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Thursday 19 September 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Senseless process for birth certificates

THE EDITOR: Is the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs’ Registrar General’s Department really serious in 2019?

Recently I had cause to visit its offices to apply and collect birth certificates for (I had hoped) my two children and myself. The process in itself is completely tiring and painstaking, since there are long lines and wait periods for the service.

I was informed at the information counter that my children, who are both over 18 years of age ,would have to supply me with a letter of authorisation, in addition to two valid IDs, a recent utility bill and a letter authorising the agent. As the authorised agent I would also have to provide two forms of valid ID and a recent bill with residential address.

This process makes no sense in its entirety for a number of reasons, namely:

* If you are not the person whose name is on the utility bill, then you need an authorisation letter from the owner?

* A mother’s name is normally on the birth certificate, so why should a child you gave birth to have to give you permission to apply for something that your name is already on and should be enough proof? Whether they are over 18 years is irrelevant to the process.

* The young adult could be living at home, so where is he/she getting a utility bill from? The same parent who is applying?

On my enquiry with regard to the authorisation process, I was informed that the information counter does not make the rules, it only carries out instructions.

I am sure no employee who works at the Registrar General’s Department has had cause to endure this process, so they may want to revisit the manner in which they treat members of the public who have to request the particular certificate/s.

Many people have expressed disgust with the application process and apparently nobody listens to us. In the interest of time and efficiency of service, the ministry should rethink its policies with emphasis being placed on tweaking situations to fit particular circumstances so that these requests can be completed in real time and not cause lengthy delays.

It is not always convenient for an individual to take time off from one’s job to attend to these types of applications, only to be sitting for over two-three hours to complete it.

We are really not developing as a country at a good rate, because in 2019 if we do not understand that time is of the essence, the drawing board is needed for a reality check.


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