Passport Office chief denies ‘backlog’ claims

South Wales Argus: Passport Office chief denies ‘backlog’ claims Passport Office chief denies ‘backlog’ claims

A PASSPORT Office chief indicated that delays in issuing travel documents had been minimal despite complaints that backlogs could throw holiday plans into chaos.

Paul Pugh, the chief executive of HM Passport Office, acknowledged on Friday that his department had dealt with an “exceptional demand” for passports, but maintained that there was no backlog with more than 97 per cent of passport renewal and child applications issued on time.

Mr Pugh spoke up after Newport East MP Jessica Morden and MP Kevin Brennan for Cardiff West both reported constituents had experienced delays in receiving their passports.

Mr Brennan told the Argus how one of his constituents faced going on holiday without one of their children or losing all the money already paid for their break.

The MPs also criticised the government for down-sizing the passport office in Newport, which once employed about 300 people.

It reopened in Lower Dock Street last year with around half the staff following an Argus-backed campaign.

But, answering their criticisms, Mr Pugh said: “We have been experiencing exceptional early summer demand for passports, which seems to be, in part, due to the improving economy and a rise in holiday bookings.

“We have brought in extra staff to respond to the extra demand.

“We are operating seven days a week and our couriers are delivering passports within 24 hours of being produced.

“We have issued almost three million passports for UK customers in 2014, including over one million issued in the eight weeks since the start of April.

“During this busy period, we have processed more than 97 per cent of straightforward passport renewal and child applications within the three-week target turnaround time.

“There is no backlog, with over 99 per cent of straightforward applications being processed within four weeks.

“We would remind people of our existing advice to customers: Allow plenty of time when applying for a new or renewed passport as a passport will not be issued until the necessary security checks have been done, and do not book travel until you have received your passport.”

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:48pm Mon 9 Jun 14

sooty001 says...

Is it any wonder then, that when my granddaughter applied for a passport because she was going away on a school trip, not only did they want her birth certificate they wanted her mothers as well, but lo and behold that was not enough they also wanted her grandmothers certificate, when told that her grandmother had passed away and would her grandfathers ( me ) birth certificate be okay they said yes providing it was accompanied by a copy of my marriage certificate. In the end after many phone calls and a visit to the registrars office this was sorted. Seems to me that if you are born in this country you have one heck of a job getting out, but it seems that many thousands of people have no trouble getting in.
Is it any wonder then, that when my granddaughter applied for a passport because she was going away on a school trip, not only did they want her birth certificate they wanted her mothers as well, but lo and behold that was not enough they also wanted her grandmothers certificate, when told that her grandmother had passed away and would her grandfathers ( me ) birth certificate be okay they said yes providing it was accompanied by a copy of my marriage certificate. In the end after many phone calls and a visit to the registrars office this was sorted. Seems to me that if you are born in this country you have one heck of a job getting out, but it seems that many thousands of people have no trouble getting in. sooty001
  • Score: 21

3:31pm Mon 9 Jun 14

davidcp says...

Or you could apply for it IN PLENTY OF TIME. My renewal took a week.

Wonder if people aren't reading the form properly?
Or you could apply for it IN PLENTY OF TIME. My renewal took a week. Wonder if people aren't reading the form properly? davidcp
  • Score: 4

8:46pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Frankfurt says...

I submitted an application at Risca post office 3 weeks ago today. So did my wife on the same day. They have informed me that my application was received at the passport office at Liverpool on Friday, 23rd May. So it apparently took 4 days, through the check and send system, before it even reached the passport office. I understand that they start to count from when they received the application in their office when they say it takes 3 weeks. Mine will have taken 4 weeks since I handed it in, if I'm lucky. My wife's hasn't been heard of since it was handed in 3 weeks ago, but hopefully it's being dealt with. If I was cynical I would say that they are not opening their mail bags promptly so as to gain extra time to meet their performance standards. There is a problem, there's no doubt about that. Hopefully it will not cause too much trouble for people. If you are going to need a new passport soon please apply as soon as possible.
I submitted an application at Risca post office 3 weeks ago today. So did my wife on the same day. They have informed me that my application was received at the passport office at Liverpool on Friday, 23rd May. So it apparently took 4 days, through the check and send system, before it even reached the passport office. I understand that they start to count from when they received the application in their office when they say it takes 3 weeks. Mine will have taken 4 weeks since I handed it in, if I'm lucky. My wife's hasn't been heard of since it was handed in 3 weeks ago, but hopefully it's being dealt with. If I was cynical I would say that they are not opening their mail bags promptly so as to gain extra time to meet their performance standards. There is a problem, there's no doubt about that. Hopefully it will not cause too much trouble for people. If you are going to need a new passport soon please apply as soon as possible. Frankfurt
  • Score: 4

8:11am Tue 10 Jun 14

davidcp says...

Yes. They only last 10 years so applying now in readiness for your 2023 holiday may be a prudent way of avoiding 'delays' and missed holidays e.g. the 2022 World Cup/2020 Olympics.

Why do people leave it so late!!
Yes. They only last 10 years so applying now in readiness for your 2023 holiday may be a prudent way of avoiding 'delays' and missed holidays e.g. the 2022 World Cup/2020 Olympics. Why do people leave it so late!! davidcp
  • Score: 1

8:50am Tue 10 Jun 14

displayed says...

"but it seems that many thousands of people have no trouble getting in."
And also staying in!

The Boarder Force is a waste of time, money an resources, as the "visitors" know if they "lose" their passports there free to "come an go" in this country, and the government are powerless to stop em!

Passport to Pimlico anyone!
"but it seems that many thousands of people have no trouble getting in." And also staying in! The Boarder Force is a waste of time, money an resources, as the "visitors" know if they "lose" their passports there free to "come an go" in this country, and the government are powerless to stop em! Passport to Pimlico anyone! displayed
  • Score: 1

9:49am Tue 10 Jun 14

davidcp says...

'Boarder Force' - isn't that for the bedroom tax?
'Boarder Force' - isn't that for the bedroom tax? davidcp
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree