Federal Times: WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department is hitting back at the growing bipartisan criticism of Rex Tillerson’s leadership and accusations he is presiding over a debilitating brain drain of the nation’s diplomatic corps. At the same time, it allowed that a lack of communication with employees about Tillerson’s intent to reorganize the department had contributed to low morale.
In a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Republican chairman, the department said Tillerson’s reorganization plans aren’t crippling the agency as reports have claimed. Top ranks aren’t being intentionally gutted through attrition, mass retirements and buyouts, it said, and a planned 8 percent reduction of its nearly 75,000 employees had been mandated by the Office of Management and Budget and is proceeding under that order.
Meanwhile, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said there was a need to better communicate plans.