Passports and Visas: Status of Efforts to Reduce Fraud, Report to the Chairman, Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 164KB]

Technical problems and the failure of overseas consular staff to comply with internal management controls have hampered State Department efforts to modernize its visa and passport operations and make them less vulnerable to fraud. After initial delays, State has made steady progress in installing its machine-readable system--the primary initiative for eliminating visa fraud--and provided all visa-issuing posts with automated access to its global database containing the names of persons ineligible for visas. Operational problems, however, have diminished the effectiveness of these efforts. Meanwhile, State's modernization program to reduce passport fraud is behind schedule. State originally planned to install a new wide-area network, develop a system to print a digitalized passport photograph, and install a system to verify the multiple issuance of passports by December 1995. However, only the installation of the wide-area network, upon which the other two projects depend, has been completed. Full implementation also depends on modernizing the passport production system, which according to State depends on funding availability.

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