The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2022

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JULY-AUGUST 2022 73 AFSA NEWS Concerns Regarding the OIG Report on FSSB Public Members AFSA read with dismay the May 2022 Office of the Inspector General’s report, “Review of the Recruitment and Selection Process for Public Members of Foreign Service Selection Boards” (FSSBs). The report, which is viewable at , has identified clear examples of favoritism, bias and failure to follow criteria for selection of these public members. All Foreign Service mem- bers and the American peo- ple need to have confidence that FSSB members selected for service, including the public member, meet all the required qualifications; that rules are followed; and that favoritism or bias does not exist in the process. The State Department shares with AFSA the com- position of each FSSB panel. AFSA scrutinizes the FSSB Foreign Service members to ensure that they have no pending grievances or EEO complaints against them and that there is no documented record of poor judgment. Regarding FSSB pub- lic members, AFSA is not provided with their back- ground or qualifications and assumes that the department has followed documented procedures and ethics rules. Sadly, the OIG report shows that is not the case. In the future, we will ensure that this information is provided to AFSA. AFSA urges the depart- ment to implement the OIG recommendations as soon as possible. We will also demand a full accounting on whether unqualified public members may have affected the ability of FSSBs to render legitimate decisions. We are already hearing from our members about this con- cern. Rest assured that AFSA will work hard to ensure that FSSB recruitment and selec- tion of public members is transparent and legitimate. Please let us know what you think at member@afsa. org. n