Question No. 138
Parliamentary Question – Oireachtas
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the progress being made with the proposed Online Passport Application process; when he anticipates it will be in operation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Anthony Lawlor.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 3rd November, 2015.
Ref No: 37838/15
The passport reform programme which was announced in the 2016 budget will see the use of new technologies to completely re-shape how passports are delivered over the next three years. The result will be a more streamlined system to process passport applications, including the introducton of online renewals for adults; a stronger focus on first-time applicants and on areas that are potentially vulnerable to fraud. The reform programme will also ensure a more seamless and consistent service for citizens regardless of where they apply for a passport around the world.
A detailed scoping study is underway on the components of the reform programme including the development of the on-line passport renewals service and this work will identify timeframes for delivery. The on-line service is a high priority within the wider programme.
The Passport Card which I launched on 5 October is a significant innovation and is being used in part to pilot an online application system. An assessment of customer service improvements and potential savings resulting from the introduction of this service will be a key element of the scoping study. I am confident that the experience gained from the launch of the Passport Card will have a positive impact in terms of the delivery of an efficient, robust and user-friendly system for the on-line renewal of passport books in the coming years.