Washington, Nov 21 (IANS) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has denied mounting accusations over his management of the State Department, insisting that his “redesign” will erase all concerns.
“This department is performing extraordinarily well,” Tillerson told the media on Monday. “And I take exception to anyone who would characterise it otherwise. It’s just not true.”
Asked about the “morale problems” in the department and staff cuts, Tillerson said “the redesign is going to address all of that”, reports Xinhua news agency.
Tillerson’s remarks followed growing criticism from bipartisan lawmakers who worried that staff cuts and a reorganization plan may cause a brain drain in the US foreign service corps.
Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the staff reductions a risk to national security and a “high-level decapitation of leadership”.
The State Department will ask for 641 employee departures above its normal attrition levels by the end of 2018 in order to achieve an 8 per cent reduction of the workforce required by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Tillerson also has embraced a White House proposal to slash the State Department’s budget by about 30 per cent.
At a press briefing last week, calling the redesign “a work in progress”, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert acknowledged there was low morale among agency employees.
Post Source: Ians feed