Trying to improve service
I REFER to the letter headlined 'Department could do better' (South China Morning Post, February 24), and am grateful for the thoughtful suggestions made by the correspondent on ways to improve our services.
The Immigration Department is fully committed to providing efficient and courteous services to the public. Against the background of ever-increasing workload and exceedingly stringent manpower resources, we have been striving to make improvements through various means including policy and procedural reviews, flexible deployment of staff and the use of advanced information technology.
On the day your correspondent applied for change of employment at our Extension Section on the fifth floor, the office processed a total of 1,109 applications. As most of the applicants came in the morning, those who arrived in the afternoon had to wait a bit longer before they could be served.
It is our practice to advise our applicants the estimated waiting time so that they may choose to return at a later time. We have tried to investigate your correspondent's case but regret that we are unable to identify the problem based on the available information. I should be grateful if 'name and address supplied' could contact our Customer Services Unit on 2829-4141 or 2829-4142 so that further enquiries can be made.
As part of the department's information systems strategy, plans are in hand to automate the processing of applications for visas and extensions of stay. An automated tag system will also be introduced at major public-oriented offices in the Immigration Headquarters to provide applicants with information such as quota of the day, the tag position and estimated waiting time.
ANNA CHAN for Director of Immigration Immigration Department