Reforming the passport service in Bihor country

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award


As from 1 January 2005, the Passport Service of Bihor county was transferred from the County Police Inspectorate to the Institution of the Prefect of Bihor county. A number of problems had been encountered, such as long waiting times for the issuance of passports, preferential behaviour displayed by the employees when issuing passports in cases of ‘emergency’, very short opening hours for the general public causing long queues, accessibility problems for citizens outside of Oradea, where the Passport Service is located and an unfriendly reception for citizens.

All these problems created great dissatisfaction among citizens and a bad image for the public administration. The main objective of the Institution of the Prefect was to make the issuance of passports in Bihor county more efficient and customer friendly. Specific objectives were to:

  • Reduce the waiting time at the counter when citizens delivered the required documents for the passport to be issued;
  • Improve the reception of citizens at the counter;
  • Eliminate the possibility of preferential treatment by employees for certain citizens;
  • Improve accessibility to the public service for people from the ountryside;
  • Increase transparency with regard to working procedures;
  • mprove the image of public administration in general.

The process of reforming the system took around a year, although signs became visible after the first few months. Firstly, it was necessary to draw up Internal Regulations to set the quality standards to be achieved when delivering the public service: issuance of passports. The Regulations set the rules regarding waiting times when receiving the necessary documents, waiting times for issuance of the passport, the attitude of the staff, working hours (from 7:00 to 17:00, until the work flux was stabilised), etc.

The Passport Service office was completely modernised and adapted to the new working procedures. Even the number of documents needed for issuance of passports in cases of emergency was reduced, and instead, a tax was introduced for urgent cases. In cases of emergency, passports were issued starting from three hours after the required documents had been supplied and the emergency tax (100 RON) had been paid. In nonurgent cases, passports were issued in seven days.

The new working procedures permitted citizens living in the countryside to have access to a quick issuance of the passport within a maximum of ten days. The image of the institution improved drastically. After two years, the system implemented in Bihor County was extended to all the Prefectures in the country, along with the commitment of the Institution of the Prefect. In 2008, the Institution of the Prefect won first prize at the International Conference ‘Innovation and Quality in Public Administration’, due to the reform of the Public Passport Service for Bihor County.

Award info
Award category: public service delivery
Award type: submission
Award year: 2009
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity: new services or new technologies
Keywords: Passport, reform, public service
Short English description: The new working procedures permitted citizens living in the countryside to have access to a quick issuance of the passport within a maximum of ten days
Further information
Organisation: Institution of the Prefect Bihor County
Other applicants:
Level of government: regional level
Size of organisation: 50-100
Number of people involved:
Country: Romania
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:

Reforming the passport service in Bihor country (47.057919, 21.941509)
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