Local TD Ged Nash has called for changes to be made to the system used by the Passport Office and An Garda Siochana for the verification of parental consent forms for passports for minors.
He said: “I have dealt with numerous cases in Mid-Louth and East Meath where parents have passport parental consent forms signed at ‘part-time’ Garda stations only to find that their application is held up because contact cannot be made by Passport Office officials with the relevant Garda Station in order to have the forms verified.
“In cases like this, applicants have been then told to provide a new consent form, despite this being no fault of their own causing huge and avoidable delays.
“I have raised this directly with the Minister for Foreign Affairs who has washed his hands of the issue.
“He has also indicated that there are no plans at present to amend the current process for the way in which Identity and Consent forms are recorded by An Garda Síochána.
“This is simply not good enough. The provision of passports is a vital public service and people deserve better.
“With the summer holidays fast approaching, there will be many families anxiously waiting on their passport. The Government and Minister must quickly get a grip of the issue.
“In my view, we urgently need a new centralised database for such passport checks to address this issue. Such a system would also go some way to help clear the existing backlog.
“In the meantime, the best advice for applicants is to have your forms signed in a 24/7 Garda Station.”
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