Backlog of IDs and passports eliminated - Iivula-Ithana

05 Nov 2014 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 05 NOV (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration eliminated a backlog of about 3 000 passport applications within the first month of implementing its turn-around strategy.
The N.dollars 126 million turn-around strategy, which has proven to be quite successful, was launched in May 2014 with the aim of improving operations at the ministry.
The objective of the project was to ensure the shortest possible issuing time for key documents such as identification documents (IDs), passports as well as birth, marriage and death certificates. The project is conducted by consultants from South Africa’s FeverTree Consulting company.
At a media conference held here Wednesday to celebrate 100 days of the turn-around strategy, the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said the entire backlog was eliminated because employees were working overtime and adhering to strict performance targets.
“As outlined earlier, we designed the turn-around strategy as an 18-month journey to ensure that every new way of thinking, every improved system and every enhanced process is a lasting one. We want this massive strategy to produce sustainable changes that will take this ministry into the future,” she said.
The first phase of the project focused on three key areas - front offices appearance, passports and ID production.
Iivula-Ithana said signage was a key element of the new look for front offices countrywide.
“The signage is aimed at providing clear information to customers with regard to the various application requirements, whilst also providing clear instructions on how and where to queue,” she explained.
At the inception of the project, the processing time of passport in the capital was above the required 10 days.
The average time for a passport in the capital has now decreased by 79 per cent to an average of 2.3 days.
The average processing time of regional passports has decreased from 13.55 days to 3.11 days in the same period. This is a 77 per cent improvement, according to Iivula-Ithana.
One of the key operations management innovations was also the introduction of daily targets for each employee in the various sections.
On the issue of identification documents (IDs), Iivula-Ithana said the incoming and receiving section was the first to receive business process changes.
The backlog of 25 July 2014 stood at 45 861 applications. Scanning and data capturing had the largest amount of waiting applications. The date range of these applications is from July 2013. At the beginning of August 2014, all backlogs were eliminated from the receiving, scanning and data capture sections.
With the ID application process now stable, teams have moved into citizenship as well as visas, and permits section.
“From the outset, we emphasised that the overall goal of the strategy was to address the concerns of the public and improve the way our customers receive and experience our services. I promised the citizens of this country that we will deliver services better, faster and smarter with the aim of contributing to building a performance-oriented ministry and the government as a whole,” she said.