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State Department - GovITwiki

State Department

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Information Technology Overview

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The State Department is responsible for advising the president as the president makes and conducts U.S. foreign policy. It also operates the United States Information Agency and the U.S. Foreign Service. The department conducts consular affairs and services, including the operation of embassies, and represents the president and the country (with advice and consent fro the Senate) in the negotiation of foreign treaties and agreements. The state Department is roughly equivalent to what are known as foreign ministries in other countries.



When the United states ws founded, the president was given direct responsibility to conduct of the nation's foreign relations. An executive department quickly evolved to support the President in this effort. A Department of Foreign Affairs was established by an act of Congress in July, 1789. Its name was changed to the Department of State later that year. Thomas Jefferson served as the first official Secretary of State.

At one time the department had other domestic duties onder its control, such as managing the U.S. Mint and Census taking, but these were eventually reassigned to other departments, allowing the State Department to focus on foreign matters.

Today, State Department Duties include Protecting and assisting U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad; Assisting U.S. businesses in the international marketplace; Coordinating and providing support for international activities of other U.S. agencies (local, state, or federal government), making official visits overseas and at home, and other diplomatic efforts; keeping the public informed about U.S. foreign policy and relations with other countries and providing feedback from the public to administration officials; and Providing automobile registration for non-diplomatic staff vehicles and the vehicles of diplomats of foreign countries having diplomatic immunity in the United States.

Current IT Climate

Major Projects by Department - FY2009

Leading Projects at State - 2007
Global IT Modernization
Consular Support & Visa Applications (CSVA)
Global Network
Passport Modernization System
Diplomatic Telecommunication Service

Top Spending Departments - 2007
None specifically called out by State

Leading Contract Winners at State
Orkand Corp. - Services
STG Inc. - Services
BearingPoint Inc. - Services
CDW Corp. - Services
AlphaInsight Corp. - Services

FISMA Criticism

As recently as late 2005 the State Department received an F on its Federal Information Security Act report card, and it has a history of being cited by the department's inspector general. The Current CIO, James Van Derhoof, is working to develop a set of automated tools to address patch & configuration management and other issues. [1]

IT Budget History

2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
$824 $857 $793 $845

$890 (Proposed)

$817 (Final)

$905 (Proposed)

$933 (Enacted)

$1,045 (Proposed)

Numbers = $millions. (Data from the Office of Management and Budget)

Note on 2007 & 2008: Most civilian agencies other that the Homeland Security Department have not had a full budget approved since FY2006. A continuing resolution has keep agency spending near 2006 levels.

Procurement Methods

Federal Register - State

Office of Procurement for the State Department

State Department Acquisition Regulations


The State Department is a key partner in the US-VISIT program managed by the Homeland Security Department. It uses electronic and biometric information to secure the U.S. borders, with a process that begins at foreign State Department sites which issue U.S. visas.


Latest State Department News

Consular Information for All Countries and Public Announcements

Related Links

Agency Profile

U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Phone: 202-647-4000

Web site

Create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.

American diplomacy in the 21st century is based on fundamental beliefs: our freedom is best protected by ensuring that others are free; our prosperity depends on the prosperity of others; and our security relies on a global effort to secure the rights of all. The history of the American people is the chronicle of our efforts to live up to our ideals. In this moment in history, we recognize that the United States has an immense responsibility to use its power constructively to advance security, democracy, and prosperity around the globe. We will pursue these interests and remain faithful to our beliefs. (From the State Department's mission statement. follow link for the full statement.)

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[1] Diplomatic Patches, GCN, 03/05/2007

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