Over 80,000 passports not collected – Prez Advisor

Senior Presidential Advisor, Yaw Osafo-Maafo has disclosed that a staggering 86,000 passports remain uncollected by applicants across the country. This is despite the improvement in biodata capturing through the establishment of new booths, which have drastically reduced waiting times nationwide as part of efforts to digitize public services and enhance efficiency.

He noted, “Despite our efforts to digitize public services and improve efficiency, we still have 86,000 uncollected passports. This is a significant number, and we urge applicants to collect their documents.”

The Government of Ghana, through the Office of the Senior Presidential Advisor and the Public Sector Reform Secretariat, launched the first-ever Public Sector Reform for Results Project (PSRRP) from 2019 to 2023. Funded by the World Bank, the project aimed to enhance efficiency and accountability in delivering selected services across thirteen key government entities.

The introduction of modern biodata-capturing booths, according to Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo has streamlined the application process and significantly reduced waiting periods.

Since August 2023, the Passport Office has processed and printed approximately 700,000 passport applications, including 100,000 backlogged applications. This achievement surpasses the annual average target of 500,000 printed booklets, marking a significant enhancement in the passport application ecosystem.

“Setting up new biodata capturing booths has drastically reduced the waiting period for passport applications,” Mr. Osafo-Maafo stated, and added that “Our ability to process and print 700,000 passport applications, including clearing a significant backlog, demonstrates our commitment to improving public service delivery.”

Addressing the media on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, Mr. Osafo-Maafo highlighted the successes achieved under the PSRRP over the past four years.

In his presentation, Mr. Osafo-Maafo also appealed to the World Bank to support a second phase of the Public Sector Reform Project.

“Judging from the achievements of the first phase, we believe there is a strong case for continuing our efforts. We appeal to the World Bank to support the next phase of the Public Sector Reform Project to build on these successes and address ongoing challenges,” he stated.

Financial Overview and Project Restructuring

Mr. Osafo-Maafo added that the PSRRP commenced with a US$ 35 million credit facility from the World Bank, formalized through a Financing Agreement on November 12, 2018.

However, between July and December 2021, the project underwent restructuring, resulting in a reduced budget of US$ 24 million.

This adjustment focused resources on thirteen Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, ensuring targeted improvements in service delivery.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo explained, “The restructuring allowed us to prioritize and concentrate our efforts on key areas that needed the most improvement, ensuring we could deliver tangible results despite the reduced budget.”

Births and Deaths Registry

Also, he continued that one of the notable successes of the PSRRP has been the transformation of the Births and Deaths Registry (BDR), which previously faced significant delays and errors in registering births and deaths. Through collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the BDR printed and supplied 1.2 million Combined Maternal and Child Health Record Booklets with Birth Notification Forms. This initiative has streamlined the notification process, improving accuracy and reducing delays.

“By integrating our systems and streamlining processes, we have significantly reduced the incidence of multiple registrations and errors in data management,” said Mr. Osafo-Maafo. “The harmonization of the BDR, NIA, GHS, and Ghana.gov data systems have been a game-changer.”


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