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State Department report says 2017 hiring freeze hurt agency

WASHINGTON — The State Department’s internal watchdog says the Trump administration’s 2017 hiring freeze had devastating effects on the agency throughout the world.

The department’s inspector general says the freeze had an overwhelmingly negative impact on morale and on core functions like serving Americans overseas and protecting diplomats.

Nearly all domestic offices and overseas missions surveyed told the inspector general that the freeze had a “negative or very negative effect on morale.” The report released Friday said 96% of embassies and consulates and 95% of offices in the U.S. told the IG that the freeze had negative effect on their security, consular and administrative operations.

The report also found that the State Department failed to coordinate the freeze with a broader management reform under then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

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