The Federal Ombudsman, Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi, has taken notice of a surge in complaints against the passport office, primarily focusing on prolonged delays in passport printing. The Federal Ombudsman, serving as a watchdog over government entities, has initiated action to address this issue by establishing an inspection team led by a senior advisor.
This inspection team is set to visit the Directorate General of Passport office, aiming to investigate the underlying causes behind the reported delays and propose corrective measures. Notably, the team will actively engage with complainants on-site, providing a platform for individuals to voice their concerns directly. Additionally, the team will hold discussions with the administration of the Directorate General of Passport to gain insights into the steps being taken to address public grievances.
Numerous complaints filed with the Federal Ombudsman Office have highlighted the challenges faced by individuals, including difficulties in passport renewal and issues related to expedited processing fees. Shockingly, reports indicate that there is a backlog of approximately 400,000 passports pending processing within the directorate.
Recently, it came to light that the Directorate General of Passport continues to grapple with the aftermath of a lamination paper shortage episode. Despite acquiring the necessary lamination paper, the department has struggled to clear the existing backlog of passports. Consequently, this backlog has led to an alarming increase in the passport delivery time, reaching up to three months in major cities across Pakistan.
In response to these challenges, the Federal Ombudsman’s intervention seeks to streamline passport processing, ensure accountability, and enhance the efficiency of the Directorate General of Passport to better serve the public.