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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) is reaping rewards from improvements made to its service delivery processes.
  • Customer Service Director at PICA, Lesline Chisholm, told JIS News that during the period 2012 to 2014, PICA implemented technological solutions, and provided facilities and services for customers with special needs.
  • Focus was also placed on improving efficiency through staff motivation, while strategic alliances and stakeholder partnerships were formed in an effort to offer extended and varied services to customers.

The Passport Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) is reaping rewards from improvements made to its service delivery processes.

Customer Service Director at PICA, Lesline Chisholm, told JIS News that during the period 2012 to 2014, PICA implemented technological solutions, and provided facilities and services for customers with special needs.

Focus was also placed on improving efficiency through staff motivation, while strategic alliances and stakeholder partnerships were formed in an effort to offer extended and varied services to customers.

These initiatives have paid off with PICA being among six entities shortlisted for awards in the Public Sector Customer Service Competition (PSCSC).

PICA has been nominated in the categories of Most Improved Customer Service; Most Socially Aware; and Most Creative/ Innovative customer service entity.

“We are grateful that we have been shortlisted for three categories of the competition and our customers are pleased with the improvements we have made,” Ms. Chisholm said.

She told JIS News that over the two-year period, PICA also increased its passport and mobile unit access points.

“Our customers benefit from the convenience of having the services brought directly to them. There has been a 64 per cent increase in the number of passport mobiles conducted in communities and offices over the period. Even our customers in London, Birmingham and Manchester (England), have benefitted from the roving passport service,” she informed.

In addition, PICA upgraded its website, with an online tracking facility for passport applications added.

“The upgrade resulted in an automatic improvement in the quality of service to customers locally and globally. Since the website upgrade, page views (hits) grew by 72 per cent from 478,000 views to 824,000,” Ms. Chisholm boasted.

In addition, the queueing system has been improved to better serve people with special needs, while the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) has been upgraded to expedite airport passenger processing.

“(This) has resulted in 80 per cent of passengers breezing through the airports onto their destination,” Ms. Chisholm noted.

She told JIS News that at least 200 more passengers are processed hourly at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, and 400 more at the Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

“The introduction of the kiosks has caused a 50 per cent reduction in the personnel required to man immigration booths at both airports, as approximately 18 per cent of passengers currently use the kiosks, and this is expected to increase over time,” she pointed out.

The other five entities shortlisted for awards in the PSCSC are: National Health Fund (NHF), National Housing Trust (NHT), Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA), National Land Agency (NLA), and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC).

The PSCSC, coordinated biennially by the Public Sector Transformation Programme in the Office of the Cabinet, seeks to reward and recognise government organisations that excel in providing quality customer service and by so doing, challenge other entities to raise customer standards.