Long delay in receiving Birth Certificate

Summary

Joanne applied for a Birth Certificate in February 2019. She needed the certificate to apply for a passport. She was taking a trip overseas in July. When she had not received her certificate by May, she contacted us.

We spoke with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Joanne received her certificate with enough time to get a passport so she could go on her trip.

What was the case?

In February 2019, we noticed we were getting many complaints about the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Most complaints were about delays and dissatisfaction with communication from the Registry. Many people were not able to get through to the Registry call centre.

Joanne was one person who complained to us. She had applied for her Birth Certificate in February 2019. She was taking a trip overseas in July. In May, she contacted us, having not heard anything since submitting her application.

Our enquiries

We spoke with the Registry about Joanne's complaint and many others we had received. The Registry said it had moved to a new IT operating system in February 2019. This had created unexpected issues, affecting its service to the public.

We collected complaints into weekly batches which we sent to the Registry for action.

Outcome

Joanne received her certificate in early June, giving her enough time to get a passport to go on her trip.

The Registry put in place measures to respond as quickly as possible to complaints including:

  • increasing staff numbers
  • implementing a call back system for customers
  • increasing their standard operating hours.
Service delays Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages