Ministry of Foreign Affairs goes one step further - Organizes one Day Brainstorming Session on Passport Bureau

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has organized a special session to brainstorm on how to improve services at the Bureau of Passport and Visas. The brainstorming session comes weeks after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a major retreat that was graced by high profile diplomats and senior government officials. The Foreign Ministry, under the new headship of Minister Kemayah has initiated robust reform process that has brought considerable improved service delivery. The objectives of the brainstorming session is to discuss issues related to making the Bureau more productive and efficient in its service delivery with the aim of transforming the lives of the Liberian people pursuant to the vision of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of Republic of Liberia.


Speaking at the opening session, His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. said the session was intended to better understand issues emasculating effective service delivery at the bureau. Foreign Minister Kemayah encouraged employees of the Ministry to double efforts in the coming days to clear the backlog of passports before November 24, 2020 when the new passport regime will take effect.   


It can be recalled that a few days ago, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia officially launched a reform initiative intended to strengthen integrity of the Liberian passport and improve accessibility and affordability. The reform initiative saw 20% reduction in the price of passports in various categories. The Liberian Foreign Minister announced that the ordinary Liberian passport price reduced from 50 to US$ 40.00, express reduced from $100.00 USD to $ US 80.00USD; while the price of passports issued to Liberians abroad is now reduced from $ 200.00 USD to $ US 160.00; effective Monday 24 November 2020. Foreign Minister Kemayah also asserted that the prices of Diplomatic, Official and Service passports are also reduced to $ US 40.00 instead of $ US 50.00, respectively.   


Amb. Kemayah said the move by the Foreign Ministry to embark on the reform is to ensure quality service delivery and improved customer service at the Passport Bureau. The Minister emphasized that President Weah’s agenda and desire is to transform Liberia and improve the living standard of its citizens, under the President’s pro-poor agenda. According to Minister Kemayah the reduction in price would not affect the revenue base of the Government of Liberia. Minister Kemayah said the reduction in price would officially take effect on midnight Sunday, November 23, 2020.   


His Excellency Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr. has assured the Liberian people that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under his leadership, will work tirelessly to further strengthen the integrity and credibility of the Liberian passport. Minister Kemayah described accessibility and integrity of the Liberian Passports as fundamental human rights, noting that he will ensure passports are accessible, affordable, but with enhanced integrity.


The approach adopted for the “brainstorming” session included general discussions, group exercises and presentations on various issues affecting the activities that are undercutting the efficiency of the Bureau of Passports. With the collective effort of all, it is expected that these various conversations and engagements with the employees/personnel and especially this devising session, would change the narrative and make the Bureau and, by extension, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs more efficient and credible with the collective effort of all that are concerned.


In closing, Minister Kemayah said the recent endeavors by the Ministry towards the Bureau of Passports and Visas are geared to critically looking at procedures and standards, which would curb the issuance of passports to persons who do not meet the qualifications of acquiring a Liberian passport, as well as ease overfilling thus creating backlog of applications in the system.