This came out recently as a notice from the Something Affairs Bureau (SAB):
"Assistant Secretary [REDACTED] formally established a Forensic Document Design and Integrity Coordination Unit (FDDI/C) within the Something Affairs Front Office in 2009. FDDI/C advises on and coordinates all issues involving the development, evaluation, and selection of document security features, as well as quality assurance processes of new improvements to all of Something Affair's secure documents to include the U.S. Passport, U.S. Passport Card, U.S. visa foils, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Consular Report of Death Abroad and the Border Crossing Card.
yadda yadda yadda is developing material testing procedures to provide quality assurance evaluation for all of Something Affairs' secure documents."
Wait ...wait a minute ....
This doesn't have anything to do with our post on September 8, 2011 on Spouse of Former Asst Sec'y for Something Affairs Lands Senior Job at Something Affairs? It doesn't. Right-o. It doesn't have anything to do with it. The two are absolutely not connected whatsoever.
Thank you, that's good to know; did not want to upset our friends at the Something Affairs Bureau.
That is a strange notice though, don't you think? If the Unit was created in 2009, why would the A/S announced it like now? Perhaps the domestic staffers of Something Affairs did not know that they have a Forensic Document Design and Integrity Coordination Unit? Perhaps the overseas staffers of Something Affairs did not know that they have a Forensic Document Design and Integrity Coordination Unit since 2009 - they are abroad, after all? Perhaps the Unit has a new person in charge? Perhaps the Unit has a new fax machine? Perhaps ... perhaps .... otherwise, it's kinda hard to imagine somebody writing a late announcement like this. And not just late, late but like two years late. If I were A/S, I would fire that announcement drafter already because really -- how long does it take to write a 500-word announcement?
And not to pick on our friends over at SAB or anything but since when has the Consular Report of Death Abroad been considered a "secure document?" This document is not controlled or numbered in anyway. It's not hidden in the vault under lock and hard to remember combination. If you look in the ACS shelves, you'll probably find these forms hanging out over there without a care in the world.
Pardon me? What, not anymore? Oh, sorry, you don't actually type on it anymore.
The Consular Report of Death Abroad is now automated, so those forms are not palling around under the shelves anymore. Although now online, apparently this document still has no control number of any sort. My beer-buddy complains that it is the most non-user friendly computer thingee to fill out online. So, this might just be a project that the Forensic Document Design and Integrity Coordination Unit (FDDI/C) can really sink its baby teeth in. The document provides essential facts about the death, disposition of remains, and custody of the estate of the deceased American and generally used in legal proceedings in U.S. as proof of death. So, of course, it must be made secure, that is, if it's not secure yet.
Why didn't you just say so?