Having been frustrated by so many occasions when governments should have been able to perform a task more efficiently, more quickly or correctly the first time, I feel I have to highlight a recent experience that way exceeded my expectations.

I was in London for a day of meetings earlier this month. I needed to perform my annual task of renewing my passport as pages in the current passport were close to full.

I made a 15 minute appointment online for 2:15 in the afternoon. I filled in the form, which seems to get simpler each year, in about 10 minutes. I arrived early for the appointment and was seen early. I was able to collect the new passport at 6 pm the same day.

And the cost of doing this – at about US$210 – is less than the cost of renewing the passport in the past in Hong Kong or Shanghai.

Read more of my views on my blog, Gordon’s View. And please follow me on Twitter.

Image credit: Chris Fleming / Flickr