Detailed Information on the
Visa and Consular Services Assessment

Program Code 10000406
Program Title Visa and Consular Services
Department Name Department of State
Agency/Bureau Name Department of State
Program Type(s) Direct Federal Program
Assessment Year 2004
Assessment Rating Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 100%
Strategic Planning 88%
Program Management 100%
Program Results/Accountability 87%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $1,264
FY2008 $2,028
FY2009 $2,124

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Establish achievable goals.

Action taken, but not completed CA??s mission is to protect the lives and interests of American citizens and to strengthen U.S. border security. We continue to establish achievable, yet ambitious, goals to move our organization forward every year and to ensure that they are flexible enough to allow us to address any crises that occur. This improvement plan is ongoing.

Develop effective policies throughout the year.

Action taken, but not completed CA works diligently throughout the year to develop policies that help us achieve the most effective balance between enhanced security and facilitation of legitimate travel. We frequently review these policies ?? internally and with our interagency colleagues ?? to ensure the implementation processes are consistent with foreign policy goals and meet current/established security standards.

Effectively target programs.

Action taken, but not completed Under the new Strategic Planning framework, we have created new and refreshed performance indicators for ongoing programs across the spectrum of consular services. CA has endeavored to set the most ambitious targets possible given available budget and personnel resources. For example, some of the FY 2009 targets represent our customer service goals like passport production targets, while others set benchmarks along the path toward revolutionizing the visa process for the 21st century.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Collection of 10 Biometric Fingerprints for Visa Processing

Completed Builds upon other biometric visa program efforts, such as facial recognition analysis. In 6/05, the Administration adopted a 10-print standard for biometric collection for U.S. visas. Recent activities in 2006 consist of pilot testing of program at 3 overseas posts; and procurement of 10-print scanners to follow in 2007. In 2007, deployment process begun for 10 print collection capability to all visa processing posts. Full deployment effective the end of 2007/beginning of 2008.

Biometric Passport Issuance at Domestic Facilities

Completed When full rollout is complete in FY 2007, all passports issued domestically will contain biometric data. This new electronic passport will enhance document and border security, while facilitating international travel for U.S. citizens. The e-Passport will integrate the latest concepts in electronic document protection and readability. We have completed deployment of production capacity domestically to all passport agencies and production centers.

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Number of days between receipt of routine passport application by Passport Services and issuance of a passport.

Explanation:Percentage of passport applications processed to issuance within a certain number of days receipt

Year Target Actual
2002 90% within 25 days 90% within 25
2003 90% within 23 days 90% within 23
2004 90% within 21 days 90% within 21
2005 90% within 19 days 87% within 19
2006 90% within 19 days 75% within 21
2007 90% within 19 days 71% within 35
2008 90% within 25 days
2009 90% within 25 days
2010 90% within 20 days
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Development of a biometric visa program for the United States. Includes continuation of the Border Crossing Card and analysis of facial recognition technology. Future years work towards full implementation of the biovisa program including implementation of a pilot and the development of new technologies, modes of screening and the addition of other biometrics to travel documents.

Explanation:Baseline included continuation of the Border Crossing Card collection system and analysis of facial recognition technology. Future years work towards full implementation of the biovisa program through implementation of a pilot program at four posts, and working with DHS and NIST to develop technologies and standards. FY 2005-2007 begin to include diplomats and exempt categories to the checks and look to the addition of other biometrics to US travel documents.

Year Target Actual
2002 BCC& tech BCC & FR tech
2003 Biometric pilot Pilot complete
2004 Deploy tech Full deployment
2005 Full deployment Expand tech
2006 Expand tech Expand cont.
2007 10-print tech devel. Deployment all posts
2008 Full 10-print deploy
2009 Deploy CEAC tech/ODC
2010 Test IV applc;dev IV
2011 Begin deploy CEAC
2012 Consolidate CEAC
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Development of a biometric collection program for US Passports Basline included initiatl discussions within the US and with the international community to determine if ok to include biometrics in passports. Future years included development of a chip to hold the digitized information, the development of software, procurement, beta testing and then the phasing in of the production of new biometric passports. In FY 2007, new more robust technologies will be added to the passport.

Explanation:Baseline included initial discussions within the US and with international community to determine if it would be possible to include biometrics in passports. 2003, contractors evaluate chip technology. 2004, development of software, initial procurement, and beta testing. In 2005, more than 3m domestic passports will be produced including biometric data. In 2006, all new passports will contain the biometric information of each person. In 2007 additional more robust technolgies will be added to the passport.

Year Target Actual
2002 determine capacity initial discussions
2003 initial tech devel. initial tech devel.
2004 initial rollout procurement delay
2005 pilot production pilot - official/dip
2006 domestic rollout dom. rollout begun
2007 full transition transition complete
Annual Output

Measure: Number of Consular Management Assessment Team (CMAT) assessments

Explanation:CMATs did not exist prior to 2002

Year Target Actual
2002 N/A N/A
2003 16 16
2004 30 32
2005 30 38
2006 30 28
2007 30 or as needed 20

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: The purpose of the Border Security Program (BSP) is to protect American citizens both here and abroad and safeguard US borders through improvements in consular programs, processes, and systems. The BSP furthers the mission of the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) which is to administer laws, formulate regulations and implement policies relating to the adjudication of visa and passport applications and to the broad range of consular services provided to American citizens.

Evidence: a. Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) and subsequent amendments; b. USA PATRIOT Act of 2001; c. Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act (EBSVERA) of 2002; d. Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA) of 2000 BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 20%

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest or need?

Explanation: CA's Border Security Program addresses national security needs like ensuring against travel to the US by terrorists or others who pose a threat or intend to violate US immigration laws; ensuring that highly secure US passports are issued to US citizens in a timely and efficient manner; and ensuring that USG assistance is available to Americans abroad. The BSP supports 3M Americans living abroad and millions more who travel overseas each year. Consular services to citizens include help in situations involving death, injury/illness, arrest, citizenship issues, adoption, Federal benefits, international parental child abduction and other crimes. CA assisted in returning 189 abducted children in FY03 to the US. Consular officers adjudicated 7M nonimmigrant visas and 587,000 immigrant visas in FY03. CA coordinated 220,000 interagency Security Advisory Opinions to determine eligibility for a visa. Worldwide passport issuances totaled 7.3M.

Evidence: a. Department of State Strategic Plan. b. Department of State Performance Plan. c. Department of State Performance and Accountability Report BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers: a. Goal Paper AC01 b. Goal Paper HS01 c. Goal Paper AC02 d. Goal Paper MG01

YES 20%

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: The program is not duplicative. It coordinates and works in consultation with DHS and several other agencies in order to avoid redundancy and ensure effectiveness of all programs. Through offices around the US, DHS/USCIS processes petitions for immigrant and certain non-immigrant visas. NVC assures the sufficiency of affidavits of support submitted by petitioners so that consular officers can proceed with visa processing. Using knowledge of the local culture and language, consular officers interview applicants abroad, check names and fingerprints through DOS and interagency clearance processes, and issue or deny visas. CA worked with DHS to create an electronic IV process and other measures to increase efficiency. The BSP and DHS programs complement each other by sharing biographic data and fingerprints. Data collected by DOS is shared electronically with DHS/BCP at ports of entry and USCIS offices around the country for services after immigration. DoS has the sole USG authority to issue passports and a unique role in assisting Americans overseas.

Evidence: a. INA b. Homeland Security Act c. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security Concerning Implementation of Section 428 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, signed 9/29/03 d. International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA) e. Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA) of 2000. CA and the BSP operate under the INA, which delineates the responsibility of various agencies in immigration and nationality matters. The Homeland Security Act and DoS-DHS MOU further define roles in visa matters and ensure that they do not overlap. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers: a. Goal Paper AC01 b. Goal Paper HS01 c. Goal Paper AC02 d. Goal Paper MG01

YES 20%

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: The BSP is free of major flaws.The evaluations cited in section 2.6 recognize the progress CA has made in curing some interagency problems hampering the effectiveness of the visa process. Since before 9/11, CA sought interagency datasharing and interoperability of systems to strengthen and streamline the visa process and since then has achieved many successes. The consular namecheck database (CLASS) more than doubled due to input from other agencies. CA, DHS, and academia now share a system to track students (SEVIS). The Consolidated Consular Database (CCD) includes over 70M visa records updated in real-time and is shared with other agencies based on MOUs. CA has offered CCD data via the Open Sources Information System (OSIS), where it can be accessed even by agencies with incompatible systems. CA has an agreement in principle for 2-way datasharing with the FBI over OSIS and are discussing with DHS the use of OSIS to share US passport data.In addition, information from CLASS feeds into the new TSC and TTIC TIDE databases.

Evidence: The Budget in Brief FY 2005. CA's continuing goal is to leverage technology to heighten effectiveness. DoS raised the NIV fee in FY03 in response to rising costs against falling visa demand. In FY04, DoS requested an appropriation to help fund new security-related program requirements. To cover FY05-06 costs, CA has proposed a financing strategy that uses additional fee sources and appropriated funds to mitigate the risks resulting from reliance on one type of fee. In future years, a mix of funding sources will support CA's programs. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 20%

Is the program effectively targeted, so that resources will reach intended beneficiaries and/or otherwise address the program's purpose directly?

Explanation: CA's BSP targets the needs of American citizens traveling or living abroad and improvements in the visa process and in the management of the consular function worldwide. The BSP contributes to US homeland security, and CA has been working very closely with DHS and other agencies to ensure that it remains focused on initiatives that will further national security. CA has devoted significant resources to consular namecheck systems which add value to government-wide watchlisting and to enhancing consular management, systems, training, and tools so that consular personnel better fulfill their national security responsibilities. The BSP contributes directly to the security of US citizens through the development and creation of more-secure travel documents and information designed to keep them safe abroad and acts as a first line of assistance for Americans abroad in times of trouble. In addition, the State Deparment works in close coordination with foreign governments to assure the global compatibility of programs and processes.

Evidence: The Budget in Brief FY 2005 (BIB). Department of State FY 2005 Performance Plan. Annual Performance and Accountability Report, FY 2003. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 20%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 100%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: CA's BSP has developed clear long term performance measures and strategies that are aimed at protecting the safety of American citizens who travel and live abroad and facilitating travel to the US by legitimate foreign visitors and immigrants, while deterring entry by those who might abuse our immigration system or threaten national security. CA is in the midst of a multi-year effort to enhance homeland and border security by adding biometrics to the visa and passport processes, to improve the management of visa operations by consolidating certain functions at US-based visa centers where economies of scale can be realized, and to ensure that Americans have easy access to information and services designed to keep them safe abroad.

Evidence: a. Department of State Performance Plan. b. DOS Performance and Accountability Report. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers: a. Goal Paper AC01 b. Goal Paper HS01 c. Goal Paper AC02 d. Goal Paper MG01

YES 12%

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: The targets for CA's long-term goals will challenge its ability to meet them. In the case of biometric visas, the timeframe was advanced to reflect the 10/26/04 deadline in Sec. 303 of PL 107-173 to "issue to aliens only machine-readable, tamper-resistant visas'that use biometric identifiers". CA will meet that deadline. CA worked with DHS to ensure that visas can be read by equipment at POE and data feeds into US-VISIT for the biometric comparison and authentication required by PL 107-173. CA also is working with DHS and foreign governments to help them meet the deadline for biometric passports for VWP countries, although none will have them by 10/26/04 since international standards and interoperability issues were decided so recently. For US passports, CA needs to introduce biometrics to strengthen security, demonstrate global leadership and ensure long-term global interoperability. CA plans to issue passports including a contactless chip at all domestic facilities in FY06.

Evidence: a. Department of State Performance Plan. b. Performance and Accountability Report. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers: a. Goal Paper AC01 b. Goal Paper HS01 c. Goal Paper AC02 d. Goal Paper MG01

YES 12%

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?

Explanation: CA's Performance Plan outlines annual performance measures that demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals with respect to passports, visas, and consular services to US citizens. As CA rolls out biometrics collection and other enhancements to State's systems, it is crucial that consular employees receive the training needed for effective operation of modernized consular systems, specifically the capture of biometric data (fingerprints and facial image). Annual targets measure the number of people trained and the quality of that training. It is also essential that CA ensures that new procedures, instructions, and controls are understood and applied effectively in consular sections abroad. CA does this by sending Consular Management Assistance Teams to assess posts. In its efficiency measure, CA wishes to ensure that, despite security-related changes, including the addition of a chip with biometric data, Americans are issued passports in a timely fashion.

Evidence: a. Department of State Performance Plan. b. Performance and Accountability Report. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers: a. Goal Paper AC01 b. Goal Paper HS01 c. Goal Paper AC02 d. Goal Paper MG01

YES 12%

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?

Explanation: CA has baselines for annual measures and has set ambitious targets to meet each year. In FY04-05, CA plans to train unprecedented numbers of employees. This is necessitated by the addition of biometrics to the visa and passport processes. Visa sections abroad are receiving new equipment to capture and process biometric data, and it is imperative that they master its operation. This training supplements the normal refresher training that CA does annually to ensure that consular employees worldwide have the skills to make effective use of the equipment and systems needed to do their jobs. The Consular Management Assistance Teams also have ambitious schedules of visits to posts to assess management controls and procedures. Although CA planned to visit 20 posts after the program began in Feb. 2003, CMATs reviewed 16 posts by the end of FY03. They will work diligently to make sure that at least 30 posts are evaluated each year.

Evidence: a. Department of State Performance Plan. b. Performance and Accountability Report. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers: a. Goal Paper AC01 b. Goal Paper HS01 c. Goal Paper AC02 d. Goal Paper MG01

YES 12%

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: CA works closely with contractors and federal and NGO partners to accomplish mutual goals. An Entry-Exit Project Charter, drafted with INS, Customs and DOT in FY02, forms the basis for collaboration on US-VISIT and a shared commitment between CA and DHS to the collection and exchange of biographic, biometric, and other data to strengthen border security. The FBI is committed to and working with CA on the SAO Improvement Project. Early results show that the FBI has received and responded to every SAO sent so far through the new system. CA aims for database integration with the FBI for completely electronic SAO and fingerprint processing by FY 2007. Working with DOJ and DHS, CA recently transferred data on 330,000 lost or stolen US passports via DOJ to Interpol's lost and stolen document database, available to border officials worldwide. CA and DS work together to combat fraudulent activities that threaten the integrity of US documents. In July 04, the State Department and DHS agreed to provide FBI with SEVIS and USVISIT data. In addition, State provides information .....that is used by TTIC and TSC.

Evidence: a. MOU with DHS. b. Entry-Exit Project Charter. c. Correspondence. d. Contracts. e. Cooperative Agreement with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the DOJ on incoming Hague abduction cases. The DOS-DHS MOU is aimed at coordinating visa efforts. Both agencies work toward the maximum compatibility of IT systems related to visas and entry/exit of aliens, e.g. to ensure that fingerprint data collected by visa officers is checked against DHS's IDENT data and that visa data is available at POE. CA created a DHS liaison office to reinforce interagency coordination. A DHS officer works in CA. CA's passport, visa, and call centers all depend on contractors, and their activities directly support CA's goals. Without this support, CA would not be able to meet the demand for passports, its obligations under visa law, or effectively support citizens seeking consular services. Service partners at passport acceptance facilities commit to and work toward passport goals. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 12%

Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: Due particularly to the potential for fraud in visa and passport programs, CA strengthens its systems and programs through internal IV&V processes, management controls and independent evaluations, including management assessments of each passport agency. In FY03, CA created a Vulnerability Assessment Unit (VAU) in our Office of Fraud Prevention Programs staffed by officers from CA and DS. The VAU uses automation to detect anomalies in visa and passport processing and potential breakdowns in internal controls, makes recommendations on vulnerabilities, and provides support to DS in visa and/or passport malfeasance investigations. GAO frequently reviews visa processes and interagency efforts related to homeland security in which CA is involved. In addition, State's IG reviews CA programs regularly. State has a Critical Infrastructure Program that reviews CA systems initiatives. CA contracts for an in-depth review of all processes and costs in order to update consular fees.

Evidence: a. Performance and Accountability Report. b. DoS Critical Infrastructure Program reviews. c. GAO and IG reports. d. Cost of service study. GAO's Report 03-132NI, "Visa Process Should be Strengthened as an Anti-terrorism Tool", was a primary guide in developing a roadmap for change and issuing a series of instructions on standard operating procedures (SOPs) ' 67 to date. GAO testimony on 4/22/04 states: "State has taken steps to adjust its policies and regulations concerning the screening of visa applicants and its staffing and training for consular officers." CA organized the Consular Management Assistance Team initiative to reinforce SOPs and management controls at overseas posts. DS performs security audits on IT systems. The American Customer Satisfaction Index measured the satisfaction of recent passport applicants giving CA a higher score than the aggregate Federal Government and private sector/services scores. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 12%

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: CA is a predomonantly fee funded program and annual funding is therefore subject to demand fluctuations for visas and services. CA has a consistent, transparent way to display the full cost of achieving performance targets. CA programs are linked to resource needs through the DoS and Bureau performance plans and budget. CA identifies the costs of each of its major activities in its Cost of Service Study which was not available as a resource during the development of the FY 05 budget. The study, if linked to the budget submission, would show that total costs are reflected in the fees charged for each consular service. CA will work to provide draft Cost of Service Study information to be used in a more timely way in future budget negotiations. As a largely fee-funded program, CA has (until recently) been able to accommodate the cost of legislative changes through revenues. CA must respond quickly and effectively to both a changed security environment as well as to policy directions provided by DHS. Some programs required by law included fee authority to cover costs, e.g. the Diversity Lottery Program. Since FY94, the MRV fee has supported the BSP.

Evidence: a. Budget in Brief b. CPD c. Consular Package d. Cost of Service Study e. DoS Performance Plan. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

NO 0%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: CA adjusts its plans as appropriate to address deficiencies. CA works with DHS and other agencies to plan interagency initiatives. CA consistently responds to deficiencies identified in internal management reviews and independent reviews and implements changes. CA has modified relevant performance plans to adjust to new responsibilities (which include the gathering of increased biometric data, electronic data entry for all visa applicants, and retaining all rejected visa applications). CA has moved issuance of passports from overseas to domestic facilities and issued guidance to posts setting forth strengthed SOPs for visa processes. CA's goal and the aim of the MOU between DoS and DHS is to make the visa process as secure as possible and to support overall homeland security objectives so that with the immigration check at ports-of-entry and enhanced capabilities of DHS it will form a coordinated and interlocking network of border security in which US citizens can be confident.

Evidence: a. DoS Strategic Plan; b. Performance and Accountability Report; c. Visa Roadmap; d. MOU with DHS. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 12%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 88%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: CA collects performance information in its performance report and on contract performance. Data from the CCD and Consular Package help CA identify workload, staffing, and fraud trends. CA's Management Information System provides performance-based data that governs decisions on passport workload and facilities. Since US-VISIT began, more than 300 persons hit against criminal databases, including over 200 matched while applying for a visa, preventing more than 100 known or suspected criminals from entering the country. The Child Support Assistance Program is a huge success. HHS reports that the program has collected over $27 million in child support payments since June 1998 directly attributable to passport denial to the delinquent parent. Following integration of the U.S. Marshals' Warrants Information Network into the passport namecheck system over 25 federal fugitives have been arrested as a result of WIN hits. CA has also added the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Americans to its lookouts.

Evidence: a. Performance and Accountability Report. b. MOUs with other agencies. c. CA's series of Standard Operating Procedures. CA's SOPs and other instructions to posts on management issues correct deficiencies noted in GAO, OIG, and other management reviews. CA's annual survey of posts (Consular Package) seeks information on workload, management and resource issues. CA continues enhancements to the CCD, which captures real-time workload data from overseas. CA's agreements with the Treasury for domestic lockbox consular fee collection have production standards and processes the banks must follow. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 14%

Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: Federal Managers, program partners, and contractors are held fully accountable for cost, schedule and performance results. Contracts awarded identify project requirements and deliverables that support program objectives. Federal program partners that participate in MOUs are also held accountable for performance relative to the terms of the MOU. CA consults at operational and senior levels with DHS partners to ensure effective meshing of joint efforts, including the addition of DHS officers to visa sections. Posts are not able to print a visa until the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) response has returned from DHS. CA monitors turnaround time on the BioVisa-IDENT connection. Recently, it averaged 16.5 minutes for all posts worldwide. Contractors are required to present monthly or quarterly performance reports that track performance results, costs, and schedules.

Evidence: a. Contracts. b. MOUs. CA continues its interagency agreements that set forth production standards for all lockbox operations (both visa and passport operations) and works closely with Treasury (the agency that coordinates all USG lockbox agreements) whenever there is a performance problem. CA uses a number of primary contracts in support of consulates and passport agencies to manage portions of consular operations that are not inherently governmental. CA has broadened cooperation with Diplomatic Security (DS), creating a Vulnerability Assessment Unit in CA to alert us to possible malfeasance through statistical analysis. CA is partnering with the Office of the Procurement Executive in the Bureau of Administration and is hiring a Contracting Officer to move toward a greater degree of performance-based contracting. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 14%

Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: The Border Security Program obligates at a rate exceeding 99% of planned obligations, minimizing the carryforward of planned spending amounts. Funds are spent for the intended purposes.

Evidence: a. Department's Budget in Brief; b. Congressional Presentation Document; c. Baseline reprogramming notifications; d. Apportionments; e. D&CP Program and Financing Schedules.

YES 14%

Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: One of the main features of the BSP is IT improvements and training. CA works closely with DS, DHS, FBI, HHS, etc to ensure that IT efforts are complementary, not redundant. CA advocates datasharing to save resources. CA identifies visa tasks that can be shifted from posts to NVC or KCC to use resources more effectively. The Passport Management Information System provides performance-based data that allows managers to track workload and make decisions about inter-agency transfers to keep backlogs at a minimum. Consular Package workload data informs staffing decisions at posts. CA reviews its costs and personnel requirements in cost of service studies. CA examines work processes to see whether competitive sourcing is an option. About 50% of CA's domestic labor requirements, including for public inquiries and passport book personalization, are obtained via competitive sourcing. CA's call centers and processing facilities allow CA to recognize economies of scale.

Evidence: a. Exhibit 300's, FAIR Act. b. Cost of service study. c. CA contributed millions of visa records to the US-VISIT database. d. DoS provided the Terrorist Screening Center and Terrorist Threat Integration Center with over 100,000 records of known or suspected terrorists from TIPOFF, which CA funded. e. The first electronic Diversity Visa lottery smoothed the application process, selection of winners, and disqualification of duplicate entries. f. CA completed a passport records scanning project that ensures that all applications since 1994 are available electronically. g. Other evidence of leveraging technology include 2-D barcodes to speed the processing of visa applications and an Internet registration program to better serve and safeguard Americans abroad. h. Approximately 50 percent of CA's domestic labor requirements, including for public inquiries and passport book personalization, are obtained through competitive sourcing. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 14%

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: CA collaborates daily with other agencies and NGOs. CA coordinates visa activities with DHS under the MOU signed 9/29/03. CA has senior officers devoted to liaison with DHS, and DHS officers work in CA and at posts. DAS Janice Jacobs is on the US-VISIT Advisory Board and DAS Frank Moss is a member of Source Selection Evaluation Board for the contract being awarded for the next phases of US-VISIT.CA exchanges lookout records with DHS, DEA, FBI, and others.CA shares CCD data with DHS to facilitate identification of legitimate travelers at POE and to expose impostors.CA began a Security Advisory Opinion improvement project that permits the electronic exchange of SAO information among posts, State, and clearing agencies.CA provides data on lost and stolen passports to Interpol via DOJ.CA partners with HHS to recover child support arrearages, with NCMEC on child abduction, and with the US Marshals Service and state and local law enforcement to prevent passport issuance to fugitives.

Evidence: a. MOUs. b. Cooperative Agreement with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and DOJ. c. 70% of the visa lookout database is provided by other agencies. Our Consular Consolidated Database can be accessed through the Open Source Information System (OSIS), an SBU network connecting over thirty agencies. CA helped the Office of Child Support Enforcement at HHS and states to collect over $27 million in lump sum-child support payments since June 1998 through a passport denial program. Our integration of the U.S. Marshals' Warrants Information Network (WIN) database of individuals subject to outstanding federal warrants of arrest into the Passport name check system has resulted in numerous arrests as a result of WIN hits. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 14%

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: Revenue data is reviewed on a monthly basis. CA provides updated guidance to posts on how to handle fee collections annually. The CA bureau continues its efforts to review all processes to ensure against any visa and passport vulnerabilities. CA has taken steps to address specific deficiencies noted in GAO and OIG audits. CA has not received any negative reports from the CFO regarding financial management.

Evidence: a. Performance and Accountability Report. b. Consular Management Handbook. c. Template MOU for overseas posts desiring to set up off-site fee collection with banks. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 14%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: CA addresses management deficiencies by ensuring that all consular personnel have procedural guidance to fulfill effectively their national security responsibilities and the tools, training, and facilities that allow them to make the best use of their knowledge and skills. CA conducts quality assessments to evaluate and support program initiatives. In FY03 CA began issuing a series of standard operating procedures and sending Consular Management Assistance Teams (CMATs) to high-priority or special-needs posts to help them strengthen visa processes and consular management practices. CA's Vulnerability Assessment Unit uses CA's systems to detect anomalies that may signal malfeasance or other fraud. CA continued its Management Assessment and Internal Controls Reviews at passport facilities. To help detect terrorists, CA worked to enhance the training of consular officers in specific interviewing and counter-terrorism areas. CA provides training at FSI and elsewhere for passport staff.

Evidence: a.Performance & Accountability Report. bVisa Roadmap and SOPs address concerns in the 2002 GAO and OIG reports on visas. All consular sections now review management controls annually. CMATs have been effective in identifying and correcting deficiencies. An expanded Regional Consular Officer Program also provides management help to posts. GAO testimony on 4/22/04 states: "State has taken steps to adjust its policies and regulations concerning the screening of visa applicants and its staffing and training for consular officers." CA followed recommendations in GAO reports, GAO-03-798 on visa revocations and GAO-04-371 on the time taken to adjudicate visas for scientists. CA strengthened revocation procedures by providing notice to DHS and the FBI and sharing a visa revocation lookout code between State and DHS systems. CA invested heavily in systems to move visa applicants more quickly through the interagency clearance process. Today, 80% of such applicants receive clearance within 3 week BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 14%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 100%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?

Explanation: The BSP is on target to meet its long term goals and has implemented many improvements since FY94 including: a) additional trained staff in an effort to meet visa demand; b) a Consular Consolidated Database that fosters better decision-making and is shared with other agencies; c) modernized equipment in consular sections; d) better lookout systems; e) biometric visas; f) a passport with increased security features, to include a biometric in FY05; g) improved management of consular operations, including interviews of all visa applicants with very few exceptions. CA will reach one long-term goal by 10/26/04 when we collect biometric data from both immigrant and non-immigrant visa applicants at all posts. CA plans to begin issuing biometric-enhanced passports soon after that.

Evidence: a. Performance & Accountability Report. b. Performance Plan. c. Exhibit 300s for IT. d. BIB. Posts in Mexico and over 125 others now collect biometric data, including fingerprints, from visa applicants. That data is checked against DHS fingerprint data and available at ports-of-entry in the US-VISIT system. Other evidence includes the deployment of a new, tamper-resistant NIV and a machine-readable IV; a facial recognition pilot for nonimmigrant visas that uses biometrics for anti-fraud purposes; and procurement information and strategy relating to the electronic passport. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:


Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: CA is on target with its performance measures and over the next year or so more results will be generated. CA worked with DHS on visa goals and with DHS, NIST, ICAO and others to develop biometric standards to be used internationally and in US travel documents. Those standards were set in May 2003 and revised, where appropriate, in May 2004. CA will collect biometric data from all visa applicants by 10/26/04 and begin issuing biometric US passports in FY05. As CA deploys biometric collection capability, CA trains consular staff to ensure they can effectively use the new hardware and software. To further ensure appropriate implementation of new procedures, CMATs have visited over 20 posts as of 4/1/04, with the goal of at least 30 visits this year. CA will continue to meet passport workload to ensure timely passport issuance. Contract support will help to make achievement of goals possible.

Evidence: a. Performance & Accountability Report. b. CMAT reports. c. Biometrics-collection deployment and related training took place at over 125 posts. d. Other training prepared CA employees for other challenges. e. In FY03, CA issued over 7.3M passports. CMATs include participation of other DOS bureaus. They have been well received wherever they have visited and have proved their value as important management and validation tools for CA. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:


Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: CA is always looking at ways to make processes more effective and secure and eliminate any possible redundancies that may arise with the development of the new systems and procedures at DHS. CA leverages technology to improve work processes.CA created an Internet-based NIV form that prints the completed form and a barcode that is read at posts, reducing data input time and errors. Changes in the interagency SAO process begin the transition from telegrams to an electronic SAO process. The clearance process is already more speedy and efficient than it was when GAO reviewed it in 2003. To facilitate changes, CA consolidated some visa functions at NVC and KCC. To obtain the security enhancements of photodigitization for overseas passports at reasonable cost, CA shifted such production to the US. Despite a 23% rise in passport applications, turn-around time to applicants is not increasing. 90% of applications are being processed to issuance within 21 business days of receipt.

Evidence: a. Performance & Accountability Report. b. CA's web site. Electronic data transfer from posts to US-based passport facilities halved turn-around time for passport issuance to citizens abroad. We made the DV Lottery all-electronic and rolled out online registration for Americans. CA maximized the effectiveness of the KCC and took the burden off posts by locating many critical projects there, including the OF-156 storage project, the Facial Recognition Pilot, and the Category I scanning and attaching to CLASS project. CA deployed Passport Record Imaging System Management allowing consular offices worldwide to have electronic access to passport applications. CA increased the effectiveness of CLASS by integrating not only FBI records, but also federal warrant data from the US Marshals Service. Inclusion of criminal records in CLASS enables denial of visas to criminals and arrests of fugitives. All of these initiatives demonstrate improved efficiencies and cost effectiveness of the BSP. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 20%

Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: CA's performance compares very favorably to others involved in the migration process. Since BSP's start in FY94, CA has advocated the use of modern technology to screen applicants, improve the immigration process, and facilitate interagency data sharing. CA built a robust namecheck system with sophisticated algorithms that is a model for others and contributed to a terrorist database that has been adopted by TSC and TTIC. The technology we pioneered in the Border Crossing Card program is the precursor of the current interagency use of biometrics. The CCD's visa records populate the US-VISIT system. CA is a pioneer in facial recognition (FR) applications and has offered its expertise to other agencies interested in real-world uses of FR.CA is pursuing greater interagency coordination using their Open Source Information System. Passport Services' 2003 ACSI score is higher than the aggregate Federal and private sector scores.

Evidence: Performance & Accountability Report, Performance Plan, BIB, Exhibit 300s for IT, MOUs, correspondence with other agencies. CA was ready, willing, and able to share CCD data with the former INS before 9/11, but that agency was technologically unprepared to accept the data until 2002. Also in 2002, CA launched the Interim Student and Exchange Authentication System to provide electronic verification of foreign students and exchange visitors who apply to enter the US, pending INS's completion of the SEVIS system now in use by DHS, State, and academic institutions. CA is prepared to share visa records in near real-time throughout the USG. CA has made the CCD available on the controlled OSIS website to USG agencies with a need to know. CA has introduced improvements that will permit a paperless interagency Security Advisory Opinion process. CA also finished scanning 10 years' worth of passport applications to facilitate both passport security and interagency datasharing. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 20%

Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: In FY03-04, consular activities were the subject of several reviews by GAO and other outside organizations, as well as by the State IG. CA programs are currently achieving the intended results. CA has made great strides to remedy previous practices, e.g., populated the lookout system with data from law enforcement and intelligence agencies to improve watchlisting, revised the clearance process to better identify suspected terrorists, later took steps to smooth and expedite that process, tightened the rules on visa interviews, increased datasharing between agencies, and improved the visa revocation process. CA uses IV&V processes and management controls to strengthen its programs. CMATs strengthen management oversight at overseas posts. CA's Vulnerability Assessment Unit uses CA's systems to detect anomalies in visa and passport processing and reduce vulnerability to malfeasance.

Evidence: Performance & Accountability Report, DS Security Reviews of IT systems, IRM certifications of systems, GAO and IG reports. Recent GAO and IG reports and testimony consistently note CA's progress in strengthening the visa process since 9/11. The American Customer Satisfaction Index evaluated the satisfaction of recent passport applicants and found that Passport Services delivered a high degree of satisfaction. BPP Evidence: A/S Statement: Goal Papers:

YES 20%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 87%

Last updated: 09062008.2004SPR