December 6, 2023

Director Joseph Mendin’s “The Beacon of Transformation in Public Sector”

Few Liberians have fond memories of applying for passports in their country. The majority of people would not want to discuss or relive such a horrible experience. For those who had gone through torturous experiences there, the Foreign Ministry Building Complex, where passport processing is done, stands out as the source of their misery under past Directors since it was like traveling through a hellhole.
That small but crucial division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been shaken up numerous times in the past by political administrations in an effort to improve operations and foster integrity. But all of those attempts were in vain, and occasionally the clamor, clamor, aggravation, and mediocrity that surrounds getting a passport served as a stimulus.

All of it is history under this model changed to public service a rather nasty past and the Department is now being led by Hon. Joseph Mendin, a skilled public servant. Under his direction, a significant transition is underway, supported by honesty, effectiveness, and knowledge. Under Dr. George Manneh Weah’s presidency, a selfless, knowledgeable, and capable bureaucrat has indeed assumed the reins of power there. Many people seeking Liberian passports have experienced ease in the recent years and months of his ascendancy, giving efficacy and passion for the job their truest meaning.

People who want to obtain passports quickly, for instance, are benefiting from their choice to use the “Express Mode.” You quickly obtain the passport. You don’t need to continuously climb and descend. When you take the first step, you are properly informed, and you arrive with your passport on time, whether it is regular or not. There is now improved sitting capacity for applicants, so those who must spend hours in the Ministry’s hallways can do so in complete comfort. This is in contrast to earlier times when applicants were forced to stand or simply loiter while waiting for answers regarding the processing of their passports. Two distinct, roomy rooms are provided to receive candidates in addition to the always-organized and clean seats and hall. There are no longer any “passport expeditors” to be found at the ministry of foreign affairs or the Bureau of Passport & Visa’s hallways or grounds. All biometric windows are functioning effectively and efficiently for all consumers or candidates. The transformation director has set up a formal biometric system and is closely monitoring it to ensure smooth services. The premise is that visitors to the passport division are no longer grouped into a tangle of loiterers and noisemakers like crabs in a bucket; instead, they are clearly separated into different categories, with each category having its own designated seating area, queue, and orderly processing.

Today, everything even the standard passport service regime is orderly, colorful, and calm. Under Director Joseph Mendin today, receiving attention does not need practicing Taekwondo. Each visitor receives equal consideration while being properly seated and set up. There are well-stocked books or directories on applicants and the statuses of their applications, which can be used as a point of reference when dealing with walk-in customers in a first-come, first-served fashion. All applicants now have access to more effective and quick financial services thanks to the Director’s improvements.

The provision of distinctive clothing for the Passport and Visa Department workers is another ground-breaking move by Director Mendin. The Passport staff is clothed in their distinctive attire, as one could see in several commercial banks, making them very recognizable and apparent to visitors. The new development, which is a first for Liberia, reportedly aims to increase transparency and combat deceit and fraud. Director Mendin truly stands among equals. Along with the physical and professional enhancements he has made to the passport department, Director Mendin also fosters unmatched interpersonal relationships that inspire employees to give their all. His employees refer to him as a “man of the people”; he truly embodies humility and exemplifies the Pro-Poor Governance Mantra.

From Monday through Saturday, this is the sole male who works, and he typically leaves late at night. He has introduced a new system known as “do your biometric and leave your receipt.” Under this system, you will be called by a passport officer to be picked up on a Saturday from 11 AM to 2 PM. This new system puts an end to the complaints and noise of “I did my passport two weeks ago and can’t receive it.”

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