Enhancing Passport Application Efficiency: Government’s New Initiatives to Capture Reliable Data

In a bid to streamline passport application processes and ensure timely delivery, the Ghanaian government is taking steps to improve the accuracy and reliability of applicant data. This was disclosed by Mr. Osafo-Maafo, the Senior Presidential Advisor, during a Meet-the-Press series in Accra on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. The series provided updates on the Public Sector Reform for Results Project (PSRRP).

“Some of the applicants use middlemen to complete the passport application form, so if you call, the numbers they provide on the forms, it does not go through,” Mr. Osafo-Maafo explained. He highlighted that inaccurate data complicates the use of courier services to distribute passports.

To address this issue, Mr. Osafo-Maafo emphasized the need to build a robust system capable of capturing reliable data from passport applicants. “What we need to do is to ensure that we build a strong system that can capture reliable data of passport applicants so that the passports can be delivered through courier services to them for a fee,” he said.

The Public Sector Reform for Results Project (PSRRP), implemented by the government through the Office of the Senior Presidential Advisor (OSPA) and the Public Sector Reform Secretariat (PSRS), has been a key driver in these improvements. Funded by a $35 million credit facility from the World Bank, which was later restructured to $24 million, the project aimed to enhance efficiency and accountability across 13 ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) from 2019 to 2023.

The project, part of the National Public Sector Reform Strategy (NPSRS) 2018-2023, targeted various institutions, including the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), the Passport Office, the Births and Deaths Registry (BDR), and several ministries such as Transport, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Environment Science Technology and Innovation, and Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo reported significant improvements at the Passport Office, where investments in operations have enhanced the capturing of biodata. The establishment of new biodata capturing booths has drastically reduced waiting times nationwide.

“The passport application ecosystem has improved significantly. Since August 2023, the Passport Office has processed and printed about 700,000 passport applications, including 100,000 backlog applications, surpassing the annual average target of 500,000 printed booklets,” Mr. Osafo-Maafo noted.

He also highlighted the broader impact of the PSRRP on other beneficiary institutions. For example, the Public Services Commission (PSC) and the Office of the Head of Civil Service (OHCS) have established modern video conferencing facilities, enabling virtual engagements with stakeholders. The OHCS has cleared a backlog of 14,657 staff promotions since 2021, and the video conferencing facility facilitated over 5,000 interviews in 2022 and 4,000 in 2023.

The PSRRP has thus played a pivotal role in enhancing organisational performance and service delivery, contributing to a more efficient public sector in Ghana.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top