Tuesday, 1 August 2006

The Great Passport Fiasco : August 1st Edition

I turned up at the Australian Passport Office's Headquarters at the R.G.Casey building, all the documentation ready, prepared to make sure they got it by delivering it by my own fair hand.

After a 30 minute wait, "Oh your case officer isn't here today, he's on sick leave. I'll get the office manager."
After another 10 minutes "She's not here at the moment, she should be back in 15 minutes."
After another 15 minutes "Sorry, it looks like she's not coming back in today."

OK, so maybe they could photocopy the data, certify it as a true copy, and insert it in the file, for when someone who knew about the case was available.

Except they refused to accept it. You see, some of the medical data is classified, and officially marked as such because it comes from a Government Department. Not "Highly Protected", nor even "Protected", but merely "In Confidence", the lowest level there is. No-one was there who was cleared for it. Yeah, Right. I mean, this is the Head Office.

Could I come in tomorrow? Maybe there would be someone there then. But maybe not.

I left the building before I started to cry.

This round to DFAT.

That I've started to see it as an adversarial, rather than co-operative, relationship is sad, and I'll try to change my view. The trouble is, there's now a lot of evidence pointing to that, it's difficult to ignore it.

Ah well. I've just come back to the ANU, and after a good vent and a minor blub to a sympathetic colleague who's ex-DFAT, cleared it so I can go in every day for as long as neccessary, at least for the time I don't have teaching commitments, or medical appointments.

Lots of the latter: next one tomorrow at 1215, then a blood test, then off to Sydney to see the Prof next Tuesday.

I'm also logging - by blogging - the whole sorry mess, as it happens. Just in case I need to show somebody, say, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, that I've taken all reasonable, and some downright unreasonable, steps to remedy the situation.

This is not helping my PhD progress at all. But I need an Australian Passport to complete it (and yes, I have that in writing from my PhD supervisor), so this whole Farce has to be gone through.

It just seems all so...un-neccessary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dont get too down. More likely its a case of "WTF I havent done this before, I dont want the responsibility".
A good move might be keeping a small record of who you have asked for, and the replies you have recieved. This can be quite motivational when they try to stonewall, as names and times can be checked.

Good luck anyway