Cablegate: Certification of Consular Management Controls - Namibia

Published: Fri 26 Feb 2010 11:46 AM
DE RUEHWD #0174/01 0571148
R 261146Z FEB 10
E.O. 12958: N/A
1. Post completed its review on February 26, 2010.
2. DCM Matthew Harrington, FE-OC, along with ACO/Consular Chief
Charles Jarrett, certifies successful
completion of the review and that Post is in full compliance.
3. Certification comments follow for specific areas cited in
A. Inventory of Accountable Consular Items: On February 26, 2010,
ACO and DCM performed a coehensive physical inventory of
accountable consular supplies. The results of the inventory were
documented in the Accountable Items (AI) module. Post is using the
Accountable Items module (AI) to maintain its inventory of
accountable consular items for visa foils, CRBAs, passport books
and foils. The physical number of items on hand reconciles with
inventory records.
B. Guidance: The Consular Officer is familiar with and has ready
access to the basic references and instructions needed to perform
consular functions, including 7 and 9 FAM, 7 FAH-1 and CA Web. The
Consular Officer has access to classified systems and checks
classified e-mail daily.
C. Consular Shared Tables (CST) Management:
- Only the ACO/Consular Chief and back-up ACO/Consular
Officer (Frank DeParis) have adjudicatory
and management roles.
- Both Consular Chief and back-up officer have separate user
IDs and Passwords for ACRS.
- All active users of consular systems and applications are
stationed at post and have a current need
for their particular role(s); users are authorized system
access only at the appropriate level. All other
user roles present in CST or ACRS have been deleted or
- User passwords are periodically reset and are randomly
chosen by the individual so that no one else,
including the system and CST administrators, knows the
individual's password.
D. Physical Access: Access is generally limited to consular
section employees. A half-door is kept closed during working hours
and the full door is closed/locked whenever employees leave the
section; only consular section employees know the section's door
combination. LES are not present outside of office hours unless a
cleared American is present, and controlled items are secured and
accounted for daily. Unique space constraints prevent post's sole
American officer from always working within the section (see below,
part O. Oversight of Processing)
E. Access to Personally Identifiable Information (PII): Procedures
are in place, both in system protocols and workflow management, to
assure that collection of PII is performed appropriately and that
such information is appropriately protected. For example, when ACS
applications are passed from one employee to another or left in the
officer's inbox, they are kept in unmarked file folders to prevent
occasional outside visitors to the section from reading social
security numbers or other sensitive data. Access to consular
systems containing PII, including PIERs, NIV and ACS, is restricted
to employees with a legitimate need to see such information and
records are only accessed in connection with official duties. Post
has noted no breaches or incidents involving loss, theft,
unauthorized access or compromise of PII.
F. Control, Reconciliation, and Destruction of Accountable Items:
Accountable Items (AI) is used to track and reconcile daily usage
of passports, passport foils, CRBAs, and visa foils. Post has
noted no instances of missing controlled items in the past twelve
months. Post properly destroys or returns to the Department for
destruction any spoiled, unusable or obsolete controlled items.
Post records witnessed destruction in AI for passport books,
passport cards, CRBAs and visa foils. Post retains paper copies of
destruction logs for all destroyed items, which are signed by both
the ACO and back-up ACO.
G. Cash Accountability: The ACO, back-up ACO, consular cashier,
and alternate cashiers have been formally designated using the
model letters found under tools on the Consular Fees page on CAWeb.
All are familiar with the instructions in Consular Management
Handbook chapter 7 FAH-1 H-700. The Daily Accounting Sheets for
the last 12 months have been reviewed and signed by both the ACO
and FMO, and are on file in the ACO records.
H. Periodic comparison of MRV fees and NIV applications: Post
does not employ offsite fee collectors. All fees are taken within
the section by designated consular cashiers. The ACRS End-of-Day
report is reviewed and reconciled daily by the ACO against on-hand
receipts for the day's transactions. The Daily Accounting Sheet is
also reconciled by comparison of the End-of-Day Report with OF-158
receipts issued for both local currency and U.S. dollars by the
Class B Cashier. Transaction receipts are reviewed and signed by
the officer for each service provided and MRV receipts are attached
to the DS-156.
I. Referral System: Per the guidance provided in 09 State 68314
and 09 State 115658, the Worldwide Visa Referral Policy (WVRP) has
been implemented at post and replaces all individualized,
post-specific referral policies:
- The Consular Chief conducted two training sessions on WVRP for
all Mission agency and section heads under COM authority currently
at post, as well as for any designates they desired to be
authorized for referral submission.
- The Consular Chief also added a WVRP briefing to the
arrival/intake procedures for all direct-hire Americans arriving at
- Only American Officers under COM Authority who have been briefed
on WVRP and have signed the acknowledgement form are permitted to
make referrals, and all referrals are signed by both the referring
officer and agency or section head as appropriate.
- Referral information is captured in the NIV system and scanned
into the NIV system with the application form and all supporting
documents. Referrals are rarely received at post, but each
submission (Class A or B) is thoroughly reviewed before being
accepted by the Consular Chief. No unofficial or informal
referrals are accepted.
J. Training: American and locally employed staff are adequately
trained for their responsibilities:
- The section's sole LES has been accepted recently for training at
FSI, taking PC122 Workshop for Senior American Citizen Services LES
and PC 542 Fraud Prevention Workshop for Foreign Service Nationals.
This is her first training at FSI.
- All ACOs have taken the on-line distance learning courses
Consular Management Controls,
Accounting for Consular Fees Training for the ACO, and the on-line
user training for the Automated Cash Register System (ACRS).
- All cashiers have taken
Collecting Consular Fees: Training for the Consular Cashier.
- All employees with access to PIERS have taken
PC 441
Passport Data Security Awareness.
K. Standards of Employee Conduct: All consular employees are
familiar with the standards of ethical conduct expected of them.
Post operations are regularly reviewed and supervised by the
Consular Chief to ensure no influences leading to a perception of
impropriety are being brought to bear on the visa or passport
L. Namecheck and Clearance Reviews: All namecheck returns are
reviewed by the interviewing officer and consistent standards are
applied in determining when a hit is close enough to warrant
further action. When insufficient information is present to rule
out a potential match to a namecheck hit, that hit it treated as if
it were a match. The Consular Chief has completed specialized
namecheck training - PC126A - Advanced Consular Namechecking and
Identity Recognition Techniques Overview.
M. Visa Lookout Accountability (VLA): All issuing officers at post
fully understand VLA provisions and requirements, as well as the
consequences for failing to comply with VLA procedures. The DCM
regularly reviews the issuances of the Consular Chief, and the
Consular Chief reviews issuances by the back-up officer to verify
that VLA requirements were met.
N. Intake, Interview, and Screening: Post is in compliance with
the Department's instructions on visa intake, interview, and
document review procedures. Screening of applications does not
encroach on adjudication, and only ensures that all required
application materials are provided. The consular officer
interviews all NIV applicants who have paid the appropriate fees
and have a completed application.
O. Oversight of processing: Adequate supervision of processing is
exercised by American officers. The
Consular Section is extremely small and there is no space for the
Consular Chief to have an office within the section; instead, the
Consular Chief's office is located in the CAA. Continuous
line-of-sight is therefore not practical. The Consular Chief
compensates for this by working from an interview window in the
section when possible, walking through the section often, and
checking-in with consular employees regularly throughout the day.
Accountable Items are accounted for as they are used and reconciled
before consular employees leave the Embassy each day. Printed
visas, passports, and CRBAs are reviewed by the officer before
distribution. Post's need for DNA testing or a Panel Physician is
extremely rare. Post is aware of guidance in 9 FAM 42.44, in the
event that DNA collection is necessary.
P. Biometric Collection: Fingerprinting for biometric purposes is
being done only by consular officers.
Q. Photo Standards: Post ensures that NIV and passport photos are
recent and meet applicable standards. With implementation of the
DS-160, applicants will begin uploading their own photos. Post has
linked the "Photo Standards Guide" from to the
website and has also added detailed instructions for filling out
visa applications, to ensure quality in photo submissions.
R. Visa Adjudication Oversight: NIV refusals and issuances,
including those of the Consular Chief, are being reviewed by
supervisors. Comments are entered into the system for each
adjudication. All visa applicants for whom a personal appearance
is required are being interviewed. Post has no written
re-application process for previously refused applicants and in no
way bars re-application.
S. Files: Consular files are being managed in accordance with the
Record Disposition Schedule and visa files in particular are being
maintained per instructions. All consular personnel understand
that visa records are to be safeguarded in accordance with INA
Section 222(f). NIV records are filed chronologically per
T. Passports and CRBAs: Procedures and controls are in place to
ensure the accuracy and integrity of U.S. passport, CRBA, and other
nationality determinations:
- Post conducts passport name checks for all passport services,
including extra visa pages. Before signing application forms, the
Consular Chief notes in the signature box whether a CLASS check has
been completed.
- The Consular Chief audits passport cases adjudicated at post to
ensure that biographic information, annotations, endorsements and
limitations are entered accurately and according to guidelines.
- Post returns all defective or spoiled passport books to the
Department for destruction, as required.
U. Fraud Prevention Programs: The sole Consular Officer also
serves as Fraud Prevention Manager. Incidents of fraud are low and
fraud investigations have, thus far, been limited to occasional
document verifications. Field investigations have not been
necessary for any NIV cases; post does not process IV or DV cases.
V. Wilberforce Act: Post is in compliance with the Wilberforce
Act. All consular personnel understand their responsibilities
under the Wilberforce Act. Post has sufficient copies of the
brochures on hand, located in the interview windows, and hands them
out to relevant applicants as required.
W. Oversight of Applicant Service Centers (ASCs): Post does not
employ an ASC.
X. Consular Agents: Post does not supervise any Consular Agents.
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