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Wednesday , July 28 2021

‘Smart card shortage’ – Delays point to crisis in PACI

KUWAIT CITY, June 7: The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) is experiencing a crisis in issuing new civil cards to both citizens and residents. This is reflected in the delay in receipt of cards by the delivery company contracted by PACI, as well as the decrease in the number of cards being produced, reports Al-Qabas daily. While many resorted to the “My Identity” app, which was launched in April 2020, to complete transactions and prove their identity, the daily learned that PACI suffers from a problem in terms of lack of smart cards, which is the reason for the delay in the printing and delivery process. Concerning the repercussions, informed sources explained that the company responsible for the delivery of civil IDs was forced to lay off half of their representatives due to the low returns as a result of the limited number of ready-made cards. There was also confusion resulting from the failure to meet promises and the delay in delivering the cards to their owners even though the latter paid the delivery fees. The average rate of delivery of cards daily was about 4,000 by 70 representatives to cover the various parts of the country.

However, the company currently no longer needs this number of representatives, and instead relies on a small number to cover all the areas. There are ready cards that were requested for delivery and were supposed to be delivered within 48 hours of their issuance. However, more than 14 days have passed and they have not been printed! Despite PACI’s success in issuing cards over the past period and bringing an end to the pile up of cards of domestic workers, children under five years old, and article 17 holders, the situation has retrogressed in terms of overcrowding again in light of low production and the long waiting period for issuance of cards. In this context, the State Audit Bureau on April 22 approved a request of PACI to contract with a local company for an amount of KD 16 million and 762 thousand for a period of three years to purchase smart civil card forms and packaging requirements. It is worth mentioning that, with the “My Identity” app, many people are done with plastic civil cards and expressed satisfaction with the app which is recognized by government agencies and banks. The problem of non-availability of civil ID cards for children under five years old who are not covered by the app continues.

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