Sie sind auf Seite 1von 43

Date: Thursday, November 07, 2002

To: Clark Kent Ervin, Inspector General

From: Patricia Yorkman, CPO

Re: CPO's background information for meeting with Senator Grassley

You are scheduled to meet with Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) on November 13th
at 4pm in room 135 of the Hart Bldg regarding visa processing and visa express issues.
Senator Grassley's primary staffer that we have been interacting with regarding the visa
express issue is Kathy Nuebel. Although this meeting pertains to our visa work, we also
have an outstanding request with Senator Grassley regarding U.S. Aid to the Colombian
National Police (for more details see reference below). Attached are the following
documents to facilitate your meeting:

1) Senator Grassley's bio from his website


2) Senator Grassley's bio from CQ, including his Politics in America Profile
a. The Senator is a member of the Budget committee;
b. Is the ranking minority member of the Finance Committee and sits on the
Health Care and International Trade Subcommittees;
c. Is member of the Joint Taxation Committee;
d. Among other Caucuses, Senator Grassley is also the Co-Chair of the U.S.
Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control; and
e. He is a member of the Senate Anti-Terrorism Caucus
3) The following recent press releases are likely of interest to you:
a. September 17, 2002, Grasslev Pushes for Changes to Visa Processing
Procedures (The press release discusses his letter to you requesting a
thorough review of visa procedures. Just to note, among the several press
releases on his website, this press release was not among them.)
b. September 6, 2002, Grasslev: Improve Agencies Moving to New
Homeland Security Department. Among issues highlighted, the press
release discusses Senator Grassley's amendment to the Homeland Security
legislation. A copy of the Senator Grassley's amendment and our
comments to H is referenced below.
c. July 15, 2002, Grassley Describes New Developments on Visa Express.
Discusses letter that Senator Grassley sent to you from himself and Rep.
Dave Weldon seeking a review of the Visa Express Program and the entire
text of the letter you sent to Senator Grassley on July 15, 2002.
d. July 10, 2002, Memorandum to Reports and Editors. Re: Visa Express
Program, which describes a letter that Senator Grassley and Rep. Dave
Weldon sent to you and refers to the visa program as "willy nilly." It also
states that the Senator is exploring the best way to structure visa-
approving responsibilities in the new Department of Homeland Security.
e. July 2, 2002, Grasslev. Weldon Seek Tighter Visa Restrictions. This press
release describes a letter sent to Secretary Powell expressing concern over
the September 11 hijackers receiving visas via the Visa Express program
without having been interviewed. The press release also references a letter
sent to you on July 2, 2002, (which is actually the July Ist letter).
f. May 10, 2002, Grasslev Requests State Department Audit of Colombian
Assistance, which includes Senator Grassley's letter to you in its entirety
requesting that we audit all U.S. assistance provided to the Colombian
National Police.

4) The following recent correspondence has transpired between you and Senator
Grassley:
a. September 30, 2002, correspondence from you to Senator Grassley
acknowledging his September 17, 2002, letter requesting additional
information be included in our visa procedures review.
b. September 17, 2002, correspondence from Senator Grassley to you
requesting additional information and a request for OIG's findings by the
end of the year.
c. July 15, 2002, correspondence from you to Senator Grassley substantively
acknowledging his July 1, 2002, letter regarding concerns over the Visa
Express program, including an annex of questions and answers.
d. July 2, 2002, correspondence from you to Senator Grassley
acknowledging his July 1, 2002, letter regarding concerns over the Visa
Express program.
e. July 1, 2002, correspondence from Senator Grassley to you requesting a
review of the Visa Express program.
f. June 21, 2002, correspondence from you to Senator Grassley
acknowledging his May 10, 2002, letter requesting a review of the $2
million in US aid to the Colombian National Police (CNP). We briefed
Mr. Akers on July 10, 2002. Although in the letter we agreed to provide a
report to the Senator in August, we later agreed with Mr. Akers that we
would provide a report by (Bob Wurster attended that meeting.. .we will
find out details).
g. May 10, 2002, correspondence from Senator Grassley to you requesting a
review of the $2 million in US aid to the Colombian National Police
(CNP).

5) Senator Grassley proposed an amendment to the Homeland Security Act. We


commented on his amendment via H (Michael Chang), which was to be
passed along to Kathy Nuebel and Matt Reed of the Senator's staff.
Documents concerning this issue include: /
a. Senator Grassley's proposed amendment
b. Our comments on the Grassley Amendnfent, which point out the possible
confusion that could arise from section iii of the amendment regarding
Chief of Mission authority.
government to release over a million piges of documents about those left behind as In January 2001, Grassier earner] the prized chairmanship of the Senate
POWs and MIAs. Grassier pulled back the cloak of secrecy dial had surrounded Finance Committee. He calls the committee the 'Quality of Life Committee*
U.S. Senator Chuck forassley this painful chapter in American history. For the families and loved ones of those because it's responsible for all federal taxes, Medicare, > prescription drug benefit
brave men, there was no stronger advocate than Iowa's senior senator. for seniors, Medicaid, Social Security, international trade, employer-sponsored
s SENIOR 5ENASOR pensions, workers' compensation, and welfare policy.
A farm-state lawmaker, Grassley exercises hii authority on die Senate
I ,/• Judiciary and Finance Committees to watch out for rural America's interests. Under Grassier's duimunship, Congress passed the largest tax cut in a
Trouble-shooting for the Midlands, Grassley has taken a leading role in generation and gave American tamDies the right to keep mote of their hard-earned
Washington to monitor mega-mergers and potentially anti-competitive behavior. paychecks. I lis bipartisan plan cuts rates for every taxpayer. It increases the child lit
Keeping in louch with lowins enables Sen. Chuck Grassley 10 bring lowi
Specifically, Grassley has asked the U.S. justice Department to gauge credit and makes it refundable for lower-income Americans. It reduces die marriage
common sense 10 official Washington. From the river town! along the mighty
disproportionate impacts that corporate mergers in the banking, airline, chemical, tat penalty and helps parents pay for education, nuking college tuition tax
Mississippi to the him communities nestled unong the Loess Hills in Western
seed, railway, telecommunications, and utilities industries may have on farmers, deductible. It makes it easier to save more for retirement with expanded IRA; and
lowi, Oiudt Grassley stays well-informed by holding open meeting] in each of
small business owners, workers, and consumers in rural America. Grassley has pensions. And it helps pass family farms and businesses to the next generation with
Iowa'i 99 counties every year. A hallmark of Grader's commitment to rtulce
introduced legislation that would for the first time give the USDA expanded death tax relief and eventual repeal.
representative government work, the senior senator fiOin Iowa worto hard to give
authority to challenge ami-competitive practices in agribusiness if it finds a merger
individual lowans i voice in Washington. Plus, from his assignments on Capitol Grassley underscored his suengdn as a legislative leader, earning praise from
would cause substantial harm to the ability of independent producers and family
Hill, Grassier is where he needs to be to advocate for Iowa's interests. Republican, Democrat and Independent lawmakers. His ability to build consensus
farmen to compete in the marketplace.
The only working family farmer in the U.S. Senate, Grassley brings true grit across the polirical spearum gives Iowa a respected and effective nice on Capitol Hut
After working two years to bring increased competition to under-served
to his congressional oversight responsibilities. Seeking a more accountable Grassley also understands first-hand the ins and outs of firming and how
markets like Iowa, Grassley crossed a major legislative hurdle in 2000 to open the
government. Grassier works to keep Washington honest. Whether it's tracking policy decisions in Washington impact the rural economy. Scoring a major victory
door for increased airline compel it ion to lowans. Start-up and budget cartiers now
constituent casework or going head-to-head with the Pentagon, Grassier works to for the Midwest when he oichestrated congressional approval to extend the ethanol
will have a better opportunity to get their businesses off the ground in Iowa.
make the federal government work better. He successfully led a sis-rev campaign program to 2007, Grassley continues pushing the envelope to develop new
Meaningful airline competition will improve Iowa's ability to attract and keep a
to make Congress live under the same laws as the rest of the country. opportunities for farmers to prosper with renewable energy - including wind,
competitive business climate that supports high-paring jobs.
Sinking hit teeth into the federal government's bureaucratic alphabet soup, biomass, soy diesel and animal waste nutrients - and an aggressive trade agenda to
Grassier has fostered reforms of [he Internal Revenue Service (IR5), the Federal open new markets for Iowa ag products.
Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Health Ore Financing Administration In addition to commodities, Grassley knows that selling Iowa goods and
(HCFA), the federal agency that runs Medicare, and the Immigration and services around the world is vitally important to the strong, diversified economy
Naturalization Service (INS). the state needs to keep good-paying jobs and young people in Iowa. Since 1986,
Keeping vigil against waste, fraud and abuse, Grassley also is a perennial Grassley has hosted ambassadors from countries around the globe on a biennial
recipient of the Taxpayer's Friend Award. As the second most senior member of the tour of his home state to showcase Iowa's people, products and places to our
Senate Budget Committee, Cruder champions fiscal discipline. Involved in trading partners
negotiating the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Grassley helped shepherd through Grassley's commitment to Iowa's future and the next generation
Congress the first balanced federal budget since 1969. prompted him to launch an extensive, first-of its-kind statewide initiative to
address Iowa's growing drug problem. Called Face It Together (F.I.T.),
Grassley'i tenacity has earned renown inside the Beltway and outside
Grassley spearheaded the grassroots-based anti-drug strategy to help Iowa
Washington. The Iowa senator's tight grip on the federal pone strings has brought
families work together to keep their communities, schools and workplaces
results for the taxpayers. Working to combat fraud against the government by defense
drug-free. As co-chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics
contractors in 1986, Grassley won passage of amendments to the-False Claims ACL
Control, Grassley lakes aim at money laundering, crime rings and drug
To date, iheGrassley amendments have recovered more than 15.6 billion to the U.S.
trafficking that victimize America's youth.
Treasury and have helped to deter untold biDions more. The Grassley provisions have
become the government's most effective weapon against health ore fraud. While Senator Grassley woiks in Washington, he lives in Iowa. He returns
home almost every weekend. He and hi] wife Barbara raised five children in New
Honoring the memory of the American servicemen still missing from the
Hartford. They have nine grandchildren.
Vietnam War, it was Chuck Grassley who in 1992 successfully challenged die U.S. Gnatey tntl eolleagua itnj fKS reform to tht PmiJtnt. -July 1998
BIOGRAPHICAL DATA AT A GLANCE 'Grassley docs this» least once a yea • visiting naj county in Iowi...Like dockwork
over iht yon be h» gone out of lib way 10 make nne he tea people in each county • in
tor* Sept. 17. 193), Nr» Hartford. Iowa their fiomt communities - each year... [TJhb is in easy litmus lot of how well i politician
B willing 10 keep his word." - Mount Ayr Record-News, June I99«
FunSr MamdR«(>uiSptk(ial?HFrnd,adra.,Lcr.W,BdT.IU>in. MkMc.Jv CHUCK
"His influence in (he Strate serves his constituents wed. He is I hard worker. He b
Ocoipidoti: Farmn(ion.lMwninnr!vo|Knieinniilvfarn); •SeetmeolAeam 1959-1961;
lespected for his integrity, with staunch moral values that are rooted in his home state."
wnUv line wort*. 1961 -1971: tktnl » Iowa btntanjrt 1951:
- Omaha World-Herald, Oct. 31.1991
US. Hour of fepiarrarj»a 1971 US Senate 1910
"Grassley looks and talks like a farmer, which causes some to underestimate his first-class
GRASSLEY
UUC.MK «A 195$. MA 1956 Political Ua*t, Un'rmwj nfNonheni Iowa; PI.D. rat.
instincts and intellect. 'Crassley has more native intelligence than anybody I've ever
Unhrnlrr of Iowa U.S. SENATOR • IOWA
brawn in politics,' says former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson.' - SmartMoney, April 2001
Memoenhfi: Film BoKau. die Bueki Counn- ud SOB of low, Hbrariol Socinin, Pi Cunro
'He is consistent, he b courageous, he is tenacious. It's a good thing Tor the country that
Mi. Kippi Mia Pi. Immniionl Anocuiion oTMjdiiMm IK2-7I. Infcrnrinul
Grassley snll exhibits those characteristics, particularly Mien it comes to keeping an eye
Tatimamr, Cmfht Hunan Rijtin. Muou. Ei|(a. Ripmi O,urdi
on the Pentagon.' - The Gazette. Cedar Rapids. Nov. 11,1996
FmiKf (lt>ntii.| Mcrakr). fuSdu,. tvjfn. Join To. SOUK OIKUIM SENATOR GRASSLEY
Inlmutkmal Niroma Conrrel (CiKduiman) 'It's Grassley...«lio B still confounding those on the East Coast. where»drawl and a Uck
of an Ivy League degree lean to lull some observer) into thinking an individual is not too SERVES IOWANS
smart. Anyone who's had much conuct with Grassier knosn what a mistake that b.* •
Ion Cora Cloven Aaoanioii. Niooiul Fifmcn Union. NidonlCniii ind F«t)
jane Norman, The Da Moina Register, January 7,2001 135 Han Building 210 Waterloo Building
Anoaarion, Nttionil Com Crawm Anocianon. American Firm Bureau
Federation. Nttranal Telephone Coopenrive Aoociiiion. lorn Finn Bureau. The bw, championed by Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, is i proven weapon in the fight Washington. D.C 20510 531 Commercial Sweet
n Avcatmi. N.OOU) Poll PraoWen Cvaxl against fraud and it's rapidly becoming the most effective tool there b in protecting the (202) 224-3744 Waterloo. IA 50701
integrity of the health ore system.' - The Quad-Cry Times. July 21,1998 (319)232-6657
206 Federal Building
Conpoiioiul Corenp CoJiDon. Ameticaii Arbimtion Aaodanm, Project "The public ones a debt of gratitude to Democratic Sen. Ron Wydcn of Oregon and
on Connunenl Omijht. Natioml Wni*leMower Cenet Amid
101 1st Street. S.E 103 Federal Building
Republican Sen. Charles Cnssley of Iowa. Their initiative was not especially veil
OoW Rapicb. U 52401 320 6th Street
received by opponents of reform. But an indefensible and odious practice (secret 'holds')
(319)363-6832 SiouiCitT, 1A5I10I
Ctonu fot A Sound Eomoinv, Watekdop of ike Tioorr, GmamJ Coililion finally gave way to the public interest." • The Washington Post, March 10,1999
Omtra' Councl. Council For Gmtm Apnii CoYenmeni WOT. Nirioml
(712)2331860
"Representing a farm state heavily dependent on selling commodities abroad, Crassley b 721 Federal Building
Taxparen Union
a fierce fro nadcj and will push the Bush administration to negotiate trade deals. He's 210 Walnut Street 116 Federal Building
also an unabashed campaigner for home-grown industries like ethanol...* - Mike Glover. Da Moina, IA 50309 131 East 4th Street
Nationd Aoociirioi. fe, ibe SeV-Einplored. Nirioul Fcdemion e/ Aisodaied Press, January 4,2001 (515)284-4890 Davenport, IA 52801
tamat. VS. Oanbei of Commerce. Srml Bmuni SirfM Comminee
'Senator Charles Grassley did hb Iowa constituents and the rest of the country a huge (563)322-4331
favor ...probably caving lowans at least JIOO million.' Grassley vj. drugmakcrs. The Dej
"at HIM Aaocanion." Niiiool Council of Sain Ckoem. Urnnl Senon Moina Register, March I), 2000 307 Federal Building
8 South 6th Street
"Everyone who drives a vehide knows the score ai the pump. Gasoline and dieseJ fuel prices Council Bluffs, 1A 5150!
ainia, CoAion » Sne MeaW. Nnioral Omcporoiii FouncWon, Nitional are up 70 percent comrnred to a year ap>...there are a lot of ideas (taring about how to (712)322-7103
addres the sination. Sen. Charles G rassley m ay \a\ come up with some ofthe best ideas.'
RaDOlm, Iowa PlirBciafl AmitaM Soeinv. Iowa Nunrj' AoncBtion. American Taking on OPEC with an aggressive stance, Hampton Chronicle, Feb. 24,2000.
Nina Aoociabon. Amerioii Andation of Dental Sdiook, fmt, Voico.
chuclc^grasslcy^grassler.fenare.gov
"Iowa's senior senator affrays has evoked an image of the down-to-earth, hard-working,
National PACE Aminin. Nnioml Mcml lUkl, Aoocblicm, Mental Holrh
straight-calling farmer/legislator who has not forgotten where he came from and b
Anciation of DubucfK Cnncr Iowa. Americai. Mojlh Cm Aooilion. Iowa
unfazed by the slick nature of Washington. D.C And when it coma to bb new position
Qiuopnccic SocielT, Abjieiiner'i AnocbliOB, Americaa Dinrric AnocMtion,
American Pbriical IVnuiv AjKxitlioii (on the Senate Finance Committee), he has the same attitude.' Grassley assumes key VISIT HIS WEBSITE
diaimunship, Quad-Cry Times, Jan. 22,2001.
http://gra5ile7.senate.gOT
Nnioiul Law Coin rot UiMnn and FmiiEo. VWuun Vennm of America. "It is a comforting feeling knowing that a man like Chuck Granley has hb hand on the
CommnnitT Ami-Drug CmfiBm of America, Naiioul OuU Suppon steering wheel that determines so many things of vital national importance." - Robert
Enrolcement Anooiarion. Church Alliaace. Job Corpi Beck, Daily lowegian, February 23, 2001
"Gtassleys actions get high praise" - Jane Norman, The Do Moines Register. May 20,2001
rage i of 44

CQ MEMBER PROFILE
107th CONGRESS

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa)


Senior Senator from Iowa

Hometown: New Hartford


Born: September 17,1933; New Hartford, Iowa
Religion: Baptist
Family: Wife, Barbara Grassley; five children
Education: U. of Northern Iowa, B.A. 1955, M.A. 1956 (political science); U. of
Iowa, attended 1957-58 (graduate studies)
Military Service: None
Career: Farmer

Elected: 1980 (4th term)


Political Highlights: Republican nominee for Iowa House, 1956; Iowa House, 1959-75; U.S.
House, 1975-81
Committees:
••• Budget
• Finance - ranking member (Health Care; International Trade)
• Judiciary (Administrative Oversight & the Courts; Crime & Drugs - ranking member;
Immigration)
• Joint Taxation

Phone: 202-224-3744 | Fax: 202-224-6020 | Web: grassley.senate.gov


135 Hart Bldg. | Washington, DC 20510-1501

Jump to Section:
CQJPoIjtics in America Profile | District or State Description | Contact Information & Staff | Committee
Assignments | Businesses & Major Employers | Higher Ed. & Media | Elections. Campaign Finance & Vote
for President | Voting Studies | Key Votes | Interest Groups | Post Offices & Zip Codes

Link to Archives:
106th Congress I 105th Congress I 104th Congress

CQ Politics in America Profile


(Updated: May 2001)

Some in Congress may have a smoother delivery, and some may make more
sophisticated arguments, but few can match Grassley's persistence.

The Iowa lawmaker may project an aw-shucks image, but underneath he has the tenacity
of a bulldog. Once he sinks his teeth into an issue - whether it is stemming procurement
waste at the Pentagon, improving medical care for disabled children or protecting farmers in
any number of ways - he will not let go. He is the person "for whom the word 'dogged' was
invented," the Des Moines Register wrote in 1999. "Maybe my style is a lack of style,"
Grassley told the Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call. But Democrat Joseph R. Biden Jr. of
Delaware counsels observers not to be fooled: "Chuck Grassley is a hell of a lot smarter
than you think he is," Biden told Roll Call.

http ://oncongressxq.com/k2/printDocurnent.jsp?forrnAction=canned&seq= 1 &historyPtr=0 11 /6/02


As he began his 21st year as a senator, Grassley's persistence paid off. He became the
chairman of the Finance Committee, a position from which he should be able to guarantee
at least some legislative action on the many trade, health and tax issues that are paramount
to his farm-state constituents. Wielding the gavel at Finance (after 16 years of service on the
panel) allows him also to oversee broader issues such as shoring up Social Security and
Medicare and reauthorizing the 1996 law that revamped federal welfare programs.

The biggest challenge for Chairman Grassley could be dealing with his own party
leaders, who will be trying to manage with the slimmest possible margin of control in the
Senate.

Grassley is much more open than many top Senate Republicans to seeking the support of
Democrats - and liberal ones at that - in an effort to get things done. He teamed with
Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., in the 106th Congress to push a proposal to give parents
Medicaid assistance for their disabled children. He also joined with fellow Finance
Committee member Bob Graham, D-Fla., to sponsor a bill that would have taken a number
of steps to make pensions more portable and increase the incentives for small businesses to
offer retirement programs.

With his farm ties, Grassley's most frequent partners have been from other rural states
and include Max Baucus of Montana, now the top Democrat on Finance. With Baucus,
Grassley has pressured the administration to open more foreign markets to food grown or
processed in the United States and to increase support for hospitals in remote areas.

Grassley is the Senate's only working farmer, a distinction in which he takes great pride.
Such devotion to the land is revered in Iowa, where Grassley's share of the vote has not
dipped below 66 percent since 1980, when he first won his seat with 54 percent. He served
in the House for three terms before that.

When, as a teenager, he was quizzed about his future plans, Grassley told a high school
instructor that he would run for a seat in the Iowa House of Representatives when he was
legally able to do so at age 21. He was not far off. He first ran when he was 22 and earned a
seat three years later.

The son of thrifty Waterloo-area farmers, Grassley was not consumed with political
ambitions alone. Upon graduation from the University of Northern Iowa, he did graduate
work at two Iowa universities, working the night shift at a factory - where he was a union
member - to make ends meet. A few years later, he and his wife, Barbara, took over his
family's grain and livestock operation.

Though his schedule is less blistering than it was in his younger years, Grassley still
returns to work the farm on weekends and when the Senate is in recess. He views himself as
one of the few farmer-statesmen left in a country founded by them and is not one to put on
airs or attempt to spin. "I'm just a farmer from Butler County," he once said^ "What you see
is what you get."

While he has a consistently conservative voting record, Grassley is not always a friend of
business. He does not mind defending the Davids of Iowa against corporate Goliaths.

In a heated floor speech in 2000, Grassley charged that the meatpacking industry had

http.V/oncojigress.cq.com/lc2/printDocument.jsp?formAction=canned&seq=l&historyPtr=0 11/6/02
rage j ot 44

secretly scuttled his efforts to fund an agricultural grant program that would have helped
upstart partnerships build pork-processing plants. The American Meat Institute denied it
had lobbied against Grassley's proposal. Grassley lambasted the group, saying, "While some
may believe the truth is no longer relevant in Washington, that attitude will be given no
quarter in dealings with me."

Grassley has expressed alarm at the rate of mergers in the meat-processing industry, and
he has pushed the Agriculture Department to take a more aggressive role in investigating
anti-competitive practices. He also has teamed with Iowa's other senator, Democrat Tom
Harkin, to spur more airline competition in the state. At their behest, the 2000 law
reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration contained language opening two slots at
Washington's crowded Ronald Reagan National Airport to a carrier that would offer
nonstop service to Des Moines.

During his career, Grassley has served on a wide range of committees, and in the 107th
he holds seats on Judiciary, Budget and Joint Txxation in addition to Finance. But to make
room for a junior GOP senator, he was compelled to relinquish the seat he had held on
Agriculture since 1991. He also has left the Special Committee on Aging, which he chaired
in the 105th and 106th. The panel has no legislative jurisdiction, but it gave Grassley a
fo'rum for discussing nursing home abuse, Medicare fraud and other issues pertinent to
Iowa's rapidly aging population.

Perhaps Grassley's biggest legislative effort in the past three Congresses came out of his
role as chairman of a Judiciary subcommittee, where he pressed for an overhaul of personal
bankruptcy laws. Despite some heavy lifting by the industries involved and Grassley's
persistent attempts at compromise, each of his bills ended up dying.

Grassley's most active role on Finance has come in the area of international trade. He
chaired the Trade Subcommittee beginning in 1995 and pushed hard for bills to further open
trade. He traveled to the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle and was sorely
disappointed when, after days of violent protests, the fledgling trade body was left without a
clear agenda.

When Iowa cannot go to the world, Grassley is happy to bring the world to Iowa. Every
other year since 1986, about 50 foreign officials have taken part in Grassley's
"Ambassador's Tour," spending five days in his home state, visiting with farmers and
business people, and staying in local residents' homes.

With his new post as Finance chairman, Grassley's presence on the national scene will
grow, with attention likely to be focused on his penchant for homing in on government
waste. In the 1980s, he was the senator who ferreted out outrageous purchases at the
Pentagon, such as a 57,600 coffee maker. He also worked on overhauling the IRS, trimming
the federal judiciary and cleaning up the Congress itself, both by making sure it is not
exempted from the laws it passes and by trying to get senators to make public any "holds"
they placed to block legislation. With scandal-prone agencies such as the IRS and the
Health Care Financing Administration under the Finance Committee's jurisdiction, Grassley
will have plenty of opportunities to expose government waste.

.±. Back to the top

http://oncojigress.cq.com/k2/printDocument.jsp?formAction=canned&seq=l &historyPtr=0 1/6/02


UNITED STATES SENATOR « IOWA

CHUCK GRASSLEY
Imp://j>.r.i!Mf«y:iKsMtO,KCJv Contact flU Kc/mj: 2112/22*- 1308
belli P«I1«M.M2/5M-61W
DiwUfi Vondc f foe*. 201/22MUJM

For Immediate Release


Tuesday, Sept. 17,2002 '

Grassley Pushes for Changes in Visa Processing Procedures


Iowa Senator Asks U.S. State Department for Review and Recommendations

WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Grassley today sent a letter to Department of State


Inspector General Clark Ervin asking for further explanation of the problems plaguing visa
processing procedures.
-/
.. *f

"I want a thorough and detailed review of the procedures in place at visa posfs around die
world," Grassley said. "We need to get to the bottom of this and figure out how to keep the bad
guys out."

In July, Grassley and Rep. Dave Weldon prompted the State Department to dismantle the
program that allowed visa applicants in Saudi Arabia to receive approval to come to the United
States without proper in-person interviews. Three of the 19 September 1 1 hijackers took
advantage of this Visa Express program by going through a travel agent for their visas. They
were never interviewed by an American official. Despite this tie to September 1 1 , the State
Department was still operating the Visa Express program when Grassley and Weldon spoke out.
Grassley said there may be as many as 20 similar programs still operating in various countries
around the world.

This week, Grassley will also be discussing personal appearance waiver programs with
Maura Harry, the nominee to head the Consular Affairs Office at the Department of State.

Grassley's letter to Ervin follows here.


UNITED STATES SENATOR • IOWA

CHUCK GRASSLEY PRESS RELEASE


prees@gras.9l ey .sen ate .go v www.aen ate.gov/g rassley

For Immediate Release


Friday, Sept. 6, 2002

Grassley: Improve Agencies Moving to New Homeland Security Department


Senator Says Whistleblowers Key to Success of New Department

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley has proposed a number of amendments to the homeland
security legislation pending in the U.S. Senate.

Grassley said his main focus is on improving federal law enforcement, protecting whistleblowers in the
new federal agency, making the State Department's visa process more secure, and strengthening the
Customs Service's ability to monitor international trade.

"While Congress acts to better coordinate the work of the federal agencies involved in homeland
security, we also need to improve these agencies so they actually do their jobs better under the
framework of a new department," Grassley said. "My amendments include reforms designed to bring
about these kinds of positive changes. I also want to empower homeland security whistleblowers, who
can bring to the light of day important information about mishaps and other problems that need to be
fixed for the public good."

The overall bill would create a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security to plan, coordinate and
implement activities relating to homeland security. Six areas are covered, including border and
transportation protection, intelligence, critical infrastructure protection, emergency preparedness and
response, immigration affairs, and science and technology.

Grassley's key amendments are described here.

• Improving Federal Law Enforcement

Grassley has filed as an amendment to the homeland security bill the FBI reform legislation he
sponsored with Sen. Patrick Leahy. The Senate Judiciary Committee gave unanimous approval to their
bill in April. The proposal, S. 1974, would improve accountability within the bureau. It would expand
the jurisdiction of the inspector general for the Justice Department to include internal investigations
within the FBI; improve protections for FBI whistleblowers; address the disparity in disciplinary
remedies for lower-level FBI employees; and require that certain reports be made to Congress regarding
the FBI's jurisdiction and case statistic reporting. The reform measures reflect Grassley's many years of
scrutiny of the nation's largest law enforcement agency. While the FBI would remain outside a new
Department of Homeland Security, Grassley said the bureau"plays a premier role in fighting terrorism
and it makes sense to implement these necessary reforms along with creating a new cabinet-level
department.

Grassley filed another amendment to clarify the transfer of the National Infrastructure Protection Center

http://grassJey.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r9-06a.htm 11/6/02
from the FBI to the Department of Homeland Security. The center was created in 1998 to watch over the
private-sector computer networks that control the information flow for the nation's banking, water,
power, telecommunications and government. Grassley said his amendment is intended to prevent the
FBI from keeping in the FBI experienced cyber-security personnel and necessary equipment and thereby
thwarting the transfer of important institutional knowledge.

• Protecting Whistleblowers

This amendment filed by Grassley would ensure that employees of the Department of Homeland
Security receive training about their whistleblower rights. It requires the new department to participate
in the certification program sponsored by the Office of Special Counsel and to be certified as compliant
no later than 24 months after the bill establishing the new department is enacted.

• Securing the Visa Process

Grassley has also filed an amendment to the homeland security legislation that would require the new
department to place an employee at all U.S. government offices issuing visas unless the new department
makes an affirmative decision that it is unnecessary to do so. As it stands now, the pending homeland
security bill makes the new department's day-to-day involvement in the visa issuance process
discretionary.

Grassley said the new department's involvement needs to be mandatory to ensure more accountability
with visa issuance procedures and to prevent problems such as the Visa Express program. In July,
Grassley and Rep. Dave Weldon prompted the State Department to dismantle a program that allowed
visa applicants in Saudi Arabia to receive approval to come to the United States without proper in-
person interviews. Three of the 19 September 11 hijackers took advantage of this Visa Express program
by going through a travel agent for their visas. They were never interviewed by an American official.
Despite this tie to September 11, the State Department was still operating the Visa Express program
when Grassley and Weldon spoke out. Grassley said there may be as many as 20 similar programs still
operating in various countries around the world.

• Strengthening the Customs Service

Another amendment filed by Grassley and Sen. Max Baucus of Montana would prohibit revenue raised
by the U.S. Customs Service through COBRA user fees from being used by any homeland security
agency of office other than Customs. The amendment also dedicates a portion of the merchandise
processing fee collected by Customs to development of the Automated Commercial Environment
(ACE). The ACE will replace an antiquated system for processing imports and enable Customs to more
accurately monitor trade flows.

In addition to introducing these amendments, Grassley has cosponsored an amendment to improve


federal whistleblower protections by lowering the burden of proof for whistleblowers. Sponsored by
Sen. Daniel Akaka, of Hawaii, and co-sponsored by Sen. Carl Levin, of Michigan, it provides certain
authority for the Special Counsel to use government attorneys to represent homeland security employees
in some types of proceedings. It also gives all federal circuits jurisdiction to review decisions of the
Merit System Protection Board for five years.

Grassley is the'Ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Finance, which has jurisdiction over
the Customs Service. He is a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the FBI
and immigration issues. In 1989, he co-authored the Whistleblower Protection Act. He's been an

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r9-06a.htm 11/6/02
outspoken advocate for whistleblowers in the government and private sector.

-30-

iome | Constituent Services | Grasslev News | Legislative Information


Kids' Stuff | Biography^Jn Action

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r9-06a.htm 11/6/02
UNITED STATES SENATOR • IOWA

CHUCK GRASSLEY PRESS RELEASE


preee@grasal ey .sen ate .gov vwvw.sen ate .gov/'g rassley

For Immediate Release


Monday, July 15,2002

Grassley Describes New Developments on Visa Express

WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Dave Weldon today sent a letter to Secretary of State
Colin Powell to express concern about the detention and questioning of a reporter who wrote about the
Visa Express program.

In a related development, Grassley and Weldon received a response from the State Department's
Inspector General to their July 2 letter seeking a review of the Visa Express program. Inspector General
Clark Kent Ervin writes:

I strongly agree with you that consular operations abroad must be conducted to ensure
maximum security of the visa issuance process. Accordingly, I have ordered an Office of
Inspector General (OIG) survey of all 207 visa-issuing posts worldwide to review current
procedures for processing non-immigrant visas, with special emphasis on programs that
waive the personal appearance requirement and that accept applications through travel
agencies.

In his letter, Ervin also provides data on how many people have been admitted to the United States
under Visa Express.

Following are:

(1) today's Grassley-Weldon letter on the reporter


(2) the Inspector General's response to Grassley-Weldon July 2 letter
(3) two previous letters on Visa Express

July 16, 2002

The Honorable Colin Powell


Secretary
Department of State
2201C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Powell:

We are writing to express our concern about the detention and questioning of reporter Joel Mowbray at
the State Department on Friday, July 12th. As a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and
chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Civil Service, we have concerns that

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-15.htm 11/6/02
government agencies not take inappropriate actions that cast a shadow over our free press.

Mr. Mowbray recently wrote several articles that brought into question the "Visa Express" program
administered in Saudi Arabia. These articles, in part, prompted us to write to you to state that the
program must be ended.

As members of Congress who have spent years performing oversight of government agencies, we
recognize that many agencies do not cherish scrutiny from the Congress or the media. However, such
oversight is critical to the checks and balances that make our government work.

It is for this reason that we are troubled that the actions of State Department security officials effectively
chilled the work of the media and the whistleblowers who are so vital to exposing problems in our
government.

Also, it is our understanding that the focus of the questions to Mr. Mowbray was about the source(s) of
the cable in question and other information he has reported. If this is the case, it is troubling that State
Department officials were more worried about finding a whistleblower than actually retrieving the cable.

We would appreciate your providing a full accounting of what took place regarding the incident with
Mr. Mowbray on Friday, July 12th. Specifically, we would like to know who (name and title) made the
decision to detain/question Mr. Mowbray as well as the legal basis and justification for this action. In
your response, include the number of officials involved in the incident, their name and title, what role
they played, and whether they were armed. Please note that if a security official did not ask any
questions but was present to ensure Mr. Mowbray could not leave, we would consider that official to be
involved in the incident.

The comments of State Department officials in media accounts state the action was taken against Mr.
Mowbray because contents of a "classified" cable were disclosed. Assuming that your justification for
the action against Mr. Mowbray is that the cable was classified, we would note that the information in
the cable was reported in other publications. Were other reporters also questioned? If not, why was only
one reporter singled out? Also, did security officials attempt to retrieve the cable from Mr. Mowbray,
and if so, what steps were taken to do this? If not, please explain why.

In addition, we would appreciate an objective review of the justification of the classification of the cable
cited in news accounts. We have seen too often that documents are routinely, and unnecessarily,
classified as confidential or above - particularly in cases where the information does not involve
national security but instead is embarrassing to a government agency.

Finally, please inform us what the Department of State's policy is in regards to questioning/detaining
reporters regarding sources and information. In particular, who decides at the Department of State to
take such actions and how often has it been done in the past five years?

As we encourage governments around the world to have a free and open press, it is important that the
Department of State support those efforts with words and deeds. Thank you for your time and assistance
on this matter. We would appreciate an answer within 14 days.- -

Cordially yours,

Charles E. Grassley Dave Weldon


Ranking Member Chairman

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-15.htm 11/6/02
Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs Subcommittee on Civil Service
Senate Committee on the Judiciary House Committee on Government Reform

July 15, 2002

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley


Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Washington, D. C. 2051.0-0544

Dear Senator Grassley:

I am responding to your letter of July 1, 2002, regarding non-immigrant visa issuance procedures at the
U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the Consulate General in Jeddah. You have raised serious
concerns about the potential vulnerability of the visa issuance process as a result of the "Visa Express"
program.

As you.may know, on July 2, 2002, Ambassador Robert Jordan advised the State Department
(Department) that he has ordered the immediate preparation of a plan to move toward interviewing all
adult visa applicants and the elimination of the role of travel agencies in forwarding visa applications to
the embassy and consulate. He asked that the Department send its best consular operational expert to
Saudi Arabia to help develop this new system and to identify the additional resources needed to
implement it. The Department has since responded to the Ambassador's request and a consular
management expert departs for Saudi Arabia this week.

I strongly agree with you that consular operations abroad must be conducted to ensure maximum
security of the visa issuance process. Accordingly, I have ordered an Office of Inspector General (OIG)
survey of all 207 visa-issuing posts worldwide to review current procedures for processing non-
immigrant visas, with special emphasis on programs that waive the personal appearance requirement and
that accept applications through travel agencies.

In addition, early this Fall, depending upon the availability of resources, I would like to send teams of
OIG consular management and security intelligence oversight inspectors to visa-issuing posts in those
countries that are of special concern to the United States because of their ties to international terrorism.
These teams would conduct on-site reviews of visa processing procedures and the dissemination of
intelligence regarding known and potential terrorists to ensure that consular officers have and properly
use all relevant data at their disposal when adjudicating visa applications. These reviews will also be
conducted at 44 other visa-issuing posts by OIG teams conducting regular embassy and consulate
management inspections in FY 2003.

I have enclosed an annex that answers the specific questions you posed regarding the Visa Express
program at Embassy Riyadh and related issues.

I wish to assure you that this office will continue its ongoing efforts to do everything within our
authority and capability to bring about a more secure system of non-immigrant visa issuance policies
and practices in the interest of national security.

Very truly yours,

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-15.htm 11/6/02
Clark Kent Ervin

Enclosure

ANNEX

Was "Visa Express" re-authorized by the Secretary, or done so by the Director of Consular Affairs?

The "Visa Express" personal appearance waiver program (PAW) was never specifically
authorized or re-authorized by either the Secretary or Assistant Secretary Ryan. It may be
used at the discretion of the visa-issuing post if local circumstances (e.g., low incidence of
fraud, low overstay rate, etc.) are deemed to make implementation feasible.

What was the reasoning behind the 2001 reauthorization of "Visa Express?"

As noted above, it was neither specifically authorized nor reauthorized.

How many Saudi Arabian applicants were able to obtain visas through the "Visa Express" program
without, an interview with a Consular Affairs Officer? In your response, provide the number of Saudi
Arabian citizens and non-citizens who gained entry to the US through the program. For each category,
how many have been admitted to the US through the program from its inception through September 10,
2001. How many since September 11, 2001?

These figures represent our best effort to extrapolate the figures requested from the
available information, which information is not kept in exactly the form required. There is
always a slight discrepancy between issuances and actual admissions into the United States
since INS can and often does refuse entry to visa holders.

June 1, 2001, (the date that "Visa Express" began) through September 10, 2001 Total issued
= 36,018

Visa Express issued to Saudis—(64% of total x 97% without interview) = 22,360


Visa Express issued to Third-Country Nationals (TCNs)--(36% of total x 28% not
interviewed) = 3,630

September 11, 2001, through June 25, 2002 (latest date available.) Total Issued = 18,628

Visa Express Issued to Saudis (59% of total x 40% without interview) = 4,396
Visa Express issued to TCNs (41% of total x 28% not interviewed) = 2,138

(((Note: Sen. Grassley's staff sought an explanation of these numbers. Here's the
explanation.
36,018 total visas issued to Saudi Arabian applicants (citizens and third-country nationals)
from June 1, 2001 through Sept. 10, 2001.
- Saudi Arabian citizens getting a visa through Visa Express made up 64 percent - or 23,051
- of that total number of visas issued.
- Of that smaller figure of 23,051 Saudi Arabian citizens getting a visa through Visa
Express, 97 percent - or 22,360 - were not interviewed.
- Third-country nationals [people in Saudi Arabia but from other countries] getting a visa
through Visa Express made up 36 percent - or 12,966 - of that total number of visas issued.

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-15.htm 11/6/02
fage ;> of 9

- Of that smaller figure of 12,966 third-country nationals getting a visa through Visa
Express, 28 percent - or 3,630 - were not interviewed.)))

What is the current policy at Consular Affairs with regard to visa application interviews? In what
circumstances are Foreign Service officers allowed to waive an interview?

Section 222(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, provides the specific
authority for a waiver of personal appearance. The Foreign Affairs Manual, 9 FAM 41.102
(a), provides guidance on when a waiver is appropriate. PAWs are discussed in detail in the
Consular Best Practices Handbook. Basically, a PAW is specifically authorized for children
under 14, diplomats, airline crews, certain United States Government-financed exchange
visitors, and applicants for B (tourist), C-l (transit), H-l (skilled worker), or I (journalist)
visas. Applicants for other categories of visas also can obtain a waiver if a consular officer
determines that it is warranted "in the national interest or because of unusual circumstances,
including hardship to the visa applicant."

What other similar visa waiver programs, aside from the congressionally-approved Visa Waiver
Program, are operating throughout the world under the jurisdiction of the State Department?

To be exact, the Visa Express program and other PAW programs are not visa waiver
programs. Instead, they are programs under which an applicant need not personally appear
at the embassy or consulate to be interviewed before being issued a visa. No visa waiver
programs other than the one authorized by Congress are operating anywhere. Under the
Congressionally authorized plan, Canadian citizens are exempt from needing visas for any
purpose and citizens of 27 other countries are exempt from having to obtain 90-day tourist
or business travel visas (Bl/B). 2

Provide any reviews of the "Visa Express" Program since its inception.

The OIG has never reviewed the Visa Express Program specifically. PAWs are reviewed
whenever a visa-issuing embassy or consulate is inspected, as a part of our standard review
of consular operations.

What are the standards by which the private Saudi travel agencies were allowed to participate in the
program? Who developed and approved these standards? Provide the written documentation that shows
that each of the participating travel agents was properly certified.

The qualifications of the travel agencies that participated in the original solicitation (the
parameters of which were set out in a meeting the consul general held with interested travel
agencies) were judged in the ten categories listed below:

prior visa experience;


geographic range within Saudi Arabia;
current contracts with other embassies/corporations;
fees charged;
delivery time to return passports to clients;
computer facilities;
designated staffing;
reputation within local community;
security systems in place; and

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-15.htm 11/6/02
commitment to advertising/promotion

The ten travel agencies that best met the Consular Section's expectations based on the
parameters set out above were contacted and given a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) which set out both the Consular Section's and the travel agency's obligations. Prior
to implementation, travel agencies signed the MOUs and returned them to the embassy,
where they were signed by a consular official. The consular officials at post meet with
representatives of the ten travel agencies participating in the Visa Express program monthly
to discuss travel agency performance, security concerns, and new procedures, such as the
revised DS-157*, new photograph requirements (i.e., men must pose without Arab
headdress), and clearance waiting periods imposed since 9/11. The chief of the non-
immigrant visa unit is in e-mail contact several times weekly with the travel agencies
answering questions and advising them of embassy closings and training schedules. In
addition to personal interviews required for condor clearance applicants (i.e. persons from
certain countries who are subject to new security checks) and those applicants appearing to
have questionable ties to Saudi Arabia, consular officers randomly select another 10% for
personal interviews to determine whether the information provided on the application forms
is accurate and, if it is not, to determine whether the applicant or the travel agency is at
fault. More detailed information on the selection process is contained in cable Riyadh
02326, dated June 19, 2001. OIG has reviewed the MOUs mentioned above, and the
operational manual provided to each participating agency and is forwarding them to you
under separate cover.

How much money have the private Saudi travel agents made from this program?

Travel agents were permitted to charge a fee of either 50 Saudi Riyals (SI 3.33) or 90 Saudi
Riyals (S24), depending on whether the applicant was resident in the greater Riyadh or
Jeddah areas or in other regions of the country. No record of the specific fee collected was
submitted to the embassy. Between June 1, 2001 and May 31, 2002, approximately 46, 694
visa applications were submitted by travel agents. The fees collected for those applications
would be a minimum $622,431 or a maximum of $ 1,120,656.

* Non-immigrant visa application form.

For Immediate Release


Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Grassley. Weldon Seek Tighter Visa Restrictions

WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Dave Weldon, M.D., today asked Secretary of State
Colin Powell to terminate a State Department program that allows visa applicants to receive approval to
come to the United States without proper in-person interviews.

The Visa Express program was implemented three months prior to the September 11 attacks. Three of
the nineteen September 11 hijackers took advantage of the Visa Express program by going to a travel
agent for their visas. They were never interviewed by an American official.

Grassley, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, and Weldon, chairman of the Committee on
Government Affairs Subcommittee on Civil Service and Agency Organization, also sent a letter to State
Department Inspector General Clark Kent Irvin asking for a thorough review of the Visa Express

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-15.htm 11/6/02
Page 8 of 9

Mr. Clark Kent Ervin


Inspector General
Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Room 6817
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Mr. Ervin:

We are very troubled by recent reports that suggest that the Department of State's Office of Consular
Affairs is conducting programs that allow visa applicants to receive approval to come to the United
States without proper in-person interviews.

The program recently in question is Visa Express, implemented three months prior to the attacks of
September 11. Residents of Saudi Arabia, including non-Saudi citizens are eligible for this program and
three of the nineteen hijackers, took advantage of the program by going through a travel agent for their
visas and were never interviewed by an American official. Equally troubling is that the program is still
in operation today despite the tragedy of September 11.

Reforms to the Visa Express program are not needed. Rather, there needs to be complete termination of
this and other similar programs that give our national security a low priority.

We are seeking your assistance in conducting a review of Visa Express. We would like a full
explanation of the following within the next 14 days:

1) Was Visa Express re-authorized by the Secretary, or done so by the Director of Consular Affairs?

2) What was the reasoning behind the 2001 re-authorization of Visa Express?

3) How many Saudi Arabian applicants were able to obtain visas through the Visa Express program
without an interview with a Consular Affairs officer? In your response, provide the number of Saudi
Arabian citizens and non-citizens who gained entry to the United States through the program. For each
category, how many have been admitted to the U.S. through the program from its inception through
September 10, 2001? How many since September 11, 2001?

4) What is the current policy at Consular Affairs with regard to visa application interviews? In what
circumstances are Foreign Service officers allowed to waive an interview?

5) What other similar visa waiver programs, aside from the congressionally-approved Visa Waiver
Program, are operating throughout the world under the jurisdiction of the State Department?

6) Provide any reviews of the Visa Express Program since its inception.
«*

7) What are the standards by which the private Saudi travel agencies were allowed to participate in the
program? Who developed and approved these standards? Provide the written documentation that shows
that each of the participating travel agents was properly certified.

8) How much money have the private Saudi travel agencies made from this program?

We appreciate your investigation into this matter, and look forward to hearing from you regarding the

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-15.htm 11/6/02
program. Grassley and Weldon's letters follow.

July 2, 2002

The Honorable Colin Powell


Secretary
Department o f S tate
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Powell:

We are very troubled by recent reports that suggest that the Department of State's Office of Consular
Affairs is conducting programs that allow visa applicants to receive approval to come to the United
States without proper in-person interviews.

The program recently in question is Visa Express, implemented three months prior to the attacks of
September 11. Residents of Saudi Arabia, including non-Saudi citizens, are eligible for this program and
three of the. nineteen hijackers took advantage of the program by going through a travel agent for their
visas and were never interviewed by an American official. Equally troubling is that the program is still
in operation today despite the tragedy of September 11.

Reforms to the Visa Express program are not needed. Rather, there needs to be complete termination of
this and other similar programs that give our national security a low priority.

Foreign Service officers have a difficult job as agents on our first line of defense. They are approving
and denying visas to potentially harmful individuals and well-deserved visitors. However, we believe
that diplomacy and terrorist tracking may be conflicts of interest that we should investigate

We have asked the Department of State's Inspector General, Mr. Clark Kent Irvin, to conduct a review
of Visa Express. We are seeking information on how and why this program was re-authorized, how
many Saudi Arabian applicants were not interviewed because of this program, and what the current
policy is at Consular Affairs with regard to visa application interviews, particularly what circumstances
Foreign Service officers are allowed to waive an interview. We are also very interested in knowing if
other visa waiver programs, aside from the congressionally-approved Visa Waiver Program, are
currently operating around the world under the jurisdiction of the State Department.

Again, we strongly urge you to dismantle the Visa Express program which is putting the American
people at risk. We have attached a copy of my letter to the Inspector General for your benefit. We look
forward to hearing from you very soon regarding the above-mentioned matters.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley Dave Weldon, M.D.


United States Senator United States Representative

July 2, 2002

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-15.htm 11/6/02
above-mentioned matters.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley Dave Weldon, M.D.


United States Senator United States Representative
-30-

Home | Constituent Services | Grassley News | Legislative Information


Kids' Stuff | Biography / In Action

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-15.htm 11/6/02
UNITED STATES SENATOR • IOWA

CHUCK GRASSLEY PRESS RELEASE


preee@graasl ey .sen ate .go v www.aen ate.gov/g rosaley

MEMORANDUM

To: Reporters and Editors


Re: Visa Express program
Da: Wednesday, July 10, 2002

On July 2, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Dave Weldon wrote to Secretary of State Colin Powell to urge
termination of the Visa Express program. Grassley made the following comment today on the Visa
Express program.

"Terrorism has changed the way we look at visas. After September 11, we can no longer grant visas
willy nilly. These days, the American officials who process visas have one of the most important jobs in
the government. They can make the difference between a thug setting up shop in the United States and
staying a thousand miles away. I look forward to exploring the best way to structure visa-approving
responsibilities in the new Department of Homeland Security."

Home | Constituent Services | Grassley News | Legislative Information


Kids' Stuff | Biography / In Action

http://grass.ley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-1 Oa.htm 11/6/02


UNITED STATES SENATOR • IOWA

CHUCK GRASSLEY PRESS RELEASE


prese@graasl ey .sen ate .gov www.sen ate .gov/g ra&sley

For Immediate Release


Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Grasslev. Weldon Seek Tighter Visa Restrictions

WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Dave Weldon, M.D., today asked Secretary of State
Colin Powell to terminate a State Department program that allows visa applicants to receive approval to
come to the United States without proper in-person interviews.

The Visa Express program was implemented three months prior to the September 11 attacks. Three of
the nineteen September 11 hijackers took advantage of the Visa Express program by going to a travel
agent for their visas. They were never interviewed by an American official.

Grassley, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, and Weldon, chairman of the Committee on
Government Affairs Subcommittee on Civil Service and Agency Organization, also sent a letter to State
Department Inspector General Clark Kent Irvin asking for a thorough review of the Visa Express
program. Grassley and Weldon's letters follow.

July 2, 2002

The Honorable Colin Powell


Secretary
Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Powell:

We are very troubled by recent reports that suggest that the Department of State's Office of Consular
Affairs is conducting programs that allow visa applicants to receive approval to come to the United
States without proper in-person interviews.

The program recently in question is Visa Express, implemented three months prior to the attacks of
September 11. Residents of Saudi Arabia, including non-Saudi citizens, are eligible for this program and
three of the nineteen hijackers took advantage of the program by going through a travel agent for their
visas and were never interviewed by an American official. Equally troubling is th'at the program is still
in operation today despite the tragedy of September 11.

Reforms to the Visa Express program are not needed. Rather, there needs to be complete termination of
this and other similar programs that give our national security a low priority.

Foreign Service officers have a difficult job as agents on our first line of defense. They are approving

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-02.htm 11/6/02
rage 2 ot 13

and denying visas to potentially harmful individuals and well-deserved visitors. However, we believe
that diplomacy and terrorist tracking may be conflicts of interest that we should investigate.

We have asked the Department of State's Inspector General, Mr. Clark Kent Irvin, to conduct a review
of Visa Express. We are seeking information on how and why this program was re-authorized, how
many Saudi Arabian applicants were not interviewed because of this program, and what the current
policy is at Consular Affairs with regard to visa application interviews, particularly what circumstances
Foreign Service officers are allowed to waive an interview. We are also very interested in knowing if
other visa waiver programs, aside from the congressionally-approved Visa Waiver Program, are
currently operating around the world under the jurisdiction of the State Department.

Again, we strongly urge you to dismantle the Visa Express program which is putting the American
people at risk. We have attached a copy of my letter to the Inspector General for your benefit. We look
forward to hearing from you very soon regarding the above-mentioned matters.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley Dave Weldon, M.D.


United States Senator United States Representative

July 2, 2002

Mr. Clark Kent Irvin


Inspector General
Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Room 6817
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Mr. Irvin:

We are very troubled by recent reports that suggest that the Department of State's Office of Consular
Affairs is conducting programs that allow visa applicants to receive approval to come to the United
States without proper in-person interviews.

The program recently in question is Visa Express, implemented three months prior to the attacks of
September 11. Residents of Saudi Arabia, including non-Saudi citizens are eligible for this program and
three of the nineteen hijackers, took advantage of the program by going through a travel agent for their
visas and were never interviewed by an American official. Equally troubling is that the program is still
in operation today despite the tragedy of September 11.

Reforms to the Visa Express program are not needed. Rather, there needs to be complete termination of
this and other similar programs that give our national security a low priority.

We are seeking your assistance in conducting a review of Visa Express. We would like a full
explanation of the following within the next 14 days:

1) Was Visa Express re-authorized by the Secretary, or done so by the Director of Consular Affairs?

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-02.htm 11/6/02
2) What was the reasoning behind the 2001 re-authorization of Visa Express?

3) How many Saudi Arabian applicants were able to obtain visas through the Visa Express program
without an interview with a Consular Affairs officer? In your response, provide the number of Saudi
Arabian citizens and non-citizens who gained entry to the United States through the program. For each
category, how many have been admitted to the U.S. through the program from its inception through
September 10, 2001? How many since September 11, 2001?

4) What is the current policy at Consular Affairs with regard to visa application interviews? In what
circumstances are Foreign Service officers allowed to waive an interview?

5) What other similar visa waiver programs, aside from the congressionally-approved Visa Waiver
Program, are operating throughout the world under the jurisdiction of the State Department?

6) Provide any reviews of the Visa Express Program since its inception.

7) What are the standards by which the private Saudi travel agencies were allowed to participate in the
program? Who developed and approved these standards? Provide the written documentation that shows
that each of.the participating travel agents was properly certified.

8) How much money have the private Saudi travel agencies made from this program?

We appreciate your investigation into this matter, and look forward to hearing from you regarding the
above-mentioned matters.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley Dave Weldon, M.D.


United States Senator United States Representative
-30-

Honie | Constituent Services | Grassley ..News. | Legislative.Infgrmation


Kids' Stuff | Biography / In Action

http://grass.ley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r7-02.htm 11/6/02
UNITED STATES SENATOR • IOWA

CHUCK GRASSLEY PRESS RELEASE


preso@grasaley.2en ate gov www.sen ate .gov/g rasaley

For Immediate Release


Friday, May 10,2002

Grassley Requests State Department Audit of Colombian Assistance

WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Grassley, co-chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics
Control, today requested that the inspector general at the U.S. State Department conduct an audit of all
U.S. assistance provided to the Colombian National Police. Grassley sent his letter in light of reports
that $2 million in U.S. aid to Colombia's Counter-Narcotics Police was found missing. Grassley's letter
follows:

May 10V 2002

Clark Kent Ervin


Inspector General
Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Inspector Ervin:

Recently, a news story has come to my attention that has raised serious concerns regarding the
operations of the Department of State. Yesterday a story in El Tiempo in Bogota, followed by additional
stories today in several major U.S. newspapers reported the United States had suspended administrative
funding to Colombia's Counter-Narcotics Police in March. This was the first I heard of the suspension in
aid, and calls to the Department revealed they were unaware of the issue as well. But according to the
story, six of the unit's top officers were fired and an estimated 52 million in U.S. aid was missing.

My interest in this matter is furthered because just over 2 years ago I wrote your office expressing a
similar concern over questions involving the possible mishandling of certain U.S. assistance to
Colombia. The results of that review, as they were reported back to my staff, stated that the records kept
by the Colombian National Police were such that it was impractical at that time to determine whether
any diversion of funds had taken place. As a result of this review, your office recommended a series of
reforms that were to be implemented by the U.S. Embassy in Bogota.

In light of these facts, I am asking that your office undertake an audit of all U.S. assistance provided to
the Colombian National Police. In addition, I would like you to determine what was reported to
Washington regarding the missing funds, and when. Finally71 would like a review of the status of the
recommendations of the report OO-CI-029 that was sent to me in September of 2000. As you know, the
President has proposed additional assistance for Colombia, as well as lifting the current restrictions on
how the aid can be used.

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r5-10.htm 11/6/02
Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have further questions, please contact my staff on the
Caucus on International Narcotics Control at 202/224-9032.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

CEG/eja

-30-

Home [ Constituent Services | Grassley News | Legislative Information


Kids' Stuff | Biography / In Action

http://grassley.senate.gov/releases/2002/p02r5-10.htm 11/6/02
United States Department of State
and the Broadcasting Board of Governors

Inspector General
September 30, 2002

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley


135 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510-1501

Dear Senator Grassley:

Thank you for your letter of September 17, 2002, expressing your continued interest in
OIG's current review of visa processing procedures. I have carefully noted your
particular interest in (1) processing variations that may go beyond what is dictated by
local conditions, (2) controls implemented when interviews are waived, (3) controls that
ensure identity and entitlement when only paper applications and supporting documents
are provided, (4) a description of how U.S. interests are served when travel agencies are
injected into the process, and (5) my recommendations for improving the overall visa
issuing process, particularly current personal appearance waiver programs. I can assure
you that my final report will focus on these areas.

I am pleased to note that our initial phase of post on-site surveys is now complete. Four
teams are departing the week of October 7, 2002, and will conclude the final phase in
approximately three weeks. We have made some key preliminary findings, and will test
their validity during the second half of our survey.

Let me assure you that this matter is one of my highest priorities. I look forward to
evaluating all survey results and providing a full report later this year. In the meantime, I
would be pleased to brief you on our work to date. Therefore, I have asked Sandra
Lewis, Acting Director of Congressional/Media Affairs, Policy and Outreach, to contact
your staff within the next few days to determine whether a briefing would be of interest
to you. Should you have any questions prior to our staffs' discussion, please feel free to
contact me at (202) 647-9450. ^

Address correspondence to: U.S. Department of Slate. Office of Inspector General. Washington, D.C. 20520-6817
Drafted: OIG/CPO-PYorkmanM\2 Ext. 75015
Clearance: CPOrSLewis
OIG:ASigmund
Y To:

J35 HABT SENATE 0«iC£ BUILDING 103PEDERAi. -OURrMQUSE SuiLDiNC


WASHINGTON. DC 20510-1501 320 or" SmeE-
12021224-37.14 SiOU.X CiTV. 1,4 51 101-1J44

Hnitcd States Senate


TTY: 1202) 224—1J79
e-mail: cnuck_grassiev"»grassiev.senaie.gov
210 WATE
721 FEOE»AL BUILDING 531 COM L STBEBT
210 WALNUT STREET 507ni-5497
OES MCI.NES. IA 50309-21-10
CHARLES c. GRASSLEY 13191 :"-t>657
IS 151 284—<890
WASHINGTON, DC 20510-1501
206 FEDI-RAL BUILDING 131 E J'M S"ff
101 1ST SHIES'-SE. DAVENCORT IA 52801-15!
CEDAK RAPIDS. IA 5240i-i::7 15631.322-4331
13191 363-083:
September 17, 2002 307 FeD6RAi SunciNC
3 Sour" drn STRES*

Mr. Clark Kent Ervin


Inspector General, Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Room 6817
Washington. D.C. 20520

Dear Mr. Ervin:

I appreciate the active engagement of your office in providing information about visa processing
procedures in which I expressed substantial concerns. Likewise. I am pleased to leam. in your
letter to me of July 15, 2002. that your office is currently conducting a worldwide survey of non-
immigrant visa processing, with special attention focused upon personal appearance waiver
programs and third parry application acceptance rules.

However, I remain concerned about how these visa procedures are managed by the Department
of State. I understand that other personal appearance waiver programs are still operating
throughout the world. Such programs, in my opinion, raise valid concerns about national
security as we continue to waive personal interviews for applicants and rely on third party
businesses to aide consularofficers.

I am requesting a more thorough review of the programs at visa issuing posts abroad, as well as
recommendations for both the Depanment of State and the Congress on how to improve our visa
procedures. I would be especially interested in having your review focus on the following
specific areas:

While it is understandable that local factors will control the parameters of visa processing
procedures, it would also seem logical to assume that the manner in which visa
applications are received and adjudicated should be more or less the same, with minor
local variations, world-wide. To what degree has your review seen variations beyond
what might be dictated by local conditions?

What controls, standards, or procedures are in place for visa issuing posts that operate
personal appearance waiver programs? In other words, if consular officers waive
interviews, what other factors and information is closely scrutinized to ensure that fraud
is not taking place?
t
Questions of the true identity of a visa applicant, the applicant's intentions in entering •
the US, and the applicant's background vis-a-vis such intentions could well be best
Committee Assignments: CO-CHAIRMAN,
RANKING,
FINANCE BUDGET INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS
CONTROL CAUCUS
JUDICIARY
RINTED ON RECYCLED P
assessed in a face-to-face interview with a consular officer rather than through
paperwork. When, if ever, might those factors be assessed reliably through a paper
application and supporting documents?

To what extent, if at all, is it_in the U.S. interest to involve commercial providers of travel
related services (i.e. travel agencies) in any aspect of the US visa process? I am not
indifferent to issues of resource management, but am more interested in the security of
the process.

Finally, I would appreciate your recommendations for improving visa processing


procedures, particularly personal appearance waiver programs, at our consular posts
abroad. Also, what changes can be made in gathering information on potential terrorists
and then relaying that important information to consular officers?

Once again, I appreciate your involvement in this important matter. I look forward to hearing
more about your teams' preliminary findings, and seeing the results of your official inquiry by
the end o'f the vear.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley
United States Senator
United States Department of State
and the Broadcasting Board of Governors

Inspector General
July 15, 2002

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley


Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Washington, D. C. 20510-0544

Dear Senator Grassley:

I am responding to your letter of July 1, 2002, regarding non-immigrant visa issuance


procedures at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the Consulate General in
Jeddah... You have raised serious concerns about the potential vulnerability oflhe visa
issuance process as a result of the "Visa Express" program.

As you may know, on July 2, 2002, Ambassador Robert Jordan advised the State
Department (Department) that he has ordered the immediate preparation of a plan to
move toward interviewing all adult visa applicants and the elimination of the role of
travel agencies in forwarding visa applications to the embassy and consulate. He asked
that the Department send its best consular operational expert to Saudi Arabia to help
develop this new system and to identify the additional resources needed to implement it.
The Department has since responded to the Ambassador's request and a consular
management expert departs for Saudi Arabia this week.

I strongly agree with you that consular operations abroad must be conducted to ensure
maximum security of the visa issuance process. Accordingly, I have ordered an Office of
Inspector General (OIG) survey of all 207 visa-issuing posts worldwide to review current
procedures for processing non-immigrant visas, with special emphasis on programs that
waive the personal appearance requirement and that accept applications through travel
agencies.

In addition, early this Fall, depending upon the availability of resources, I would like to
send teams of OIG consular management and security intelligence oversight inspectors to
visa-issuing posts in those countries that are of special concern to the United States
because of their ties to international terrorism. These teams would conduct on-site
reviews of visa processing procedures and the dissemination of intelligence regarding
known and potential terrorists to ensure that consular officers have and properly use all
relevant data at their disposal when adjudicating visa applications. These reviews will
also be conducted at 44 other visa-issuing posts by OIG teams conducting regular
embassy and consulate management inspections in FY 2003.

Address correspondence to: U.S. Department of State, Office of Inspector General, Washington, D.C. 20520-6817
-7.

I have enclosed an annex that answers the specific questions you posed regarding the
Visa Express program at Embassy Riyadh and related issues.

I wish to assure you that this office will continue its ongoing efforts to do everything
within our authority and capability to bring about a more secure system of non-immigrant
visa issuance policies and practices in the interest of national security.
Very truly

Clark Ke:

Enclosur
ANNEX

Was "Visa Express" re-authorized by the Secretary, or done so by the Director


of Consular Affairs?

The "Visa Express" personal appearance waiver program (PAW) was never
specifically authorized or re-authorized by either the Secretary or Assistant
Secretary Ryan. It may be used at the discretion of the visa-issuing po_st if
local circumstances (e.g., low incidence of fraud, low overstay rate, etc.) are
deemed to make implementation feasible.

What was the reasoning behind the 2001 reauthorization of "Visa Express?"

As noted above, it was neither specifically authorized nor reauthorized.

How many Saudi Arabian applicants were able to obtain visas through the
"Visa Express" program without an interview with a Consular Affairs
Officer? In your response, provide the number of Saudi Arabian citizens and
non-citizens who gained entry to the US through the program. For each
category, how many have been admitted to the US through the program from
its inception through September 10, 2001. How many since September 11,
2001?

These figures represent our best effort to extrapolate the figures requested
from the available information, which information is not kept in exactly the
form required. There is always a slight discrepancy between issuances and
actual admissions into the United States since INS can and often does refuse
entry to visa holders.

June 1, 2001, (the date that "Visa Express" began) through September 10, -
2001 Total issued = 36,018
Visa Express issued to Saudis—(64% of total x 97% without interview) =
22,360
Visa Express issued to Third-Country Nationals (TCNs)--(36% of total x 28%
not interviewed) = 3,630

September 11, 2001, through June 25, 2002 (latest date available.)
Total Issued = 18,628
Visa Express Issued to Saudis (59% of total x 40% without'interview>= 4,396
Visa Express issued to TCNs (41% of total x 28% not interviewed) = 2,138

What is the current policy at Consular Affairs with regard to visa application
interviews? In what circumstances are Foreign Service officers allowed to
waive an interview?
Section 222(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, provides
the specific authority for a waiver of personal appearance. The Foreign
Affairs Manual, 9 FAM 41.102(a), provides guidance on when a waiver is
appropriate. PAWs are discussed in detail in the Consular Best Practices
Handbook. Basically, a PAW is specifically authorized for children under 14,
diplomats, airline crews, certain United States Government-financed exchange
visitors, and applicants for B (tourist), C-l (transit), H-l (skilled worker), or I
(journalist) visas. Applicants for other categories of visas also can obtain a
waiver if a consular officer determines that it is warranted "in the national
interest or because of unusual circumstances, including hardship to the visa
applicant."

What other similar visa waiver programs, aside from the congressionally-
approved Visa Waiver Program, are operating throughout the world under the
jurisdiction of the State Department? •

To be exact, the Visa Express program and other PAW programs are not visa
waiver programs. Instead, they are programs under which an applicant need
not personally appear at the embassy or consulate to be interviewed before
being issued a visa. No visa waiver programs other than the one authorized
by Congress are operating anywhere. Under the Congressionally authorized
plan, Canadian citizens are exempt from needing visas for any purpose and
citizens of 27 other countries are exempt from having to obtain 90-day tourist
or business travel visas (B1/B2).

Provide any reviews of the "Visa Express" Program since its inception.

The OIG has never reviewed the Visa Express Program specifically. PAWs
are reviewed whenever a visa-issuing embassy or consulate is inspected, as a
part of our standard review of consular operations.

What are the standards by which the private Saudi travel agencies were
allowed to participate in the program? Who developed and approved these
standards? Provide the written documentation that shows that each of the
participating travel agents was properly certified.

The qualifications of the travel agencies that participated in the original


solicitation (the parameters of which were set out in a meeting the consul
general held with interested travel agencies) were judged in the ten categories
listed below:

1. prior visa experience;


2. geographic range within Saudi Arabia;
3. current contracts with other embassies/corporations;
4. fees charged;
5. delivery time to return passports to clients;
6. computer facilities;
7. designated staffing;
8. reputation within local community;
9. security systems in place; and
10. commitment to advertising/promotion

The ten travel-agencies that best met the Consular Section's expectations
based on the parameters set out above were contacted and given a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which set out both the Consular
Section's and the travel agency's obligations. Prior to implementation, travel
agencies signed the MOUs and returned them to the embassy, where they
were signed by a consular official. The consular officials at post meet with
representatives of the ten travel agencies participating in the Visa Express
program monthly to discuss travel agency performance, security concerns, and
new procedures, such as the revised DS-157*, new photograph requirements
(i.e., men must pose without Arab headdress), and clearance waiting periods
imposed since 9/11. The chief of the non-immigrant visa unit is in e-mail
contact several times weekly with the travel agencies answering questions and
advising them of embassy closings and training schedules. In addition to
personal interviews required for condor clearance applicants (i.e. persons from
certain countries who are subject to new security checks) and those applicants
appearing to have questionable ties to Saudi Arabia, consular officers
randomly select another 10% for personal interviews to determine whether
the information provided on the application forms is accurate and, if it is not,
to determine whether the applicant or the travel agency is at fault. More
detailed information on the selection process is contained in cable Riyadh
02326, dated June 19, 2001. OIG has reviewed the MOUs mentioned above,
and the operational manual provided to each participating agency and is
forwarding them to you under separate cover.

How much money have the private Saudi travel agents made from this
program?

Travel agents were permitted to charge a fee of either 50 Saudi Riyals


(SI3.33) or 90 Saudi Riyals ($24), depending on whether the applicant was
resident in the greater Riyadh or Jeddah areas or in other regions of the
country. No record of the specific fee collected was submitted to the /
embassy. Between June 1, 2001 and May 31, 2002, approximately 46V694
visa applications were submitted by travel agents. The fees collected for those
applications would be a minimum $622,431 or a maximum of $1,120,656.

* Non-immigrant visa application form.


Uiuted States Department of State
and the Broadcasting Board of Governors

Inspector General

JUL : .'.:

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley


Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
159 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-0544

Dear Senator Grassley:

I have received your letter dated July 1, 2002, requesting information from my office
regarding the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs's Visa Express program.
We will make every effort to provide you with the information you have requested within
the time period you have prescribed.

Sincerely,^

Clark K< nt Ervin

cc Congressman Dave Weldon

Address correspondence to: U.S. Department of State. Office of Inspector General, Washington. D.C. 20520-/>8n
of ttje (Hmteti
C 20515

July 1.2002

Mr. Clark Kent Irvin


inspector General
Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Room 6817
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Mr.. Irvin:

We are very troubled by recent reports that suggest that the Department of State's Office of
Consular Affairs is conducting programs that allow visa applicants to receive approval to come
to the United States without proper in-person interviews.

The program recently in question is Visa Express, implemented three months prior to the attacks
of September 11. Residents of Saudi .Arabia, including non-Saudi citi?.en.s are eligible for this
program and three of die nineteen hijackers took advantage of the program by going through a
travel agent for their visas and were never interviewed by an American official. Equally
troubling is that the program is still in operation today despite the tragedy of September 1 1 .

Reforms to the Visa Express program arc not needed. Rather, there needs to be complete
termination of this and other similar programs thai give our national security a low priority.

We are sesicing your assistance in conducting a review of Visa Express. W- would like a full
explanation of the following within the next 14 days:

1) Was Visa Express re-authorized by the Secretary, or done so by the Director of Consular
Affairs?

2) What was the reasoning behind the 2001 rcauthorization of Visa Express?

3) How many Saudi Arabian applicants were able to obtain visas through the visa express
program without an interview with a Consular Affairs officer? In your response, provide
the number of Saudi Arabian citizens and non-citizens who gained entry to the US
through the program, h'or each category, how many have been admitted to the U.S.
through the program from its inception through September 10, 2001? How many since
September 11,2001? " .

4) What is the current policy at Consular Affairs with regard to visa application interviews?
In what circumstances are Foreign Service officers allowed to waive an interview?
702/02 TUE 11:23 FAI 202 223 0544 SEN. SUBCOM CONSTITUTION ©003

5) What cither similar visa waiter programs, aside from the congressionally-approved Visa
Waiver Program, are operating throughout the world under the jurisdiction of the State
Department?

6) Provide any reviews of the Visa Express Program since its inception.

7) What arc the standards by which the private Saudi travel agencies were allowed to
participate in the program? Who developed and approved these standards? Provide the
wrincn documentation that shows that each of the participating travel agents was properly
certified.

8) How much money have the private Saudi travel agencies made from this program?

We appreciate your investigation into this matter, and look forward to hearing from you
regarding the above mentioned matters.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley --Dave Wcldon, M.D.


United States Senator United States Representative
united stales Department of State
and the Broadcasting Board of Governors

Inspector General
June 21, 2002

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley


Co-Chairman, Caucus on International
Narcotics Control
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510-9070

Dear Senator Grassley:

In your May 10, 2002, letter to me, you expressed your serious concerns related to press reports
that an estimated $2 million in L:.S. aid to the Colombian National Police (CNP) was missing and
that the State Department had suspended further aid in March. In light of these concerns, you
asked us to conduct an audit of all U.S. assistance to the CNP; determine what was reported to
Washington regarding the missing funds, and when; and follow up on recommendations we had
made .in a September 2000 report.

In response to your letter, we conducted some preliminary work on these issues and met with Eric
Akers of your staff on June 12, 2002, to discuss the scope of the review. At that meeting, we
agreed that, in light of the audit work performed by Embassy Bogota and the investigations being
conducted by the Colombian government, a detailed financial audit would not be necessary at this
time, but that as we conducted our review, we would address the need for such an audit. The
following are the review questions we agreed to answer.

(1) When did the Department of State discover the alleged fraud? Whom did they notify and
when?
(2) What is the total amount that has been lost to this alleged fraud? (OIG will examine in detail
the work of the embassy's auditor.)
(3) What is the status of investigations by the government of Colombia?
(4) Since the audit in 2000, what actions has Embassy Bogota taken to improve its systems and
internal controls?

To address these questions, my staff will travel to Bogota this weekend and upon returning, will
brief Mr. Akers on the results of our work. We also agreed to provide a written report in August.
\f you have further

Assistant Inspector General for Audits, at (202) 647-9450.

Clark Ken

Address correspondence to: U.S. Department of State, Office of Inspector General, Washington, D.C. 20520-6817
.cce^-* *iu«~ j- o«~«». o-

"Eniccd
CAUCUS ON INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL
WASHINGTON. DC 20510-3070

May 10.2002

Clark Kent Er/in


Inspector General
Department of State
2201 C S crest. NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Inspector Ervin:

Recently, a news story has csme to my attention that has raised serious concerns reeardine the
operations of the Department of State. Yesterday a story in El Tie.mpo in Bogota, followed by
additional stories today in several major U.S. newspapers reported the United States had suspended
administrative funding to Colombia's Counter-Narcotics Police in March. Tnis was the first I heard
of the suspension in aid, and calls to the Department revealed they were unaware of the issue as well.
3u: according co the story, six of the unit's cop officers were fired and an istimated 52 million in U.S.
aid was missing.

My interest in this matter is furthered because JUST over 2 years age I wrote your office expressing a
similar concern over questions involving the possible mishandling of certain U.S. assistance co
Colombia. The results of that review, as they were reported back to rny staff, stated that the records
kept by che Colombian National Police were such chat it was impractical at that time to determine
whether any diversion of funds had token place. As a result of this review, your office recommended
a series of reforms that were co be implemented by the U.S. Embassy in Bogota.

In light of these facts, I am asking that your office undertake an audic of all U.S. assistancs^provided to
the Colombian National Police. In addition, I would like you to determine what was recanted to
Washington regarding the missing funds, and when. Finally, I would like a review of the status of the
recommendations of the report OO-CI-029 that was sent to me in September of 2000. As you know,
the President has proposed additional assistance for Colombia, as well as lifting the current
restrictions on hew the aid can be used.

Thank you for your attention :o this matter. If you have further questions, please contact my staff on
che Caucus on International Narcotics Control at 202/224-9032.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

CEG/eja
O:\MDM\MDM02.611

AMENDMENT NO. Calendar No.


Purpose: To provide for the assignment of employees of the
Department of Homeland Security to each diplomatic
arid consular post at which visas are issued, as required
to protect homeland security.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES—107th Cong., 2d Sess.

H.R.5005
To establish the Department of Homeland Security, and for
other purposes.

Referred to the Committee on


and ordered to be printed

Ordered to lie on the table and to be printed


AMENDMENT intended to be proposed by Mr. GRASSLEY
Viz:
1 On page 22, strike lines 1 through 16 and insert the
2 following:
3 (A) Ix GENERAL.—The Secretary- shall as-
4 sign employees of the Department to each dip-
5 lomatic and consular post at which visas are
6 issued, unless the Secretary determines,''based
7 upon homeland security considerations, that
8 such an assignment is not required at a par-
O:\MDM\MDM02.611 S.L.C.
9

1 ticular post. Employees so assigned shall per-


2 form the following functions:
3 (i) Provide expert advice to consular
4 officers regarding specific security threats
5 relating to the adjudication of individual
6 visa applications or classes of applications.
7 (ii) Review any such applications, ei-
8 ther on the initiative of the employee of the
9 Department or upon request by a consular
10 officer or other person charged with aclju-
11 dicating such applications.
12 (iii) Conduct investigations with re-
13 spect to matters under the jurisdiction of
14 the Secretary.
15 (iv) Appraise the performance of con-
16 sular officers with respect to the processing
17 and adjudication of applications for visas
18 in accordance with performance standards
19 developed by the Secretary. Such apprais-
20 als shall be given great weight by the Sec-
21 retary of State in assessing the perform-
22 ance of such officers.
Yorkman, Patricia
From: Topping, Linda
Sent: Friday, September 06, 2002 2:33 PM
To: Chang, Michael B(H)
Cc: Sigmund, Anne; Reback, Richard; Anderson, Charles; Yorkman, Patricia; Carroll, Alfred
Subject: Sen. Grassley Amendment comments from OIG

Michael -
Thank you for forwarding the amendment to us last night for review. Our inspectors and our legal counsel have concerns
with the Section (iii) regarding the conduct of investigations as well as the confusion created vis a vis COM authority

Section (iii) states "Conduct investigations with respect to matters under the jurisdiction of the Secretary." This section
begs for clarification as to what this might include.

OIG's legal counsel notes: |"


1) the proposed amendment could have an effect orr OIG's statutory investigative jurisdiction. The amendment
states that the the Homeland Security Dept can assign employees to diplomatic posts where their duties would include
conduct of investigations with respect to matters under the jurisdiction of the Secretary. It is unclear whether these
employess would be 1811 law enforcement personnel, or what the range of their authority would be, but conceivabley they
would handle visa fraud cases, both employee and non-employee. Would State OIG have concurrent jurisdiction or woulc
OIG be divested of investigative authority?
2) What would the impact be on Chief of Mission authority? Section 207(a) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980
provides the chief of mission essentially with full responsibility over all non-military executive branch employees. Would
the COM be cut out of the loop on a matter if the Homeland Security Secretary asserts jurisdiction? Would those
employees at post who are employees of the Homeland Security Dept be under the authority of the COM.

Hope this is useful Michael.

Best
Linda Topping-Gonzalez (7-7731).