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Volume 712: debated on Monday 5 October 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 20 July (WA 288–9), what are their proposals for passport personal interview offices. [HL5306]

In July and August 2009 we are closing offices in Redruth and Omagh. Both of these offices proved unpopular with our customers and did not represent value for money. Alternatives are available within acceptable distances and travelling times.

We have also highlighted some other offices which are currently experiencing low demand and are in discussions regarding our future approach.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in light of the number of applications for remote passport interview facilities, what are their intentions regarding those facilities. [HL5307]

All first-time adult passport applicants are required to undergo a confirmation of identity interview. The existing IPS interview locations cover 99 per cent of first-time adult customers within an approximate 20-mile locality. The Video Interview Service (VIS) completes this service for all UK applicants—the remaining 1 per cent—and will conduct an estimated 5,300 interviews per annum.

The Video Interview Service will continue to be monitored throughout the first full year of operation. Our intentions are to ensure that the best possible solutions are available to our customers and we will continue to monitor uptake, performance and trends relating to customer preference to ensure that this remains the case.