Thursday, 12 February 2004

Questions (26)

Jack Wall


19 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the plans he has for the introduction of procedures to allow people to apply for passports over the Internet; when the proposed system is likely to be in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4209/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

The new passport system which is currently being developed by my Department is being designed to facilitate the processing of on-line passport applications through the public services broker, which is currently being established by the REACH agency.

The ultimate goal is to enable passport applications to be made across the Internet. However, this will require the provision by the public services broker of the level of authentication of applications necessary to ensure the integrity and security of the passport issuing system. The Passport Office will work with the REACH agency to achieve that objective.

In the meantime, my Department is examining the possibility of providing certain passport services across the Internet such as tracking the progress of applications and the completion of application forms on line.