KABUL (SW): One year on since the outsourcing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ consular services to the private sector company Grand Technology Resources (GTR), citizens have expressed content with the change.
In the past, it took days for the MoFA to authenticate documents and submit them back to the applicants. A year has passed since the MoFA contracted GTR to do the consular services job. To find out if the process still takes days, a Salam Watandar reporter visited the central office of GTR in Taimani area in Kabul.
Freshta, a young girl who brought her documents for verification to GTR office, hailed the work procedure and customer services here. She said that it has not wasted her time. She has paid AFN 500 for the verification of her documents.
Mohammad Aslam Khan, the manager of GTR, said the GTR collects 24 types of documents for verification such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, and educational documents. Mohammad Aslam Khan added that the MoFA was charging between AFN 100 to 2000 for each document, however, now the GTR charges only AFN 300 for verification of any kinds of documents. He further said that the GTR has over 160 employees working in two offices. Their verification services will usually take up to 2 days, however, if clients use their emergency services, the documents will be verified and returned back within 12 hours.
Mohammad Aslam also told Salam Watandar that the GTR is an equal opportunity employer. According to the manager of GTR, this company has also been active in South Korea, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan and in the future, they will expand their services to other Embassies of Afghanistan abroad.
Nematullah Hamidi was at the GTR office to verify his children’s Tazkira, and his marriage certificate. He told Salam Watandar that he is pleased with the services of GTR and according to him, it will take two days for the documents to be verified.
The MoFA told Salam Watandar that in accordance with the law on public private partnership, it has decided to award the contract to a private company to collect documents like tazkira, marriage certificates and degrees for verification. Shakib Mustaghni, spokesperson for the MoFA, said the Ministry awarded the consular service contract to GRT due to security concerns, and to facilitate citizens. He added that the GTR has completed all legal procedures for cooperation with the MoFA.
The GTR process of collecting and verifying documents will include collecting documents from individuals for verification, collecting fees, checking and reviewing documents for accuracy, registering the documents in the databases, sealing and signing the documents and submitting the documents back to the applicants.
The spokesperson of the MoFA said the right to oversee the process is with the Consular Affairs Department of MoFA, and on the basis of laws and regulations and in accordance with the Consular Policy, the company (GTR) will be guided and trained. The complaints of citizens and applicants are also communicated in writing with the company and GTR is obliged to address these complaints if any.