2000 State 24724


2000 State 24724


December 26, 2000


Subject: Reaffirming existing practices:
Assisting members of dos households
accompanying employees overseas

1. I have spoken about the “war for talent” we are fighting to recruit and retain the best people for our department. Given the difficulties of a career involving frequent relocation and service overseas under hardship conditions, we need to do all we can, to the full extent of the law, to ensure that we support all of our employees in keeping their households intact.

2. The state department today–like many businesses and non-governmental organizations–assigns employees overseas whose households include not only spouses and dependent children, but also unmarried partners, aging parents, other relatives or adult children, who fall outside the
department’s current legal and statutory definition of family member.

3. Under current legislation, certain privileges and allowances may only be extended to family members. This is the law and we need to keep closely following it. But as of today, i ask all chiefs of mission to ensure that, in compliance with current legislation, state department practices are fairly and equitably applied in a consistent manner to all members of the households (moh) of state department employees assigned to our missions abroad. Here i refer to those individuals who have accompanied the employee overseas and who the employee has declared to the chief of mission (com) are a part of his/her household and who will reside at post with the employee.

4. I believe coms and their staffs must assist mohs, while they are part of employee households, in the following ways:

  • All missions will provide mohs with assistance in obtaining appropriate residency permits and travel visas in accordance with local law.
  • All u.s. citizen mohs shall be included in the mission warden system.
  • Employees shall be encouraged to complete emergency locator cards for all mohs.
  • If an moh can legally work in the respective country (including having any necessary work permits), they shall be considered for pit, psc, psa and fsn positions as appropriate for their citizenship.
  • MOHs shall have access to clo and flo sponsored activities and programming within existing policy and regulations.
  • MOHs shall, with their permission and at the employee’s request, be included in post telephone and address listings.
  • COMs and their staffs may include mohs in all events officially sanctioned by post on the same basis as family members.
  • Recognizing that cultural differences may mean that an american employee’s household may not necessarily mirror households in foreign countries, coms shall work to ensure that the official american community environment is as welcoming as possible.

5. This policy means additional responsibilities for employees as well: employees will ensure that their mohs comply with all laws, regulations and policies affecting the official american community. Employees shall be responsible for ensuring that the post is informed of all individuals whom they declare to be members of their households using the check-in procedures or other means established by post.

6. Until further clarification is issued, mohs shall be considered members of family for the purpose of anti-nepotism regulations in 3 fam 142.

7. In implementing these measures, the department reminds posts of the non-discrimination policies outlined in 3 fah-1 h-1500, and expects posts to ensure that all/all employees have the opportunity to take advantage of these measures, if the employees so desire.

8. This cable does not supercede eligible family member or veteran preference guidelines in hiring. All moh initiatives should be carried out in accordance with applicable law and state department regulations.

9. Employees must report all foreign national mohs to hr/cda as required by 3 fam 4100 (employee marriage, equivalent bonds, and cohabitation).

10. Should unforseen limitations on current eligible family members’ benefits and arrangements result from the above, the chief of mission will protect such benefits and arrangements.

11. Minimize considered.