CIVIL SOCIETY CONSORTIUM ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND GOOD GOVERNANCE – SIERRA LEONE

CITIZENS OPPOSED TO NEW PASSPORT PRICE AND FLAWED CONTRACT

The Civil Society Consortium on Human Rights and Good Governance has been gauging the views of Sierra Leoneans both inside and outside the country on the planned imposition of an increase in the fees for obtaining a passport from Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Leones (Le 750,000) to One Million Leones (Le 1,000,000) as recently announced by the Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) Andrew J. Kaikai.

One thing that clearly came out from our engagement with citizens is that all of them, from government officials to middle-level public servants to ordinary men on the streets, are opposed to this new tariff and generally view it as a way of undermining the government’s agenda towards development.

As a Consortium working in the interest of Democracy of our dear nation, we have gone further to investigate the real cause for the increase in the fees and found out that it is as a result of a flawed and unpatriotic contract that was entered into by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

This current passport contract was used by the SLPP led Government as one of the campaign tools to unseat the then APC government.

We were expecting an urgent cancellation of the Netpage /De La Rue passport contract since the inception of the New Direction.  At the moment Government is receiving nothing from the proceeds of the passport as recently mentioned by the Chief Immigration Officer.

The one million questions is “WHY THE DELAY AND SUDDEN CHANGE”

Let us give reasons why the contract must be terminated or allow other company to provide better services for the citizenry.

Below are some of the findings:

–              BAC (Basic Access Control)

Protect access to the data on the passport chip. Only after reading the data from the

MRZ (Machine readable zone) the chip allows reading its data.

–              SAC (Supplemental Access Control) Improvement of BAC

–              EAC(Extended Access Control)

Secures access to the finger prints in the chip by using a certificate validation chain.

Only approved IS (Inspection System) can read the fingerprints.

–              AA (Active Authentication) the AA keys ensure that the chip was not cloned.

–              Information from the MRZ, like name, given names, date of birth, date of expiry, document number, face image, and image of the signature of the bearer were found in the chip.

Following data is NOT stored in the chip:

–              AA Keys

Thus it’s not possible to check whether the chip was cloned. This would allow producing identical passports.

–              Fingerprints

Fingerprints are captured at enrolment, they are not stored in the chip- not even the data group (DG3) for storing is available.

The DS certificate used is not conformant with the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) 9303 (Seventh Edition, 2015) regulations.

Our findings not only showed weakness of mechanisms used in the passport chip, but also the certificates are not compliant to ICAO standards.

This is a complete breach of Contract and this gives the government the authority to cancel or allow other company to operate.

Furthermore we need a company that will offer better and ICAO compliant passport with the following offers:

–              Will decentralized the process to the provinces and Sierra Leonean embassies in the diaspora.

–              Passport duration will span for Ten (10yrs) over the current Five (5yrs).

–              Will build an immigration department for the government of Sierra Leone free of charge.

–              Passport Price will be $60 equivalent le 600,000

–              Increase the pages from 32 to 48 pages.

–              Will provide Diplomatic and Service Passports on free basis as an entitlement to officials.

–              Government will receive a better percentage.

In this regard, we are unequivocally calling on President Julius Maada Bio the father of the nation and the Government to intervene and cancel or allow other company to provide a better offer to aid government’s commitment to the citizenry.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

…………………………….

David Hindolo Conteh

National Coordinator

……………………………..

Ibrahim Sorie Dumbuya

Lead Campaigner

10/15/19, 3:20 PM – coleshowers1111: *

SLPA Communications

Contact: 078899412/078294435

Email: kmamudbakarr@gmail.com

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