Cablegate: Ospb Exception Request for Consular Building

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. The ARSO has completed an exceptions request package in
regards to the Consular upgrade project in the ref email sent
to DS/PSD/PCB on July 02, 2004. This cable provides a
synopsis of the exceptions package.

2. The Consular Section has an ongoing project to address
many of the shortcomings listed in a 2002 OIG report. In this
report, the OIG noted that the consular officers' ability to
provide services to citizens and visa applicants was severely
hampered due to their current physical layout. Some of the
planned upgrades include reconfiguring internal office space
and adding new hard-line doors. The funding for this project
is currently blocked because exceptions to OSPB standards
were not obtained prior to the Consulate's relocation in
October 1999.

3. After the 1998 Embassy bombings, there was a strong push
to collocate offices within the same compound. Since the
Consulate was located directly on a heavily traveled street
where there was not a protected perimeter, the former post
administration decided to move the Consulate to the Chancery
compound. This new facility was an existing structure on the
compound. This structure formerly housed equipment for a
telecommunication's project. The walls were built to FE/BR
standard. Additionally it is located off Dumi Street which is
a lightly traveled thoroughfare. There is also a ring of
bollards which prevent vehicles from driving right into the
building. Unlike the former location, the new structure does
not have several large glass windows. In sum, the current
Consular facility is located in a much more secure location.
However, the prior post administration did not submit the
required OSPB exception's package before they relocated.

4. Without the requested Consular building improvements, the
officers' ability to accomplish their mission will be
considerably diminished. They cannot restart the immigrant
visa process without line of sight supervision of the local
staff. Furthermore, OIG noted that Embassy Kinshasa should
"ask the department for urgent assistance to remedy the
problems." The Consular building is now located in far better
protected structure. The Consulate is in close proximity to
the Embassy and with the existing physical security measures
mean that they are better protected. We firmly believe that
the security of the Consular officers is not compromised in
their current location.

5. The following exceptions to OSPB standards will need to be

a. A CAC allowing passage through the perimeter.
b. A blast vulnerability study.
c. Exterior walls that provide 15 minute FE/BR protection.
d. Exterior doors that provide 15 minute FE/BR protection.
e. Interior hardline that provides 15 minute FE/BR
f. A guard booth that provides 15 minute FE/BR protection.
g. A clear zone on new office buildings.
h. Setback requirements

6. Please review the exceptions package at your earliest
convenience and let us know if additional information is

7. We look forward to your positive response. POC is ARSO
Michael T. Jordan at 243-81-88-43128 (cell) or 934 ext. 2054

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