Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Passport Services

Alan Dillon (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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189. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if consideration is being given to setting up a new office (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17952/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Passport Service of my Department is one unified service composed of three constituent offices located in Lower Mount Street and Balbriggan in Dublin and South Mall in Cork. It operates three passport printing machines, two of which are located in the main production facility in Balbriggan and the third in the Passport Office in Lower Mount Street, Dublin.

Passport applications from citizens residing in Ireland or elsewhere in the world are distributed for processing across the three Passport Offices. All passport applications are processed through the centralised automated passport service system which operates on the basis of application type and date of receipt of an application to ensure all applicants, regardless of where in the world they reside, receive the same service. All production facilities can print a passport, irrespective of the channel through which the application is processed.

I am satisfied that the printing capacity of production equipment currently employed by the Passport Service is sufficient to meet the current and anticipated future demand for passports and therefore the establishment of a new office in the location mentioned is not contemplated at this time.

I would like to draw attention to the well-advanced Passport Reform Programme. It continues to deliver major upgrades to the Passport Service technology platforms and business processes as well as significant customer service improvements.

The Passport Service has continued to make excellent progress with the Passport Reform Programme. This will deliver a modern passport processing system to replace the current software designed nearly 20 years ago.

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