The government watchdog agency is calling upon the State Department to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of capacity building efforts to aid foreign nations in combatting cybercrime.

According to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the Departments of State, Justice (DoJ), and Homeland Security (DHS) are working with foreign nations to help combat technology-driven crimes, but State hasn’t fully evaluated whether these activities have been effective.

“State, DOJ, and DHS have conducted a variety of activities to build foreign nations’ capacity to combat cybercrime,” the GAO report says. “These activities include engaging in information sharing with foreign partners and providing cyber training to foreign law enforcement officers.”

These agencies have documented accomplishments for many activities, such as nations joining international treaties aimed at combatting cybercrime, the report finds.

However, the report highlights, State has not conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the agencies’ collective efforts.

“State is in the best position to conduct such an evaluation since it is authorized to provide foreign assistance funding to help build key allies’ and partners’ capacity to combat cybercrime,” the report says. “Until State conducts this comprehensive evaluation, the overall impact and results of Federal assistance to global partners will likely remain unknown.”

GAO is making one recommendation to State to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of capacity building efforts to counter cybercrime. State concurred with the recommendation.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.