Coinciding with the 61st anniversary of the founding of the Immigration Department on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, Indonesia launched its new and sophisticated electronic or E-Passport as a countermeasure to the falsification of travel documents.
Speaking to Beritabali.com, the head of the Denpasar (Bali) immigration office, Hatomi, said the new passport makes it extremely difficult to manufacture a counterfeit passport. Hatomi revealed that the new E-passports have been launched on a trial basis in Central Jakarta, South Jakarta and West Jakarta where it’s popularity will to some extent be affected by the higher cost resulting from the sophisticated technology needed to produce the new travel documents. At the same time, the man in charge of the Denpasar immigration office admitted that no matter how sophisticated the hardware, if the mentality of immigrations officers does not change there will always be the opportunity to obtain a false passport. "This is our concern and why the development of manpower is so important," said Hatomi.
This year’s celebration of the 61st anniversary was marked by the launch of a department-wide slogan of "With the Spirit of the 61st Founding Day of the Immigration Service we will Bring About Reformation in the Bureaucracy of Immigration."
On a basic level, according to Hatomi, the immigration department is trying to improve service to the public and improve its internal systems. Efforts are also underway to bring "naughty" immigration officers into line. For this reason he said that service and supervision must advance hand in hand. "If there is a staff performing well we will give him a reward; those being ‘naughty’ will be punished," he added.
Hatomi revealed that the Denpasar immigration office handled an average of 80 passport requests every day or some 1,720 new passport applications every month.
He also said his office was kept busy by cases involving foreign resident who have misused their visa. Hatomi explained: "There are those using tourist visas for employment. There are others who have a work visa from one company but are, in fact, working at another company." In order to improve the supervision of foreign nationals in Bali, Hatomi’s office is cooperating with law enforcement agencies and local village officials in Bali.
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