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No vacancy at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad might want to hang a "No Vacancy" sign at the front door every so often, according to auditors.

As if the tight space and small staff weren't bad enough, embassy workers are devoting a significant portion of their time to the hundreds of lawmakers and senior administration officials who visit each year, the State Department inspector general said in a new report.

Dignitaries made almost 700 visits in fiscal year 2009, requiring the embassy to hold hundreds of planning meetings and make use of more than 300 vehicles. It also had to provide drivers, note takers and beds for all of the visitors.

The visits put a special strain on the embassy's reporting and public diplomacy officers, who have to devote time to the visits despite "Washington's voracious reporting and outreach requirements," the report said.

Item cross-posted at Federal Eye.

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 15, 2010; 5:11 PM ET
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