Auditor General Raises Red Flag over Passport Issuance Delays

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Auditor General Raises Red Flag over Passport Issuance Delays

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has expressed concerns over delays in the issuance of Kenyan passports. The Auditor’s findings come just days after th

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Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has expressed concerns over delays in the issuance of Kenyan passports.

The Auditor’s findings come just days after the government admitted that the move is due to lack of booklets.

In her latest report for the Financial Year 2022/2023 for the State department for Immigration and Citizen Services, Gathungu regretted that the late delivery of the e-passport booklets had adversely affected the issuance of the document.

She regretted that although the State Department entered into a contract on July 21, 2022 with an international printing company for the supply and delivery of 334,000 AK, BK, CK with the last delivery expected in March, 2023, the deliveries were made upto October, 2023 which is a contravention of Article 5 of the contract agreement.

Reads the report: “ln the circumstances, the late delivery of the e-passport booklets adversely affected the operations of the State Department and issuance of passports to the public.”

The move comes just days after Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura acknowledged delays in the processing of passports at the immigration department but attributed the delays in the supply of 34-page passport booklets which go for Sh4,550. “The shortage has been caused by slow delivery of the booklets by the supplier.”
The spokesperson, however, assured the affected members of the public that efforts are ongoing to ensure a steady supply of the booklets sourced from abroad due to security reasons.

The delays have been there despite the Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki launching the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) in September last year at the State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services to speed up the issuance of passports.

Kindiki noted that new printers had already been procured to speed up the printing process whose backlog tops 120,000 passports.

“From where we sit, over 120,000 passports which ought to have been produced by now. Technically, that backlog ought to be cleared. However, we are not in a position to audit the system and make sure the entire historical backlog is gone until we release to the public all the uncollected passports that are ready,” he added.

The decision was informed by the Ministry’s plan to decongest Nyayo House and other centers and ensure a seamless process of acquiring a passport in Kenya.

Among the changes included the revision of the working hours in the passport printing offices to run between 7:00am and 9:00pm to maximise service delivery.

The CS also conducted impromptu visits to the offices to ensure the government introduces policies to dissuade idlers who typically hang around immigration offices from doing so to enable smoothen service  delivery.

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