Pharmacies to compete for passport tender

Large numbers of Australian pharmacies have thrown their hat in the ring in a bid to win the Federal Government’s tender for passport services.

Australia Post’s existing contract for receiving passport applications expires in June 2017.

More than 1500 pharmacies have signed up with identity-verification company PharmacyID and are expected to be included in the company’s passport application tender, with the contract reportedly worth about $120 million a year.

It could become even more lucrative with the government expecting passport applications to rise from 1.8 million in 2014-15 to three million by 2019, according to The Advertiser.

Australia Post, which has been providing passport services for the Australian government for more than 30 years, is expected to re-tender for the work, and travel agencies have also announced their intention to compete.

About 1700 post offices are currently able to conduct passport interviews and take passport-quality photos.

The department says providers will need to have sufficient trained staff to provide passport application services during business hours.

They would also need to comply with strict privacy and security rules.

Expressions of interest with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade closed on April 27.

PharmacyID told AJP they are unable to provide further comment because of the ongoing tendering process.

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