Not so secure printing as passports bungled

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has revealed that it inadvertently mailed out 3850 passports last year with mistakes reported by recipients. Released figures detail that 503 passports were processed with incorrect photos and signatures, with another 2250 passports reported to have botched name, sex or date of birth details.

Other widespread errors include 306 with incorrect place of birth. Other problems reported were less serious, including burnt laminate, faded printing quality and faulty stitching. These revelations have prompted terror experts to warn against the passports getting into the wrong hands.

Adding insult to injury, the department has also warned of a temporary spike in the mistake rate due to the switch to redesigned, higher security passports from December 1 2003, although it is unclear to what extent this has occurred.

The redesigned passports include security features such as a hologram-like floating kangaroo.

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