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Indian Embassy to outsource visa, passport services.

MUSCAT: The Indian Embassy will soon outsource its passport and visa services to an outside agency. In this context it is looking for expression of interest from agents or agencies who are willing to provide administrative support for passport and visa service.

Explaining the decision, Anil Wadhwa, Indian ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman said, "India, like many other countries around the world, is outsourcing its visa services because this saves the cost of maintaining a large manpower, cleaning of the premises, maintenance of the premises, and also of trying to maintain law and order in the premises which are visited per day by close to 700 people."

The ambassador informed that a conscious decision has been taken by the government of India to outsource consular services wherever feasible in GCC for the above reasons. "We have already done so in Kuwait and UAE. We are going to do so soon in Qatar as well," he said.

Anil Wadhwa explained that the agency will have an office outside the embassy with suboffices in other cities. "The processing will be done in the embassy but the collection of fees, and the scrutiny of documents will be done by the agency which will charge its processing fees. This will allow the embassy to deliver quality service at minimum staff costs," the ambassador said.

The agency selected for the work will assist in processing applications from Omani nationals and foreign nationals residents of Oman for issue of visas. It will also help in the issue/reissue of passports (passport services would include issue of fresh passport, extension of validity and miscellaneous services like change of name, address, additional endorsements, birth certificate and any other approved services) from Indian nationals.

The agency or agencies selected for the work will be responsible for the areas of work such as distribution of blank passport/visa application forms and relevant guidelines including distribution of bank passports/visa application forms and relevant guidelines.

Its other responsibilities will include depositing of applications along with passports and other supporting documents with the embassy by quick and secure means and depositing the fee collected daily in a designated bank account of the embassy. It will collect the application data in an electronic format and transferring the same to the embassy in a secure manner, collection of passports and supporting the documents from the embassy and handing over/dispatch of the same to the applicants.

The agency will ensure confidentiality and security of all documents; maintenance of a help desk to answer enquiries by visitors; handling of telephonic queries etc, ensuring that the above services are rendered to applicants quickly and also schedule personal interviews of applicants with concerned officers at the embassy if required.

Incidentally, the embassy reserves the right to monitor the quality of services being provided and in the event of non-satisfactory performance terminate the agreement.

The embassy has asked interested agencies to send their bids separately in two sealed envelopes as technical bid and financial bid. The agency will not enjoy any diplomatic immunity.

The bids will be opened on October 28 at the embassy premises.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2009

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Aug 24, 2010
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