HANCOCK COUNTY — The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) achieved a major milestone in the production of the world’s most secure document, the U.S. passport.
GPO’s secure production facility on the grounds of Stennis Space Center has achieved ISO 9001 certification. ISO is the International Organization for Standardization and the world’s largest developer of international standards used by government, business and new information technology companies and agencies.
“I want to congratulate our 46 employees at the secure production facility in Mississippi for their hard work and commitment to the production of the passport,” said GPO’s managing director for security and intelligent documents Steve LeBlanc. “Since GPO opened the Mississippi facility in 2008, employees there have made that facility a model of high standards and high quality manufacturing processes.”
GPO has been producing passports for the Department of State since the 1920s at its secure facility in Washington, D.C. In 2008, to meet the rising demand by American people for passports and the need for an alternative production facility, GPO opened this second secure production facility in Mississippi. In 2005, GPO produced the first electronic passport (e-Passport) and switched to producing all e-Passports in 2007.
GPO employees produced more than 23 million passports in the last two years; about seven million of those have been produced at the Mississippi secure production facility.
The D.C. facility is on track to attain the ISO 9001 certification in FY 2011.