Tuesday 3 September 2013

Vetting vexations

Well really! As Bill Bryson sighs when beset by some bureaucratic tyranny or outrage to his old-fashioned sensibilities.  Almost exactly three months ago, I wrote about submitting the form for Garda Vetting, so that I could help CoderDojo help kids program computers.  It was a trip down memory lane for me and my mother.  She got involved because the Gardai want to know every address you've lived at since you were born - and I couldn't remember the house number of the house where I celebrated my 4th birthday.  Good job she's alive and not raving at 93, eh?  Because I'd have my application refused if it was incomplete.

I don't think it's been refused, but it has been returned, via CoderDojo Central in Limerick IT, because my signature is sufficiently legible to show an identifiable middle initial. The "Unprocessed Garda Vetting Forms" Form includes this eventuality in a list of 14 (common?) causes for Unprocessing:
  • Forename - Initials must be clarified
You'd think that, if the lads at the Garda Central Vetting Unit GCVU, trained researchers both, can verify the domicile of a pre-school child in Norwood, South London more than 50 years ago, it would be possible to track down my M.I. given that my name, address and PPS # are on the same form.  Maybe not?  So if it's a problem sufficiently common as to appear on a subsidiary UGVF form, why not change the original form, with a note "if you have a signature legible enough for us to identify any included initials, please clarify what these initials stand for?  How difficult would that be?  How much time and money would it save? 60c in a stamp for me and 20 minutes at the minimum wage changing and re-dating (very important for GCVU) the original form, another 15 minutes trying to find an envelope, call it €5 all told.  Same amount at LIT and GCVU - they've got to be better paid than me but know where the envelopes are.  Parsing my GCVU reference number suggests that 6000+ people have applied for Vetting this year. If 1% of them are Unprocessed because the Form is poorly designed that's nearly €1000 wasted: enough to make a nice contribution to the Garda Benevolent Fund.

And what did they imagine the T stood for? Thomas?? Well really!

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