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JIS News

The Immigration, Citizenship and Passport Services Division (ICPSD) is putting measures in place to enhance efficiency and customer service, with customers to begin to benefit from the improvements from as early as next April.
Carol Charlton, Senior Director of the ICPSD told JIS News that the improvements form part of the Public Sector Modernization Programme, which was introduced by the government in 1996.
“The transformation of the ICPSD is currently underway, with the implementation of the projected changes slated to be rolled out over the next two to three years,” Ms. Charlton said.
She informed that a strategic and organizational review has been completed to examine the various aspects of the division that need improvement, and will be used to determine measures to be taken in order to modernize the entity.
The agency plays a significant role in protecting the nation’s security, and the transformation of the organization, Ms. Charlton said would, “bolster security mechanisms already in place, ensure accountability and transparency in operations and increase productivity while providing world-class customer service”.
In general, she noted that the public should expect a heightened level of efficiency and improved systems. This will be achieved when new staff members are recruited and the existing complement undergoes thorough training and periodic performance evaluations.
Though the organization has an office in Montego Bay and offers the option for persons to hand in documents at police stations, the division is looking at establishing strategically placed customer service centres across the island as well as at select foreign missions.
It is hoped that this new thrust would provide greater access to customers living outside of the corporate area and Jamaica.
Business operations are also expected to be improved once new information technology systems are introduced to ensure smoother and faster processing of all applications made to the ICPSD and allow customers to pay for services using either a debit or credit card. Efforts are also being made to increase the number of passport applications processed.
The Senior Director additionally informed that the division was aiming to reduce the time it takes to process passengers on arrival and departure at the island’s main ports of entries to an average of one minute per person. This will also apply to extension of stays and visa applications.
The Immigration, Citizenship and Passport Services Division, was given the go-ahead in March 2005, to conduct a 16-month diagnostic study, which will pave the way for its modernization. The upgrade will see the ICPSD achieving Executive Agency status by 2007.