State Department

Wednesday - 9/2/2009, 10:34am EDT

State Department

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The State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs is a federal agency, but it is run more like a business.

In 2008, the bureau generated $2.8 billion in revenues from passports, visas and other documents. That is why the economic downturn has forced Consular Affairs to rethink several projects.

Kirit Amin, the bureau's chief information officer, says because of the lower revenue stream Consular Affairs needs to make quick changes. Amin says he will do that by modernizing systems to save money, and even canceling or delaying some programs.

Amin says one of his top priorities is the consolidation of four visa issuing systems into one. He says the bureau also is developing a single system to serve all Americans overseas, and developing a data warehouse that holds more than 70 terabytes of data.

All of these programs will help save money and improve how the bureau serves U.S. citizens.