Report criticises US ambassador to UAE

US State Department cited excessive speeding fines, misuse of credit cards and low staff morale in report.

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ABU DHABI // The US ambassador to the UAE, Michael Corbin, has been criticised in a report released by the US state department’s inspector general.

The report mentioned a large number of speeding fines after frequent trips to Dubai, the misuse of a government credit card and contributing to low morale among his staff.

“[The embassy] should cease requesting [the] handling of traffic fines and process them in accordance with mission policy,” read the report.

“The ambassador has not focused sufficiently on his staff and the internal workings of the embassy. His staff rated him below average in every leadership category.”

The report also mentioned that Mr Corbin requested the consulate general in Dubai pay personal expediting services “with the consulate general’s government credit card for his convenience”.

“Although he reimbursed all personal expediting services, he benefited from the corporate rate and inappropriately used government resources for personal purposes,” read the report.

“[The embassy] should cease using a government credit card for the ambassador’s personal expenses.”

It said Mr Corbin did not spend enough time in the embassy and was disengaged from the community.

“The ambassador’s focus on business has left other elements of the mission somewhat adrift,” it read.

“Law enforcement, illicit finance, civil society, human rights and other policy concerns receive relatively little attention.”

But Mr Corbin was commended for his significant contribution to increasing US exports to Abu Dhabi.

A US state department representative said: “We believe the report contains some poorly substantiated assertions and take issue with several of the report’s statements.”

Mr Corbin has been the US ambassador to the UAE since July 2011, after having served in the US foreign service for more than 25 years.

The inspection took place in Washington from September 3 to 23 last year, and in Abu Dhabi between October 19 and November 7.