The Washington Post

Some overseas travel, like GAO trip, still a go


Celebrating National Elephant Day at the elephant camp in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand — probably not on the GSA agenda. (Pongmanat Tasiri/EPA)

But it’s nice to know that we aren’t giving them up entirely and becoming a boring, stay-at-home government. For example, the Government Accountability Office is dispatching a team of auditors to Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia this month.

On the plus side, there will be balmy temperatures and spectacular views. The negatives: sounds like a pretty work-intensive trip, and then there’s the messy business of dealing with possible human rights violations.

The GAO officials will be checking to see whether embassies there are complying with rules banning assistance to foreign security units that the State Department thinks have committed gross human rights violations, GAO says.

GAO spokesman Chuck Young noted that the agency has trimmed its travel budget by 40 percent since 2010. “But some investigations, such as this one, are prioritized for travel because fieldwork is essential,” he said.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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