This afternoon I received a return call from one of the members of the Passport Review Committee at the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Committee recently decided to retain the special passport facility for Oireachtas members. This is an exclusive service provided by the Passport Office for politicians who are anxious to do favours for their constituents.
My question is simple: If the Committee, the Department, the Minister, every TD, every Senator and every political party is happy with this facility, if it is seen as adding to the efficiency of the passport office as stated in the Committee’s report – why isn’t the facility advertised in the department’s literature and posted on its website?
The Committee member said she would consult with her colleagues and get back to me within a few days.
If the politicians and civil servants genuinely believe that this service is needed then there should be no problem in telling every citizen of its existence.
If, as I believe, it is part of a huge network of ‘facilities’ provided to politicians to do favours for their constituents then the State will be anxious to minimise publicity.
The Department’s answer to my question will tell the tale.