5 Sep 2006

Samoa seeks upgrade of birth certificate systems

2:08 pm on 5 September 2006

A registrar in Samoa says the country is considering how other countries issue birth certificates in an effort to improve its systems.

New Zealand authorities contacted Samoa immigration last week over a Samoan man who allegedly used someone else's birth certificate to obtain a passport and apply for permanent residency in New Zealand.

Levaopolo Patisela Eteuati says the practise is common because there are no proper checks in place.

He says the problem only comes to light when Samoans go overseas and have to produce a valid ID.

"We're just in the discussion process of how to solve this problem cos its really a problem. There are 4 to 5 recent incidences in which birth certificates issued by this office were used for fraudulent purposes."

Levaopolo Patisela Eteuati says so far, it has looked at systems in New Zealand and American Samoa.