89. Memorandum From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management (Read) to the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Moose), the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Vaky), the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Holbrooke), the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Vest), and the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Saunders)1


  • Post Reporting Plans

In his telegram of April 8, 1978 (State 91048 sent via Roger Channel to all Chiefs of Mission),2 the Secretary emphasized the need for more responsive reporting and better analysis. He cited the President’s request that chiefs of mission actively exercise their overall responsibilities for reviewing and improving reporting from their missions. The Secretary also stressed the need for an improved and continuing dialogue between the bureaus and country directorates and overseas posts. In this way, the field will have feedback on its reporting and will be informed of the informational and analytical needs of Washington agencies, but the essential voluntary characteristic of FS reporting will be preserved.

The problem of improving the quality of substantive reporting and the use of available resources was more recently discussed in the Policies Priorities Group (PPG) on July 31.3 Clearly we must focus scarce reporting resources on priority targets and cope with the growing problems of volume of reporting.

What is needed now is a mechanism which will encourage the posts and country directorates to put the Secretary’s directives into practice. Suggestions made at the PPG meeting and recent experience with several posts and country directorates have shown that the combination of a post reporting plan and periodic consultations with appro[Page 402]priate foreign affairs agencies, conducted by the country director, is an effective method for achieving this purpose.

The post reporting plan allows the post to retain the initiative in proposing future analytic reports. Country directorate consultations with other interested agencies allows the end-users in Washington to react to the post plan, to make known their information needs, and to comment on the quality of current reporting and the proposals for future reporting.

The procedure confirms the leadership and management role of the country director already conferred on him by I FAM 253. He would:

  • —chair the interagency consultations;
  • —act as the focal point for a dialogue with the chief of mission on the reporting plan, current reporting, and future needs;
  • —review and screen the reporting needs of members of the foreign affairs community including the intelligence community.

This procedure has the additional advantage of providing the means for directorates to oversee the transmittal of reporting requirements and guidance from the Intelligence Community to overseas posts.

The attached draft message4 outlines the principles underlying these procedures and requests all chiefs of mission to submit reporting plans as the initial step.

Please pass your comments on clearance on the draft message directly to DDC/OIL/CS—Dick Long, Room 8656 (Ext. 22482). He will prepare the final draft for my consideration on September 15.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Deputy Under Secretary of Management, 1978–1979, Chron September 11–12, 1978. Unclassified. Drafted by James Ruchti (M/MO/R) and Richard Long (INR/DDC); cleared by William Bowdler (INR), Theodore Eliot (S/IG), and Joan M. Clark (M/MO).
  2. Attached; printed as Document 82. Also attached is telegram 131292, June 7, 1977, printed as Document 45.
  3. Minutes of the meeting were not found.
  4. Attached but not printed. Telegram 265767 to all diplomatic posts, October 20, requested posts to prepare a reporting plan for submission to country directors. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780430–0500)