Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Birth paper query

I was encouraged on hearing that our Government had undertaken an initiative to update our birth certificates and to create an electronic documentation process. The enthusiasm I felt has been replaced by disappointment and amazement, with the flawed processes and lack of logical thinking.

The size of the new birth certificate leaves a lot to be desired. It is neither a full-sized page (8x11), nor wallet- sized (credit/bank/ID card). The document, while prettier than the old version, is printed on very fragile (thin) paper, that will not allow for wear and tear. We are therefore forced to be part of the brown envelope brigade whenever there is a need to present the document.

While the information contained on the document is interesting (reprinted from the old); some of what is not included is even more interesting. One of the most illogical aspects of the whole process is the need for an attached affidavit. Many senior citizens must ask a younger individual to swear to what by now is third-hand information.

How is it possible that in 2012, a newly issued birth certificate of a verified citizen (old birth certificate) with a sworn affidavit as to the identity of the individual does not include the bearer's name? The solution? Attach a new affidavit saying who you are!

A suggestion box, customer survey, public consultations, or some mechanism to receive constructive input/feedback is imperative.

While I am happy that an attempt has been made to bring about a much needed change. I hope that there is recognition that we are not "there" yet.

David H Ragobar

Via email