Time-consuming, Silly Process for Birth Papers


IS the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Registrar General’s Department really serious in 2019? Recently I had cause to visit their offices to apply for and collect birth certificates for (I had hoped) my two children and me. The process in itself is frustrating and exhausting since there are long lines and wait periods for the service.

I was told at the information counter that my children, who are both over 18 years of age, would have to supply me with letters of authorisation, in addition to two forms of valid identification, a recent utility bill and a letter authorising me as the agent. As the authorised agent I would also have to provide two forms of valid ID and a recent bill with residential address. This process makes no sense for a number of reasons, namely: • If you are not the person whose name is on the utility bill, then you need an authorisation letter from the owner?

• A mother’s name is normally on the birth certificate when a child is born, so why should a child you gave birth to have to give you permission to apply for something that your name is already on? That should be enough proof. Whether they are over 18 years is irrelevant to the process.

• The young adult could be living at home, so where is he/she getting a utility bill from?

The same parent who is applying?

On my enquiry with regard to the authorisation process, I was told that the information counter does not make the rules, only carry out instructions.

I am sure that no employee who works at the Registrar General’s Department has had cause to endure this process, so they may want to revisit the manner in which they treat members of the public who have to request the particular certificate/ s.

Many members of the public have expressed disgust with the application process and apparently nobody listens to us. In the interest of time and efficiency of service, the ministry should re-think its policies with emphasis being placed on tweaking situations to fit particular circumstances so that these requests can be completed in real time and not cause lengthy delays.

It is not always convenient for an individual to take time off from their job to deal with these types of applications, only to be sitting for over two to three hours in order to complete them.

We are really not developing as a country at a good rate, because in 2019 if we do not understand that time is of the essence, the drawing board is needed for a reality check.

Joanne Alexander