certain extent. How do you see you can really implement that in a practical way?

And second, second question is regarding the issue of recruiting and staffing for State and for USAID. Many issues are – how can I say – related to the lengthy clearance process, security clearance process, and issues of salaries and the competition with the private sector. How do – I didn’t see anything, at least in the executive summary, about that. You talked about the need to recruit and train and what have you, but how are you going to go forward –

DR. SLAUGHTER: (Inaudible) take a second. Yes, that one. Well, on the second one, I can say there – we covered many things. We did not tackle the security clearance process. That may be for the next QDDR, but that is one thing that is not in the report.

On the first question, it’s a very good question. And there’s an answer now and there’s an answer going forward. The answer now has been that this report has gone through an extensive interagency process, where every other agency has looked at exactly what we’ve been saying. Many of them welcome the idea that we’re going to actually be coordinating and pulling together. They know that we’re often working at cross-purposes, and somebody needs to actually exercise that authority. And that is what the letter that the President gives to the chief of mission says. He is the – he or she is the representative of the whole government.

So we’ve been working with other agencies. We’ve been working very effectively with the National Security staff. Obviously, they run the interagency process in terms of setting priorities and policy objectives in many areas. In crisis areas, they directly run the operations with lead agencies on the ground. But they understand that we will work better as a government if State and AID perform the overall coordinating function where we provide a strategic framework, a development strategy on AID’s side and an integrated country strategy on our side, and then the chief of mission representing the entire government is empowered to enforce that, but all – that’s not the right word. It’s not to enforce it, but it’s to lead within it, and then also that we hold them accountable, and that’s our part, because it won’t work unless our chiefs of mission are actually working with everybody in the interagency and recognizing what they bring to the table.

So it really is a win-win. It is going to take a while to work out, but it’s been fully endorsed. And actually, I have to say the National Security Council, the National Security staff, has been extremely helpful in shepherding us through the interagency process.

MR. CROWLEY: Why don’t we do about two more –

MR. STEINBERG: I’ve got just a quick – on that question, I’ve had the honor of being a chief of mission and representing the president. And all of our chief of missions get this. They understand that being the head of an embassy doesn’t mean that you represent the State Department. It means you represent the broader interests of the United States. And any ambassador worth his or her salt is going to be providing this inclusive leadership. You keep your agricultural attaché, and your intelligence people, and all – do we say we have intelligence people? (Laughter.) And intelligence people.

QUESTION: You do now.

MR. STEINBERG: Well, we do now. And the Defense Department and every aspect very, very close, and you involve them in their exercise, you get their full advice and wisdom, you involve their – you want to draw on their resources very frequently, and you better make sure that they understand the common mission. But what the Secretary was focusing on, which is 100 percent correct, is there can be no distance between any of those agencies regarding basic policy of the United States towards that country, and that’s one of the things that this is designed to do.

On the second part, I’m not going to address the security clearances aspect, but I will say a lot of what we’re talking about is designed to get people into USAID more quickly through innovative efforts -- whether it’s drawing on fellowships that we have, AAAS, the Franklin Fellowship, whether it’s Schedule B authority that I was referring to later, a variety of other things -- we do recognize that in a lot of these situations we’ve got to move very, very quickly, and we’ve got to speed up that incorporation process.

QUESTION: Thank you. Can you talk about the role of this coordinator for cyber issues? Did you decide to establish this position because of the WikiLeaks incident?

DR. SLAUGHTER: No. No, that decision was actually taken nearly a year ago, and it has taken a while to find the right person and to create the structures to work with the government. But that was the result of an overall review on how the government as a whole needs to be organized for cyber-security. It was way, way before WikiLeaks. We certainly hope that once that person is working, as the Secretary said, we will be able to do much more to protect the confidentiality of our communications.

QUESTION: A number of studies, for example by William Easterly of NYU, have concluded that corruption, endemic corruption, in countries has the effect of undermining many development assistance programs, and in fact, development assistance can even empower corrupt regimes. And that was the thinking behind the establishment of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, making corruption a hard hurdle. And yet, I see very little reference in the executive summary to the MCC or the subject of corruption. Could you comment?

MR. STEINBERG: That may be in the executive summary. It is much more covered in the document itself. It does present the MCC as, in many ways, a model for what we’re trying to do throughout the development community. And it also does refer quite frequently to the need for working with transparent and accountable partners overseas. It does highlight, in the area on procurement reform, measures to ensure that we’re working through accountable governments. It also highlights, in the democracy and governance sector, exactly the issues of transparency that you’re referring to. So yes, it is covered much more substantially.

MR. CROWLEY: All right. Last one.

QUESTION: Good afternoon. In a situation where an entity is almost completely dependent on aid, especially from the United States, like the Palestinian Authority, how do you make sure that the corruption issue is addressed? Do you share with them expenditures and so on? Do you go through what they need to spend money on and so on?

MR. STEINBERG: Absolutely. And it’s all about establishing, in effect, contracts with these entities. It is all about bringing in outside observers to ensure that the funds are well spent. In our own agency, we have an inspector general who contributes to this process, not just to investigate problems, but to train people to address issues of accountability within their own systems. And we also do studies of entities within countries to determine whether we can, in fact, work with them. And unless they have minimum standards of bookkeeping, accountability, transparency, we simply do not work with them.

DR. SLAUGHTER: Let me say one thing on that and a final note. We’re also making it possible for all of you to hold us and those governments accountable. That’s the point of the dashboard, which starts with State and AID foreign assistance, and we intend to make it cover all foreign assistance across the government, precisely so you can see what we’re spending and you can see whether or not there are results, because in the end, nothing we do from the point of view of contracts is nearly as powerful as empowering the people who have a stake in getting that assistance to find out what happened to it.

Last thing I just want to say is I’ve been in Washington for two years. Many of you have been here far longer than that. You’ve seen lots of reports come and go. You’ve seen lots of talk about how we’re going to collaborate with other agencies and we’re not going to fight our turf. And I’m pretty sure a lot of you are thinking we’ve heard this before. This is different. Secretary Clinton is not naïve. She’s been in Washington a long time. She knows what needs to be done, and she also fundamentally understands what kinds of changes at the level of actual incentives, management incentives, who gets promoted, who gets rewarded, what are we valuing in how we do business. And that’s the level at which this report, in all its detail, operates.

Last thing I’ll say is she was right. We can’t afford to keep doing business the way we’ve been doing business. This has changed in the private sector. All well-run companies are now working in teams, in flexible, collaborative teams. It’s not like they didn’t defend turf for many, many decades, but they can’t get the job done in the world we’re in working that way. And neither can we. It’s not going to change overnight. But this is not a report with promises and recommendations that will not be fulfilled. This is a report that will be implemented. And in four years, you can hold us to account. We’ll hold ourselves to account. How did we do? How do we have to work going forward?

Thank you.

PRN: 2010/1828