THE UK's Passport Office agency is to be brought under Home Office control and made accountable to ministers, says the Home Secretary, Theresa May.
Her decision follows a summer which saw thousands of holidaymakers affected by a backlog in applications, which peaked at 537,663 in late June.
The changes mean the Passport Office's chief executive Paul Pugh will be replaced.
Mrs May had been forced to introduce a number of emergency measures to tackle the backlog, which is now around 80,000.
The move to the Home Office will take effect from October 1.
Earlier this month, the House of Commons’ Home Affairs Committee said the Passport Office should lose its agency status and be brought under direct ministerial control following an "appalling series of failures".
Go Holiday editor David Kernek comments: This, on paper at least, appears to be good – and long overdue – news; but let’s hope that the Home Office is capable of running the passport service with a level of skill and care that has yet to be apparent in its management of immigration controls … such as they are!
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