Name game

Ministry of Government Services (Office of the Registrar General)

Date: 2011

A father turned to the Ombudsman after delays in his request to the Registrar General to make changes to his two daughters’ birth certificates. The parents’ names on the certificates needed to be amended to match the parents’ passports. This was necessary for the family to apply for visas for a trip to India to attend a family wedding. They had already spent $7,500 in booking the trip.

The man had applied to the Registrar General to make the changes two months earlier. He complained that Registrar General staff had asked several times for additional information that they had failed to request when he first applied. He was frustrated by the ongoing delay and by having to repeatedly communicate with Registrar General staff in writing and by phone. He feared that his request would not be processed in sufficient time for the family to obtain their visas and their trip might be jeopardized.

Ombudsman staff contacted the Registrar General who agreed that the circumstances justified having the man’s file dealt with immediately. The man’s request was finalized and approved and the amended documents sent to him by courier within two weeks of his call to the Ombudsman. He expressed his appreciation to Ombudsman staff for their assistance.