Managing Operations and Information for Passport Issuing in Britain

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Managing operations and information According to a briefing report by UK Passport Agency: “Delays in issuing passports earlier this year led to much anxiety and inconvenience for members of the public hoping to travel. By June, the Passport Agency had around 565,000 applications awaiting processing. The initial cause of delay was the introduction from October 1998 of a new passport processing system to replace an ageing computer system. Siemens Business Services is responsible for providing the new system. The causes of delay included inadequate staff training time, insufficient contingency planning and a failure to get the message across to the public. The cost of the additional measures taken by the Agency to deal with the failures during the year from October 1998 will be around £12.6 million, including £6 million for additional staffing. Almost 500 travel dates were missed over the period and many more people were inconvenienced. Whilst the Agency's performance over the Summer was at or around its target of meeting 99.99 per cent of travel dates, the Home Office accepts that this target did not reflect a meaningful standard of service for the public. The Agency has received compensation totaling £69,000 from Siemens for shortfalls in performance and has waived other compensation amounting to £275,000. The Agency is now discussing with Siemens how the costs of the crisis are to be shared.” None of the achievements of the Passport Agency over the past five years would have been possible without a sound financial system underlying our whole operation. SunSystems has provided just that." On 2nd April 1991 the UK Government created the Passport Agency as a new executive agency responsible for the issue of passports to British nat...

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...hrough the post, through a post office or through a travel agent. HQ Finance staff then poll this information from PIMIS and enter it into Sun Account to produce daily invoices For the future the Passport Agency is examining the possibility of integrating SunAccount with PIMIS directly. This would remove the need to manually poll PIMIS and would also allow SunSystems data to be transferred to head office using a wide area network rather than the current dial-up link. Passport Control Thanks to the work of McColl and his team and the rest of the staff at the Passport Agency, its unit costs have fallen by twenty five per cent in real terms since it became an executive agency. At the same time the length of time taken to process a passport application has fallen dramatically from an average of 20-25 days during the late 1980s to less than six working days during 1995.

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