Anyhow, my problems made me attend to news reports, including this. GAO found they were issuing some passports based on SSN's of dead people (also sounds like FSA's problem in the past). Turns out:
State was experiencing a relative lull in applications in late 2008 after a spike in 2007, Sprague noted. The database check can take a day, which was never an issue when employees faced a backlog of applications in 2007, she said. But when the workload decreased and passport applications could be processed much faster, some specialists and supervisors didn't know to wait for the database check to be completed.So the interface between State and SSA worked fine as long as State was slow enough. I love it.