Doing business with the State Department

General info<@VM>The CIO file: Bruce Morrison

State Department

2201 C St. NW, Washington, DC 20520


Founded: 1789

Secretary: Colin Powell

Chief of staff: Lawrence Wilkerson

Employees: 30,900

What it does:

The State Department is the lead federal agency for U.S. foreign affairs. It helps create the president's foreign policy, then represents and implements it throughout the world. The executive branch and Congress have constitutional responsibilities for U.S. foreign policy.

The secretary of state is the president's main foreign policy adviser. The agency supports the foreign affairs works of other federal agencies, such as the Agency for International Development. It offers services to U.S. citizens abroad and to foreigners seeking to visit or immigrate to the United States.

Number crunching:

2005 request: $10.4 billion

2004 budget: $10.1 billion

2003 budget: $9.9 billion

Major components:

-- The United States has diplomatic relations with about 180 countries and keeps relations with many international organizations. This makes for about 250 posts around the world.

-- The United States has embassies and consulates in Africa, the Americas, East Asia, South Asia, the Pacific, Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and North Africa. A comprehensive Web site with the individual offices is at A key officer list is at

-- There are undersecretaries of State for arms control and international security; economic, business and agricultural affairs; global affairs; management; political affairs; public diplomacy; and public affairs. There are numerous bureaus and offices dealing with everything from diplomatic security to labor issues to science and technology to protocol. A list of domestic bureaus and offices is at http://

-- Get a good look at the entire agency. Go to for the organizational chart.
ÁIn trying to boil down what to say about the State Department, I came to this conclusion: There is so much that can be said about the agency's job that there is almost too much to say. That's why I like the agency's Web site. It offers a plethora of information in a logical format that is easy to follow. I appreciate the order in which everything is presented.

Given the state of the world's affairs, I think it's important to know as much as possible about what the State Department can do for you, especially if you or your employees are traveling abroad. It's worth your time to check it out.

-- It's going to sound like I'm gushing about the State Department's Web site, but I really enjoyed using it. Doing business with the agency begins easily on the home page with the "Business Center" button, which takes you directly to The site is comprehensive, and it appears to give all the information anyone would need not only to work with the agency, but also how to do it within its legal parameters.

For instance, "U.S. Business Opportunities Overseas" covers working with the U.S. Agency for International Development, exports, business law and overseas building operations, among other topics. Be sure to stop at the FAQs page, which features topics such as doing business overseas and trade restrictions, among others.

2003 spending trends

Large business: $103.8M, up 36%

Other small business: $90.8M, up 31%

Small, disadvantaged: $83.2M, up 29%

Foreign contractors: $6.3M, up 2%

STG Inc.: $34.7M, up 12%

GTSI Corp.: $23M, up 8%

Orkand Corp.: $12.2M, up 4%

Northrop Grumman Corp.: $11.8M, up 4%

Alphatech Corp.: $11.2M, up 3%

DigitalNet Holdings Inc.: $9.3M, up 3%

IBM Corp.: $8.9M, up 3%

Therma Digital Corp.: $8.9M, up 3%

Computer Sciences Corp.: $7.1M, up 2%

PC Connection Inc.: $6.5M, up 2%

Source: Input Inc.

Bruce Morrison, State Department CIO

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