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General News Mon, 19 Jun 2006

Fake certificates uncovered at Passport Office

Accra, June 19, GNA - Three hundred and seven fraudulent birth certificates were last week uncovered by officials of the Births and Deaths Registry posted to the Passport Office, Mr Kingsley Asare Addo, a Senior Assistant Registrar of the Registry, said on Monday. He said, the fake certificates were uncovered following a new measure adopted by the Registry last week to clamp down on the use of fraudulent birth certificates for the acquisition of Ghanaian passports. "We started this process only last week and we hope to keep our men there to help rid the system of all fraudulent birth certificates in the coming weeks," Mr Addo told Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, during his visit to the Registry.


Mr. Boateng was paying an official visit to the Registry to acquaint himself with its operations and also to motivate the workers to do their best in the discharge of their duties.


Mr Addo said it had come to the notice of the Registry that some persons were in the business of producing fake birth certificates for unsuspecting persons for the use of acquiring Ghanaian passports. "We hope to weed out these fake persons by collaborating with the officials of the Passport Office by posting to the Office personnel who would always check the authenticity of the birth certificates before they are processed for the passports," he said.


He called for collaboration between the public and the Registry to weed out the quacks.


Mr Asomoah Boateng charged the Registry to establish good communication plans as that would be the only way for them to work effectively to reach the public and achieve set targets. He urged the staff to adopt a good service delivery system when it came to dealing with their clients.

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"Workers should be friendly and open to people in the course of discharging their duties and to deliver to the peoples=92 expectations." Mr Asamoah Boateng said there was the need for the Registry to establish a complaint procedure that would accept complaints as well as suggestions that would impact on the work of the Registry. He also called for information sharing among staff saying, "you ought to be able to teach and learn from one another in order to increase productivity as the Registry is critical to national development".


Mr Asomoah Boateng promised to provide vehicles to the Registry for distribution to the regions to facilitate their work. He expressed the belief that if this problem relating to vehicles was solved it would help, not only those in the urban areas, but the rural areas as well in reducing the rate of rural-urban migration in terms of acquiring birth certificates.


Mr Samuel Ankrah, Registrar of Births and Deaths, said about 80 to 100 complaints of missing certificates were handled a day and appealed to the general public to be a little more careful as the Registry did not accept multiple registration.


He said the Registry did not register foreigners as speculated, adding that they only registered those born in the country as required by law.


Mr Ankrah added that registration at the time of birth to the age of one was free, while for deaths it was free until the seventh day. He therefore, advised all take advantage of these facts and register as this helped the government when planning for national projects.

Source: GNA
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