Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020
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Dysfunction at the Passport Office

Dear Editor,

Surely something can be done about the Passport Office. Surely, after decades of disgrace, the time has come to actually fix this broken department.

We live in an island nation. Many of us need to leave to seek specialized medical care, educational opportunities, professional development and exposure, or simply to experience for ourselves what it is like to drive in a country that enforces its traffic laws. Travelling abroad is a necessity for so many Bahamians. Thus, so too is the possession of a valid passport.

Why, Editor, when I have possessed a Bahamian passport since infancy, after being born in the good hands of our local doctors and nurses, when both of my parents are Bahamians but had the misfortune of being born abroad, am I being asked to procure the birth certificate of my dead grandfather and the certificate of his failed marriage with my grandmother, in order to renew my passport in 2019?

Rumors of an identification fraud scheme have surfaced, but one would hope that, as with any other crime, the perpetrators of the offense are the ones who are punished and not every other living soul. There must be a better way. Surely the professionals at the Passport Office are also fed up with their mothers, cousins, girlfriends, brothers calling them helplessly, in hopes of assistance with the renewal of their documents.

The leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including its successive ministers, should be ashamed.

– CL

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