Public administration is concerned with the implementation of governmental policies to enhance efficient and effective service delivery to the public. Delivery of efficient and effective public services is not only the objective of government but a compulsory endeavour. Therefore, public administration is an indispensable aspect of any government to achieve governmental goals, including the execution of governmental policies and policy implementation. Policy implementation is the process whereby governmental plans, programmes or policies are executed in practice. However, classical public administration, which was primarily paper based, did not only retard delivery of services but in certain instances, impeded the governments‟ role to deliver public services effectively and efficiently. This was evident in the Department of Passport Services in Lesotho prior to 2013 when the process of issuing passports was laissez-faire. Nevertheless, the introduction of Information Communication Technology (ICT) has made it easier for governments to deliver effective and efficient services. The utilisation of ICT does not only enhance efficient and effective public service delivery but regular upgrading of ICT systems and even vigilant migration to the latest ICT developments, which also equally vital in a contemporary, dynamic, and technologically advanced world. Most African countries still lag behind in ICT due to, among other, –lack of technological skills. To improve and align service delivery globally through ICT, African countries should take critical steps towards developing technological policies. This is prevalent in Botswana and Lesotho. Policies, notably the Maitlamo ICT Policy and the ICT Policy for Lesotho were developed that led to the implementation of the e-passport system in Botswana and Lesotho in 2010 and 2013 respectively.
The dissertation explains the legal framework that provided a foundation for policy implementation, which led to the implementation of the e-passport system in Botswana and Lesotho. The rationale for the adoption of the e-passport system in Botswana and Lesotho is expounded upon in this dissertation. The benefits and the challenges facing the implementation of the e-passport system in Botswana and Lesotho are elaborated upon and the recommendations which identify the challenges are outlined. A qualitative research approach was adopted and document analysis was utilised as the research instrument to gather data from scholarly articles, government publications, notably the Department of Passport Services and the Department of Citizenship and Immigrations‟ documents, the Lesotho Passports and Travel Documents Act, 2016, (Act of 2016), Maitlamo ICT Policy as well as credible websites. Primary data was also collected through interviews which were conducted at the Department of Passport Services in Lesotho. The study revealed that the benefits of implementing the e-passport system in Lesotho included reduced turnaround time and internal corruption while financial, technological and organisational challenges; poor policy dissemination, lack of political and leadership will, poor infrastructure as well as poor communication between stakeholders were highlighted as further challenges. The suggested recommendations to remedy identified challenges included: engaging initiatives to disseminate the e-passport system policy to e-passport system policy beneficiaries and implementers; approval of the country‟s traditional norms and values; political and leadership will; intergovernmental and inter-organisational relations; enhance infrastructure and monitor the progress of the e-passport system.
Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2018.