Additional fee on citizens for re-issuance of passports due to errors

Additional fee on citizens for re-issuance of passports due to errors

Description

Complaining citizens filed an application for the issuance of a passport, submitting the necessary supporting documents.  Upon delivery of the passport, the applicants detected errors in their data (i.e. height of 0,70 instead of 1.70, gender male rather than female etc.)

Passport applications are filled in electronically by a competent police officer.  When the application is complete, it is printed and given to the applicant, to check if the data included are correct and sign the application.  In our case, the complaining citizens either failed to detect the error, or did not perceive it as an error. As a result, issued passports contained errors in the citizens’  data.

Citizens asked for passport re-issuance and the police proceeded with replacing the erroneous document; however the complainants were obliged to pay additional fee.  When citizens contested their obligation to pay the additional fee and asked for reimbursement of the money already paid, the police refused, on the grounds that the applicants were responsible to check the accuracy of the data in the application and by signing the application, they validated said data.

Τhe Ombudsman addressed the Hellenic Police and took the view that any errors in completing the application form are perfectly excusable and likely to occur, moreover given the public trust in police officers responsible for the electronic completion of their data.

It also noted that the Hellenic Police, especially in the case of passports, holds greater liability regarding the correct completion of the application, and the control thereof throughout the entire procedure of the involved complex administrative actions, starting with the application and ending with the printing of the passport.  That was why there is a special Department of passport control.  Therefore, the Agency should have foreseen the occurrence of similar errors and seen to their correction, without requiring additional fees from citizens.

However, the Authority’s proposals were not adopted by the Hellenic Police, although and were also submitted to the Office of the Deputy Minister for Citizen Protection.

Texts in greek

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