Inefficient Service Delivery at the Consulate Division
Posted on October 15th, 2014

Dr. Chandana Jayalath

Authentication of documents is the main function of any consulate division of a foreign mission. Authentication section authenticates birth, marriage and death certificates, educational certificates, affidavits, police clearance certificates, copies of national identity card, passport, driving license and certificates issued by automobile agencies for international driving, various mercantile and logistics commercial documents etc. For this particular purpose, we have the Consular Division of the Sri Lanka Ministry of External Affairs, located at the 5th Floor, BOI Building, No. 14, Sir Baron Jayathilake Mawatha, Colombo 1. This division has also occupied a part of the 3rd floor of the same building where you get 13 counters for receiving applications and paying fees. Though the website says that the application forms can be downloaded, I got to know that those downloaded are not acceptable to their officers.

However, as per the web notice, the period taken to provide the service (Ordinary Service and Priority Service) will be 30 Minutes to – 1 Hour, which is an utter loll, lie and slouch. My recent experience at the Consular Division to get a police clearance certificate attested took more than 4 hours. I entered the premises around 6.45 in the morning and could get out of the building around 11.20. This is the reality. What an efficiency?  What a productivity? What an agony? Charge was 500 Rs. My token number was 90 and by the time I joined the queue, it was 14 around 6.55 in the morning. Only 3 counters were active, and I felt it is a planned approach because at a time, only 3 guys are entertaining applications. When three sits another three stands up like a set menu and I do not understand the logic behind this 10 ‘always no-service’ counters. You get only two officers at the 5th floor working in a cage like partitioned room at the exit point who finally disburse those attested.

Some 200 people are kept packed in a hall impatiently waiting looking faces each other watching the blinking television like in a typical OPD in a hospital. Some people have come in the previous day by night mail train from far remote areas like Kilinochchi, Batticaloa, Trincomalee. Ladies accompany their small children. There is no proper signage or guidance (as to what steps involved in the process). They expect people to assume it. Is this a part of good governance? Where is decentralization? Such a simple thing with the computer networking? What is the role of monitoring MPs?  When will we be able to get out this saga as a country?

2 Responses to “Inefficient Service Delivery at the Consulate Division”

  1. Nanda Says:

    “to get a police clearance certificate attested took more than 4 hours”

    -What ? How could they give police clearance so fast ? Please do not complain. It took me 4 months to get police clearance from Thailand.

  2. SA Kumar Says:

    Nanda
    you are not Thailand citizen or born in Thailand that’s why it took 4 months.
    Please do not complete our civil servants ( Specialise Sinhala officers ) I am not joking.

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