Agency: Department of State
Title: The National Passport Center--Improved Customer Service With Taxpayer Savings
Located on the site of the former Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire, the National Passport Center (NPC) is a state-of-the-art passport processing facility designed to take advantage of technological innovations, a carefully balanced mix of contract and government employees, and economies of scale to enhance both productivity and the quality of service we provide to the public. In the short twenty months of its existence, the NPC has met or exceeded our every expectation for a new organization, issuing this year 25% of our total passport volume and has constantly been at the top among the 14 domestic issuing facilities week after week throughout this past year.
Designed originally to help handle the predicted growth in the passport renewal business which began last year due to the expiration of the first 10 year passports, it is clear now that the NPC concept, with the efficiencies and economies of scale that can be realized by centralization, will play an even more pivotal role in the domestic passport issuance mix. The Center, which became operational in a little over 9 months after the decision to build it was made, is in effect three passport offices in one, with the ability to expand and contract to accommodate a wide variety of workload patterns.
Based on the availability of a high-quality labor market and low physical plant costs in New Hampshire, and our plan to utilize a mix of contractor staff and government employees, CA originally estimated that a 20 percent passport production cost savings could be realized at the NPC. The figures below indicate that the savings are far greater.
Recently productivity figures show that the NPC issues 50.6 passports per staff day, as opposed to a national passport agency average of 33.8.
The NPC is processing about 25 percent of the total passport volume. With the workload up almost 30 percent this fiscal year, the NPC is filling a void that would have otherwise seriously threatened the passport delivery system. This represents a significant customer service enhancement. In fact, this past winter brought some of the most severe weather in recent history including an earthquake in Los Angeles, a flood in Chicago and government-closing ice storms in Washington, D.C. Our ability to deploy work, particularly to NPC, from these hard-hit offices was the single most significant factor in our ability to continue serving the U.S. public.
Current cost studies dramatically demonstrate that passports are produced at the NPC in an extremely cost-effective manner. We estimate that we have realized thus far that it has already created a $1,335,000 savings for the taxpayers.
We continue to capitalize to every extent possible on the efficiencies gained through the NPC.
Main NPR Category: Customer Service
Related NPR Categories: Cutting Back to Basics