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INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION
Senator PASTORE. What amount is in the budget for the International Labor Organization?
Mr. THOMAS. We have requested $20,260,250. Although we filed the required 2-year notice of withdrawal last November, we must still pay our assessed dues to the Organization as required by the ILO constitution.
During this 2-year period, we will make every effort to persuade the governments of other ILO members to join us in ending the problems which initiated our intention to withdraw.
UNITED NATIONS BUDGET
Senator PASTORE. How much of an increase is included for the United Nations budget?
Mr. THOMAS. There is no increase provided for in the fiscal year 1977 budget. There is an increase of $9,850,000 from fiscal year 1976 to fiscal year 1977 for the U.S. assessment to the United Nations which is misleading because of the intervention of the transition quarter. The real basis of comparison should be the transition quarter appropriation which represents the entire calendar year 1976 U.S. assessment and our contribution to the first half of the U.N. 1976–77 biennium expenditure budget.
Using the transition quarter as a basis and deducting our share of a U.N. supplemental added to our transition quarter estimate for the U.N. 1974-75 biennium, the request for our fiscal year 1977. assessment to the United Nations represents no increase.
Senator PASTORE. Is this Moscow Complex project authorized?
Mr. THOMAS. The design of the project was authorized in 1968. Authorization of $30 million for the first part of the construction phase is currently pending in Congress.
Senator PASTORE. How much will the total project cost?
Mr. THOMAS. It is anticipated that construction will take from 3 to 4 years.
Senator Pastore. What facilities will be in the complex?
Mr. THOMAS. The complex will comprise about 635,000 gross square feet. Included will be an office building, housing for 135 families, a cafeteria, a school, and recreational facilities.
Senator PASTORE. When will construction begin?
Senator PASTORE. It is known that the Soviet Union is building a complex in Washington. Is there some agreement with respect to parallel progress on these two projects?
Mr. THOMAS. The United States and the Soviet Union have agreed that there will be parallel progress on these two projects.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT SYSTEM
Senator PASTORE. What is the Foreign Affairs Administrative Support system highlighted in the Department's fiscal year 1977 budget request?
Mr. THOMAS. The Foreign Affairs Administrative Support system (FAAS) is an interagency financing transfer which will provide the Department with the resources to fund the cost of essential administrative support services.
At the present time, these costs are shared with other agencies. The system will improve budgeting and resource control, ease the financing of administrative support costs overseas, and yield an increase in managerial effectiveness. Because it is an interagency financing transfer, there will be no increase in funds or personnel required by the U.S. Government.
Senator PASTORE. How many agencies and appropriations are affected by this FAAS transfer?
Mr. THOMAS. The FAAS system will affect 24 agencies, 57 appropriations, and 118 posts overseas.
Senator PASTORE. Do the other agencies agree with this transfer?
Mr. THOMAS. The other agencies are emphatic in their agreement to this transfer and their support of the Foreign Affairs Administrative Support system. The system is also supported by the General Accounting Office.
Senator PASTORE. How much of the Department's fiscal year 1977 budget request is for this Foreign Affairs Administrative Support system?
Mr. THOMAS. We are requesting a total of $69,867,000 and 2,553 positions for this interagency financing transfer in fiscal year 1977 to establish the FAAS system.
Senator PASTORE. Are you positive all these funds and personnel transferred to your Department will not result in any increased cost to the taxpayer?
Mr. THOMAS. Yes, sir, we are.
Senator PASTORE. How is it possible to determine that other agencies are reducing their budgets in fiscal year 1977 by the same amount that is transferred to State?
Mr. THOMAS. We have agreed with each of the serviced agencies involved to reduce their appropriations by an equivalent amount. In addition, the President's fiscal year 1977 budget appendix specifically reduces from each affected agency's budget request the portions proposed for transfer to the Department.
INCREASE FOR FAAS
Senator PASTORE. What are the figures in fiscal year 1976 for comparability purposes, and what is the increase over fiscal year 1976?
Mr. THOMAS. The figures for fiscal year 1976 are $57.3 million transferred from other agencies and $1.1 million from certain State Department accounts; the number of positions are the same. For fiscal year 1977, the total of $69.9 million includes an increase of $11.5 million and no positions over the base level of fiscal year 1976.
Senator PASTORE. What is this large $11.5 million increase for?
Mr. THOMAS. It is all for mandatory wage and price increases. The largest components are American salaries, local salaries, and price increases abroad.
Senator Pastore. What is the mix of these 2,553 positions between Americans and locals?
Mr. THOMAS. A total of 1,118 are Americans, of which 446 are domestic and 672 are abroad. The balance of 1,435 are foreign nationals.
STATE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATIONS AFFECTED
Senator PASTORE. To what State appropriations will these funds and positions be allocated in fiscal year 1977?
Mr. THOMAS. The largest share of the funds and positions will go to “Salaries and expenses. We are requesting $66,917,000 and 2,537 positions for this account. Of the remainder, $2,483,000 and no positions will go to the regular “Foreign buildings operations” account and $467,000 and 16 positions will go to the “Missions to international organizations" appropriation.
Senator PASTORE. How exactly will FAAS work and what are its advantages over the existing administrative support system?
Mr. Thomas. The Department of State furnishes general administrative services overseas to all other Federal agencies having international responsibilities. These services are currently provided by the Department through a system of sharing costs with the serviced agencies.
The Department proposes to replace the present shared cost system and establish FAAS as a direct and variable cost system for overseas support.
BASIS FOR FAAS
The basis for the new system is that certain costs, previously billed to other agencies under the shared system, are fixed and essential to the Department's operations, and will remain relatively unaffected by changes in the volume of administrative support provided to other agencies.
Under the FAAS system, the fixed costs will be financed by appropriations made directly to the Department, instead of partially from reimbursements received by the Department from the serviced agencies.
FAAS will provide strong positive benefits to our operations by providing improved budgeting and resource control, facilitating the financing of administrative support costs overseas, and yielding an increase in managerial effectiveness for all concerned.
Again, it should be emphasized that this is neither an increase in cost or employment to the U.S. Government. Instead, the FAAS system is a change in procedure and source of funding for an existing activity providing administrative support to U.S. Government agencies abroad. With this system, the Department of State budget will more appropriately reflect our costs for overseas activities and the cost to other agencies will more appropriately reflect the level of administrative support they receive overseas.
STATUS OF FISCAL YEAR 1977 AUTHORIZATION REQUEST
Senator PASTORE. What is the current status of your authorization?
Mr. THOMAS. Our fiscal year 1977 authorization request has passed the Senate and House passage is possible this week.
Senator PASTORE. Will your fiscal year 1977 authorization allow development of the travel document and issuance system-TDIS?
Mr. THOMAS. Yes, sir, the Senate bill specifically repeals the prohibition against developing or implementing TDIS, while the House report recognizes the prohibition expires at the end of fiscal year 1976 and states that funds may be used for research and development of TDIS.