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Passport Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 March 2022

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Questions (420, 428)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

420. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the percentage accuracy of the updates available to the client-facing interface of the passport tracking system on a monthly basis for the past five years to date in 2022; and the number of instances in which the system was down and-or not operational to the optimum level over the same time period [11426/22]

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Michael Ring

Question:

428. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the reason the passport tracker on his Department’s website is not correctly reflecting the status of passport applications in a number of cases; if his attention has been drawn to an IT issue with the passport tracker; the length of time this issue has been ongoing; the steps that are being taken to resolve this issue; when this issue will be resolved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11575/22]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 420 and 428 together.

The current online Passport Tracker facility which is available on the Department of Foreign Affairs website has been in operation since the end of 2016. The historical data requested by Deputy Murphy is not available as the Passport Tracker continually updates as an application progresses through the system.

The online Passport Tracker tool provides applicants with an indication of how their application is progressing through the system and gives an estimated issue date based on the current average application processing time.

The Passport Service regrets that the Passport Tracker recently experienced technical issues which resulted in the tracker not correctly updating a small number of applications. The Passport Service became aware of the issue earlier this month and initiated an investigation at that point. This issue has been identified and is now fixed. While it has not been possible to immediately update all affected applications on the tracker, this will happen automatically when these applications reach the next stage of the process. It is rare for the Passport Tracker to experience this kind of technical issue. The Passport Service regrets any inconvenience caused to applicants who have been affected. 

Applicants who wish to receive an update on the status of their passport application can contact the Customer Service Hub at (01) 6711633 or via Webchat on my Department's website (www.dfa.ie/passports).

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