DEPUTY MINISTRY OF ADMINISTRATION
Visa and Passport
The Passport Directorate is responsible for issuance of digitally and manually-produced passports, and for providing visas to expatriates and visitors. In order to comply with the international standards for passport security and identification, the MoIA in 1391 instituted use of a digital visa issuance system and passport scanners. This technology facilitates international travel for Afghan citizens and expedites the process of issuing passports. The capacity of the Passport Directorate improved considerably last year and now issues approximately 2,000 computerized passports daily nationwide. The Passport Directorate in Kabul alone now has the ability to print 500 digital, scan-able passports per day. The system, funded by the government of Australia through International Organization for Migration (IOM), is part of an overall upgrade of passport and visa printers.
To improve security the new passport issuance system includes a database of fingerprints linked to the tazkira. The system is also used in tracking the movement of criminals. Last year the system resulted in police capture of 227 people listed in the criminal database system. Those arrested were handed over to the Criminal Investigation Unit. So far 15 provinces including Laghman, Kunar, Parwan, Takhar, Kapisa, Panjshir, Herat, Kunduz, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Bamyan, Ghazni, Logar, Paktika and Balkh are connected to the system. Printing and issuance is done within each respective province. Integration of the country’s 33 provincial passport offices to the central office in Kabul is in progress. The major challenge currently facing the Directorate is irregular Internet connectivity and lack of regular electricity. The MoIA considers completion of this task a priority for both security and for public service reasons.
Completion of connection, expected in 2014-15 (1393), will assist in issuance of digital passports and allow the provincial passport offices, international airports and border crossing control points access to the central database.
Recruitment General Command
Police enlistment in Afghanistan is voluntary. Police recruitment is conducted throughout the country’s 34 provinces in accordance with the MoIA’s tashkil and approved procedures. Volunteers apply at one of the country’s recruitment centers, where, after checking the applicant’s national identification card (tazkira), recruiter will request completion of an application form, along with signed references from two members of Afghanistan’s local or national government. Applicants then face review by the Criminal Investigation, Intelligence, Counter Terrorism, Tazkira and Population Registration directorates, as well as by MoIA’s heath care services to ensure they are physically fit for duty.
Within the 34 provinces there are 41 basic and professional training centers in the recruitment command. Training is conducted by local and foreign instructors for periods of four, six, eight, or 16 weeks, based on future rank and duties. Basic trainings cover such areas as operational tactics and professional, legal and security issues.
Last year the MoIA operationalized newly expanded regional training centers allowing for more efficient assessment and assignment of incoming recruits. New recruits now report to regional assembly areas where they will be evaluated and assigned to the appropriate training center based upon the region’s needs and the recruit’s interests and skill set. As part of its commitment to serving and protecting all Afghans equally under the law, the MoIA is working to develop an inclusive and representative police service. The police service actively recruits in every province in the country, hiring both men and women from varied ethnic, economic, and social backgrounds. In 2013-14 (1392) the MoIA undertook initiatives to increase the number of women in the country’s police service. Minister Daudzai has made recruitment and retention of women police officers a high priority for the Ministry.
Population Registration and the Tazkira
The duties of the Population and Tazkira department include: the collection and analysis of demographic data on births, divorces, deaths, and immigration; registration of entries and exits by foreigners; processing of documents for Afghan citizenship or withdrawal of citizenship; training programs for the birth registration department; distribution of tazkiras; and, requested verifications of tazkira information for citizens.
In 2013-14 (1392) the department issued 130,506 tazkiras, registered 317,009 births, 12,804 deaths, 3,573 marriages, and 261 divorces. The department also registered 36,227 entrances and 22,012 exits by foreign citizens to and from Afghanistan. Obtaining and relinquishing Afghanistan nationality is rare with just 219 people relinquishing their Afghan nationality last year and four people obtaining it.
Comprehensive plans have been drawn to introduce a new electronic system of population registration and issuance of tazkiras, jointly managed by the MoIA and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. The MoIA collects biometric data such as fingerprints and photos from every Afghan. The intent is to register and issue tazkiras to all of Afghanistan’s population within the next few years. Staff are now being recruited to form 401 registration teams to work throughout the country.
To ensure transparency and impartiality, recruitment is overseen by officials from the lower house of Parliament (Wolesi Jirga), the Attorney General’s Office, the National Directorate of Anti-Corruption, the National Directorate of Security, the National Directorate of General Intelligence, the Directorate of Anti-Terrorism, the Directorate of Human Resources, the Directorate of General Registration and Population, the General Directorate of Anti-Crime, and the Police Academy. In the first phase of recruitment, 5,507 applicants, including 340 women, submitted applications, of which 4,927 took the examination. A total of 550 applicants were selected for 50 teams in Kabul. Teams include 50 team leaders, 100 senior officers, 200 registration officers and 200 social workers.
The Training and Education General Command is responsible for training and educating police to enhance their professional, legal, cultural, and physical capacities to meet modern international standards. It conducts professional and specialized courses, provides scholarships for trainings in foreign countries, and conducts methodological and leadership seminars.
The MoIA training facilities can accommodate approximately 15,000 trainees at any one time. Currently there are 9,772 trainees in these facilities. In 2013-14 (1392) approximately 60,000 police successfully completed a range of professional and specialized courses. In 2013 approximately 36,510 police personnel were introduced to literacy courses with 7,728 of them successfully graduating and attaining a literacy level equivalent to Grades 5—6. The Command also introduced 2,864 personnel for trainings conducted in Turkey, Russia and Kazakhstan—134 of them women.
The MoIA has 13 training centers in Afghanistan. The Staff College and the Police Academy fall under the MoIA’s General Training & Education Command (GTEC) in the Deputy Ministry for Administration.
The Staff College trains active police in a variety of subjects designed to improve overall professionalism, and to develop leadership capacity in both operational and strategic areas. Entrance is competitive with roughly half of applicants being selected. Last year the College trained approximately 1,200 students in classes covering such issues as police tactics, management, policy, planning, and strategy. Classes are designed to improve job performance, and as well as advance students’ careers through such offerings as the Captain-to-Major Promotion Course. The College will add a new Bachelors degree program in 2014-15 (1393) and has begun recruiting applicants.
The Police Academy provides a four-year Bachelors degree program to new Police recruits—typically young Afghan civilians recently graduated from high school. Students graduating from the Academy will hold the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. The Academy enters its third year in 1393. In 2013-14 (1392) the Academy trained 606 first-year students, and 770 second-year students enrolled in the four-year program.