22 Jun 2022, 18.19
The Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence led by the Committee Cathaoirleach Deputy Charlie Flanagan will visit the Passport Office on Mount Street Lower in Dublin on Thursday, 23 June to speak with senior officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs regarding the provision of passport services.
The particular focus of the Committee will be on the recent substantial delays in passport application processing times and to ensure best practice in delivery of passport services.
Deputy Flanagan said: “The Committee is looking forward to meeting with officials at the Passport Office in order to discuss delivery of service, ongoing issues and improvements in the passport service.
“Over the past year there has been a significant increase in applications to the Passport Office resulting in challenges for applicants and staff.
“Almost half a million passports have been issued to date in 2022, compared to a total of 634,000 passports issued in 2021. Delays in issuing passports are a cause of great concern for people and families wishing to travel – particularly for first time applicants.
“While the online passport application system has resulted in shorter turnaround times and lower rejection rates compared to paper-based applications, it is clear that further customer improvements may be required.
“Committee members are keen to see first hand the proposals and plans for the passport service as we approach a busy holiday period.
“Additional staff to help process delays, an update on the Passport Reform programme, and current passport turnaround times are among the issues Members expect to raise with management.”