United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Overseas Furniture

Most foreign service officers move into government furnished residences which - because of global contracts - are all furnished with almost identical pieces worldwide. Prior to arrival at Post the officers don't know what furniture they will have, nor what it looks like, nor does the Post ask what furniture the officer wants. This results in the government paying for furniture and moving costs, only to have the officer arrive and ask for it all to be removed. This wastes government time and money on storage, maintanance, and especially man hours (spent planning for, moving, and removing unwanted furniture).

 

Additionally, many new officers get rid of their furniture prior to coming to Post because they are told they will have a fully furnished place; but, had they known the style, size or quality of the government issued furniture, they would have brought their own (thus saving the government all costs assocaited with furnishing a residence).

 

The waste of resources in government furnished residences is due in large part to a lack of communication about supply and demand. Employees do not understand what is supplied and the government does not look into the demands of the employee.

 

I suggest something as simple as a providing information to new officers on what government furniture is (in general) so they determine their demand and plan accordingly (ie ship their own furniture); and asking officers what furniture (of the general list of available goods) they would like to have moved into their residence.

 

This low-costm increased flow of information would save the govenrment money and man hours spent on planning for, moving and removing furnishings. Additionally, getting input from officers on their housing/furnishing will increase morale

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Idea No. 6329