The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped the Ministry of External Affairs for significant delays in the issue of passports. In its performance audit for 2006, released on Thursday, the CAG said only 19 per cent of passports were issued within the prescribed time limit in the 12 selected passport offices.
According to the report (No.12 of 2007) which was tabled in Parliament, “out of a total of 3, 419,331 passports issued after receipt of PVRs (police verification reports), only 431,133 (12 per cent) were issued within the prescribed time, while 1,600,129 (47 per cent) were issued after a delay of more than one week to one month, 919,251 (27 per cent) after a delay of more than one month to three months and 468,818 (14 per cent) were issued after a delay of more than three months.”
The report cites delays in passports being issued even after the PVR has been waived and in the Tatkal scheme.The report states, “the non-issue of passports on time, even after charging additional fee under the Tatkal scheme defeated the objective of the scheme and constituted a serious deficiency of service.”
The CPV division was also hauled up for poor accounting of undelivered passports, leading to many being dumped, and for failing to ensure timely destruction of passports returned undelivered (RUD), which could create security hazards.
“The absence of proper accounting and timely destruction of RUD passports could have serious implications including possible misuse,” the report said.
Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Consular, Passports and Visa (CPV) wing of the MEA was their one department that had a direct interface with the public, and it had totally failed to deliver.
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