Most of public agencies in Portugal could have less bureaucracy. All over the world the trend is to increase it to ensure jobs and toys for the boys, writes Jack Soifer.
This gives secured votes to the huge dominating parties. Although a couple latter governments here say they will curb this, the pressure from a few leaders and from the lobbies who have sympathies among middle bosses in power, makes the PM’s wishes a pipedream.
To some degree the fiscal authorities have improved digitalisation, although disregarding a recommendation by the EU, that the taxpayer who cannot handle the Internet’s and sometimes has difficulty surfing, may opt for traditional email communication.
Now the SEF, in charge of issuing residence permits, has improved its services. By obtaining an appointment time, bringing your old permit or the obligatory papers for a first time application, you get it all done by very nice officials in just half-an-hour. Your new card will be at your address after a couple of days, instead of several months, as with other agencies.
In the Algarve this works perfectly well, although in a few cities it may take some time to wait for the time-slot to be allotted.
Other agencies and services should learn from the SEF, such as Health, Driving Licence, etc.
CONGRATS to SEF and to Tourism, which made it easier for us, foreigners and residents.