US State Dept. Refuses To Boost Oversight Of Foreign Military Human Rights Training - GAO

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 12th August, 2019) The US State Department rejected a recommendation to enhance oversight of its foreign military human rights training program, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report on Monday.

"GAO also recommends that the Secretary of State develop a plan with a timeline to monitor and evaluate such [human rights] training. State disagreed. GAO continues to believe the recommendation is valid as discussed in the report," the congressionally-funded watchdog said.

The training program is critical because US law forbids the State Department from providing aid to foreign security forces that commit "gross" human rights violations, the report added.

In an attached letter, Acting US State Department Comptroller Jeffrey Mounts said they will not separately monitor human rights training as recommended by the GAO because department personnel already do so "within the context of any assessments we conduct on our program's overall effectiveness."

The report also said the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency failed to systematically monitor human rights training and had limited information on the details and financing of its programs. Unlike the State Department, the Pentagon agreed to implement the watchdog's recommendations.