Reconsider travel to Andorra due to COVID-19.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Andorra due to COVID-19.
Improved conditions have been reported within Andorra. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Andorra.
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If you decide to travel to Andorra:
Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.
- Results-Oriented Cultures: Implementation Steps to Assist Mergers and Organizational TransformationsBy Sam NewsSeptember 22, 2021The Comptroller General convened a forum in September 2002 to identify useful practices and lessons learned from major private and public sector mergers, acquisitions, and organizational transformations. This was done to help federal agencies implement successful transformations of their cultures, as well as the new Department of Homeland Security merge its various originating components into a unified department. There was general agreement on a number of key practices found at the center of successful mergers, acquisitions, and transformations. In this report, we identify the specific implementation steps for the key practices raised at the forum with illustrative private and public sector examples. To identify these implementation steps and examples, we relied primarily on interviews with selected forum participants and other experts about their experiences implementing mergers, acquisitions, and transformations and also conducted a literature review.At the center of any serious change management initiative are the people. Thus, the key to a successful merger and transformation is to recognize the "people" element and implement strategies to help individuals maximize their full potential in the new organization, while simultaneously managing the risk of reduced productivity and effectiveness that often occurs as a result of the changes. Building on the lessons learned from the experiences of large private and public sector organizations, these key practices and implementation steps can help agencies transform their cultures so that they can be more results oriented, customer focused, and collaborative in nature.[Read More…]
- Afghanistan Security: U.S. Efforts to Develop Capable Afghan Police Forces Face Challenges and Need a Coordinated, Detailed Plan to Help Ensure AccountabilityBy Sam NewsSeptember 21, 2021Since 2005, the Department of Defense (Defense), with support from the Department of State (State), has directed U.S. efforts to develop the Afghan National Police (ANP) into a force capable of enforcing the rule of law and supporting actions to defeat insurgency, among other activities. This testimony discusses (1) U.S. efforts to develop a capable ANP; (2) challenges that affect the development of a capable ANP; and (3) GAO analysis of U.S. efforts to develop a coordinated, detailed plan for completing and sustaining the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), which comprise the ANP and the Afghan National Army (ANA). This statement is based on a concurrently issued GAO report titled Afghanistan Security: Further Congressional Action May Be Needed to Ensure Completion of a Detailed Plan to Develop and Sustain Capable Afghan National Security Forces, GAO-08-661 (Washington, D.C.: June 18, 2008).Although the ANP has reportedly grown in number since 2005, after an investment of more than $6 billion, no Afghan police unit (0 of 433) is assessed by Defense as fully capable of performing its mission and over three-fourths of units (334 of 433) are assessed at the lowest capability rating. In addition, while the ANP has reportedly grown in number to nearly 80,000 personnel, concerns exist about the reliability of this number. Several challenges impede U.S. efforts to develop capable ANP forces. First, the shortage of police mentors has been a key impediment to U.S. efforts to conduct training and evaluation and verify that police are on duty. Second, the ANP continues to encounter difficulties with equipment shortages and quality. Third, the ANP faces a difficult working environment, including a weak Afghan judicial sector and consistent problems with police pay, corruption, and attacks by insurgents. Defense has recognized challenges to ANP development and, in November 2007, began a new initiative called Focused District Development--an effort to train the police as units--to address them. This effort is too new to fully assess, but the continuing shortfall in police mentors may put the effort at risk. Despite a 2005 GAO recommendation calling for a detailed plan and a 2008 congressional mandate requiring similar information, Defense and State have not developed a coordinated, detailed plan with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, milestones for completing and sustaining the ANSF, and a sustainment strategy. In 2007, Defense produced a 5-page document intended to address GAO's 2005 recommendation. However, the document does not identify the role or involve the participation of State--Defense's partner in training the ANP. Further, State has not completed a plan of its own. In the absence of a coordinated, detailed plan that clearly defines agency roles and responsibilities, a dual chain of command exists between Defense and State that has complicated the efforts of mentors training the police. Defense's 5-page document also contains few milestones, including no interim milestones that would help assess progress made in developing the ANP. Without interim milestones, it is difficult to know if current ANP status represents what the United States intended to achieve by 2008. In addition, Defense's 5-page document lacks a sustainment strategy. Without a detailed strategy for sustaining the ANSF, it is difficult to determine how long the United States may need to continue providing funding and other resources for this important mission.[Read More…]
- Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against the State of Texas to Challenge Statewide Redistricting PlansBy Sam NewsDecember 6, 2021The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that it has filed a lawsuit under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act against the State of Texas and the Texas Secretary of State, challenging the State’s redistricting plans for the Texas congressional delegation and the Texas House of Representatives.[Read More…]
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken Remarks to the PressBy Sam NewsSeptember 30, 2021
- Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Amy Kellogg of FOX NewsBy Sam NewsOctober 1, 2020Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
- Secretary Blinkens Call with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al SaudBy Sam NewsFebruary 11, 2021
- Secretary Blinken’s Call with Japanese Foreign Minister HayashiBy Sam NewsNovember 13, 2021
- Federal Court Finds Florida Tax Preparers in Contempt for Violating Court’s Preliminary InjunctionBy Sam NewsJune 4, 2021On Thursday, a federal court in the Southern District of Florida held two individuals, as well as the company they allegedly co-own, in contempt for violating a preliminary injunction that restricted their tax preparation activities. The court’s order notes defendants “admit that sufficient evidence exists to hold them in contempt of court for violating the preliminary injunction.”[Read More…]
- General Aviation and CBP ProcessingBy Sam NewsIn TravelSeptember 2, 2021For CBP processing, [Read More…]
- Joint Statement Calling for a Ceasefire in Nagorno-KarabakhBy Sam NewsOctober 5, 2020
- Appointment of Ambassador Philip Reeker as Chargé d’Affaires at Embassy LondonBy Sam NewsJuly 15, 2021
- Department of Justice Awards Nearly $50 Million in Grants to Improve School SafetyBy Sam NewsSeptember 10, 2020The Department of [Read More…]
- Heavy Lift Helicopter Program: Navy Should Address Cost and Schedule RisksBy Sam NewsMarch 4, 2021Fifteen years into development, the CH-53K program has made progress in testing the aircraft. Program documentation indicates that there is a moderate risk of not demonstrating the required levels of reliability or payload carrying weight by the end of operational testing. The technical issues identified during testing caused program milestones to slip. For example, the full-rate production decision was delayed by nearly 7 years—from December 2015 to November 2022. CH-53K total program costs also increased by nearly $15.3 billion since the program began due to technical issues and a quantity increase fielded helicopters from 156 to 200. The program faces several challenges going forward. First, the schedule for completing the development of the CH-53K does not meet all of the leading practices, which makes the schedule unreliable. Specifically, GAO found that the master schedule is not fully credible or well-constructed. For example, the schedule indicates there is more flexibility in the schedule than it truly has, which can affect the ability to change allocated resources appropriately to meet schedule milestones. Second, the program faces potential further cost increases due to concurrency—or overlap between testing and procurement—which has increased due to delays in the completion of testing. In previous reviews of weapon systems, GAO found that while some concurrency is understandable, it can also result in cost increases and schedule delays, and deny timely, critical information to policy makers. Concurrency, coupled with plans for increased numbers of helicopters to be produced, beyond the six per year currently being built, could result in costly retrofits to helicopters built before the completion of operational testing. This testing will provide decision makers needed information on the resolution of the technical issues facing the program (see figure). CH-53K Helicopter Testing and Procurement, Fiscal Years 2017-2030 The Marine Corps is replacing its aging CH-53E helicopters with the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter. Designed as an evolution of the CH-53E, the CH-53K is intended to transport armored vehicles, equipment, and personnel from ships to deep inland locations. The CH-53K program office is overseen by the Department of the Navy. As we have previously reported, the program has experienced delayed milestones and cost increases from almost its inception in 2005, in part, due to technical issues. GAO was asked to review the CH-53K program. This report examines the program's (1) progress toward completing testing and demonstrating system experience, (2) schedule and cost performance to date, and (3) potential future challenges. GAO analyzed cost, schedule, performance, test, manufacturing, and planning documents; and interviewed officials from the CH-53K program office, other defense offices—such as the Defense Contract Management Agency—the testing community, and the prime contractor, Sikorsky. GAO recommends that the Navy take steps to ensure the CH-53K schedule is credible and well-constructed, and that the Navy should not exceed the current annual procurement of six helicopters per year until the completion of initial operational test and evaluation. The Department of Defense did not concur with these recommendations. GAO continues to believe that the recommendations are valid, as discussed in this report. For more information, contact Jon Ludwigson at (202) 512-4841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.[Read More…]
- Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins to Participate in the IAEA General Conference (September 20-21) and UN General Assembly (September 23)By Sam NewsSeptember 19, 2021
- The Urgent Need to End the Conflict in EthiopiaBy Sam NewsNovember 5, 2021
- Justice Department and EPA Announce Settlement with Stericycle Inc. to Address Environmental Violations at Medical Waste IncineratorBy Sam NewsJanuary 29, 2021The Justice Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a settlement with Illinois-based Stericycle Inc. resolving alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act and Utah air quality regulations at its medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake, Utah.[Read More…]
- Violence in JerusalemBy Sam NewsMay 9, 2021Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
- Secretary Antony J. Blinken with Yonit Levy of Channel 12By Sam NewsMay 26, 2021
- Revocation of the Terrorist Designations of AnsarallahBy Sam NewsFebruary 12, 2021
- Financial Audit: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Funds’ 2020 and 2019 Financial StatementsBy Sam NewsFebruary 18, 2021GAO found (1) the financial statements of the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) and of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC) Resolution Fund (FRF) as of and for the years ended December 31, 2020, and 2019, are presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; (2) although internal controls could be improved, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting relevant to the DIF and to the FRF as of December 31, 2020; and (3) with respect to the DIF and to the FRF, no reportable instances of noncompliance for 2020 with provisions of applicable laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements GAO tested. In commenting on a draft of this report, FDIC stated that it was pleased to receive unmodified opinions on the DIF's and the FRF's financial statements. In regard to the significant deficiency in internal control over contract payment review processes, FDIC stated that it began taking steps to address this issue and will work to enhance control activities and expand monitoring capabilities in this area. Further, FDIC stated that it recognizes the essential role a strong internal control program plays in an agency achieving its mission. FDIC added that its commitment to sound financial management has been and will remain a top priority. Section 17 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, as amended, requires GAO to audit the financial statements of the DIF and of the FRF annually. In addition, the Government Corporation Control Act requires that FDIC annually prepare and submit audited financial statements to Congress and authorizes GAO to audit the statements. This report responds to these requirements. For more information, contact James R. Dalkin at (202) 512-3133 or email@example.com.[Read More…]