Social audit cell at passport office reduces RTI applications
Every passport office faces crowds with issues relating to the delay or rejection of passports. Many of the citizens applying for passport are not educated and seek clarification for different problems faced in the course of issuance of passport. There is a need to initiate steps to assist people to file proper applications for passport and also to reduce crowds coming to the passport office.
The people visiting the regional passport office Trichy have been a witness to the establishment of a social audit cell recently. The regional passport officer K Balamurugan planned it to reduce the difficulty encountered during the process of obtaining passports and to develop a bond with the public. There is an official who has been designated exclusively to provide the exact status of the passports and the documents. The audit cell is located in front of the regional passport office premises and carries a banner which carries a title ‘Yaen’ (meaning ‘Why’ in Tamil) with the common causes for the delay in the issuance of passports.
A number of citizens are resorting to filing application under the RTI (Right to Information) Act to know about the reasons for delay. The applicants seek copies of official documents like police verification, movement of passport application, name of person responsible for delay etc. The establishment of the cell is likely to lead to a fall in the number of RTI applications. In order to involve people in the process, a new Facebook and Twitter page has also been opened by the Trichy office in the name of Regional Passport Office, Trichy, which has attracted queries from citizens abroad.