According to internal sources, this issue is not a new problem, but one that has been happening over a considerable period of time.
Experts in the field claim that this situation has arisen due to the corrupt officials paying more attention to their kickbacks and bribes rather than focusing on the quality of the system.
However, Informatics has been operating the computer system producing passports over the past ten years. They are being paid over Rs. 20 million annually for this service, it is reported.
Also, the printing operations are carried out by a renowned Sri Lankan company Epic Lanka.
They too a paid a huge amount for their services and it is noteworthy that this is the company found by the courts to be directly involved in the erasing of date from the National Medicinal drug Regulatory Authority data base.
Tharindara Kalpage, CEO of Epic Lanka Technologies, was arrested and released on bail, while Pramod Dilupa Ramanayake, a software engineer at Epic Lanka Technologies, was arrested and remanded.
This system that is maintained at such a high cost is said to have crashed due to the high volume of around 3000 passports being issued per day.
Although Informatics had been paid such a huge amount over the years, they have taken no action to increase the capacity of the system.
Also, due to several printing machines of Epic in a dysfunctional state, printing such a high volume of around 3000 passports has become a huge challenge.
However, despite honest officials having complained to the authorities that the passports being printed are likely to be blurred as well as obscured, these complaints have been suppressed by officials who are enjoying the kickbacks and bribes, department sources said.
It is also reported that this system maintained by Informatics is over ten years old now and is highly in need of an upgrade.
However, the corrupt officials are said to be delaying the calling for tenders as they do not want to lose the kickbacks and bribes that they are currently receiving from these companies. They are certain that if tenders are called and other companies bid for the tender, it is most likely that these two companies will lose their monopoly.
Currently what these companies are doing is repairing the old system by adding new parts, but experts point out that this is a futile effort.