Report evaluates State and Army personnel rotation programs

In March 2012 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report evaluating the current conditions of interagency personnel rotation programs within the Department of State and the U.S. Army.  The report, GAO-12-386, is a follow-up to a previous GAO study that examined possible approaches that would help facilitate greater interagency cooperation.

GAO-12-386 assessed progress made within State and Army interagency personnel rotation programs, and focused on the State Department’s Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) program, State’s other interagency rotations, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s (CGSC) Interagency Fellowship program. The report was meant to 1) identify desirable collaboration-related program results; 2) identify policies and practices that help rotation programs achieve those results; and 3) determine the extent to which three rotation programs were viewed as effective and incorporated those policies and practices. The report also examined possible deterrents to interagency personnel rotations.

The GAO found that most study participants from State and CGSC reported that their programs were effective in contributing to improved collaboration among agencies.  However, GAO did note that some changes to the programs would be beneficial.  For example, GAO recommends that the State Department expand the scope of the POLAD program by routinely evaluating the program’s effectiveness, and that State’s also routinely evaluate their other interagency rotation programs.  GAO also recommended that CGSC work with host agencies to develop orientation materials that would be useful to those participating in the Interagency Fellowship program.  GAO is submitting these recommendations to the Secretaries of State and Defense.

For more information about GAO-12-386 or the Interagency Personnel Rotation Act, please follow the links below.
GAO-12-386, Interagency Collaboration: State and Army Personnel Rotation Programs Can Build on Positive Results with Additonal Preparation and Evaluation
S. 1268: Interagency Personnel Rotation Act of 2011
H.R. 2314: Interagency Personnel Rotation Act of 2011 

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