The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) has noted with regret a social media post and subsequent news article in the Solomon Star Newspaper of alleged non-performance by a locally engaged staff at the Solomon Islands Consulate in Brisbane, Australia.
The Passport applicant Solomon Islander Glen Lema claimed local Consulate staff did not notify him about rescheduling his passport renewal appointment. His post on Social Media drew wide-spread criticism, mostly character assassination of the locally engaged staff.
MFAET acknowledged the statements raised by Mr. Lema, and apologised for not communicating with Mr Lema directly about the rescheduling of his passport renewal appointment.
On the process of passport renewal, the Consulate Office could only process applications when the Mobile Enrollment Unit or the Passport Process Mobile unit is in Australia. At the moment we only have a single unit that is sent to Honiara with all biodata for processing of passports. Processing of passports are all done in Honiara.
Currently the passport equipment is still in Honiara and is expected to arrive at the end of July or early August in Brisbane, Australia.
As a corrective measure the Ministry through its Consulate will look to make a formal announcement whenever the Passport equipment is in Brisbane and when it is not available in the Consulate. This will allow us to better serve all our people abroad.
The Ministry however registers its disappointment on personalised attacks on social media at its locally engaged staff in Brisbane. We remained appreciative of her services and will keep working to offer better services to our people. Once again, we apologise for any miscommunication and short comings in dealing with Mr Lema’s case in an effective and efficient manner.