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Good Governance in Passport Services: Challenges and Way out - Executive Summary (English)

Passport is considered as an important public service. This service is regarded invaluable for exporting manpower, expansion of trade and commerce, treatment and foreign travel of citizens. The demand for passport has increased many-fold in the recent years, thanks to exports of manpower to the Middle East, and Southeast Asian countries, expansion of trade and commerce, migration to the developed countries, education, treatment and travelling. The applicants seeking passport service need to pay certain amount as fee; thus the government earns a notable amount of revenue from this service. During fiscal years 2010-11 to 2015-16, the government on average had earned revenue amounting to Tk 1100 crore (or Tk 11 billion) in a year from passport service2.  Apart from paying certain amount of fee, the applicants are allegedly compelled to endure some additional costs due to various forms of irregularities, harassment and corruption. Transparency International Bangladesh’s (TIB) research on passport service conducted in 2006 identified a number of limitations in the passport service. They include procedural complexities, low quality services, problems of infrastructure and manpower, dominance of dalals (brokers) and irregularities and corruption in the police investigation3. Besides, in the "Corruption in the Service Sectors: National Household Survey-2015" conducted by TIB, the passport service was identified as the most corrupt service. According to the survey, 77.7 percent among passport service applicants were victim of irregularities, harassment and corruption and 76.1 percent applicants were compelled to pay bribe or money beyond the official fee.
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