Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, on Friday (December 18) officially opened the newly upgraded Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) office, Montego Bay, St. James.
The new and upgraded office, located at the Annex Plaza in Fairview, now boasts advanced state-of-the-art technology and customer-centric processes to deliver quality services and a high standard of professionalism to residents across western Jamaica.
This, within a framework facilitating coronavirus (COVID-19) safeguards to better protect management, staff and clients.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr. Chang indicated that PICA is the “lynchpin” in a number of critical areas of operation in the country.
“We have a significant amount of movement in Jamaica, because where we are located is ideal for both shipping and aircraft [transitioning]. If we are to benefit from all these activities, then we must ensure that we have an effective passport and immigration agency… and PICA has certainly taken on the challenge,” he said.
The Minister noted that the agency has been preoccupied expanding and developing its systems to ensure efficiency in its activities, which have gained recognition internationally.
“They got their recent ISO 9001:2015 approval, and that means that PICA has attained a level where they accept the agency as carrying out international best practices and their standards are respected globally,” Dr. Chang stated.
“So we now must recognise that this quality of service brings increased value to our Jamaican passport. It means that when you travel with a Jamaican passport, the receiving country can accept that passport with a level of confidence” he added.
The Minister encouraged the staff at the new office to continue displaying exemplary service that will contribute to the growth of Jamaica’s economy.
For his part, PICA Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Wynter, noted that new services are coming to the Montego Bay office in short order.
“Very soon, all the services offered in Kingston will be here in Montego Bay; so persons in the west will get the full range of services,” he informed.
Mr. Wynter said the upgrading of the Montego Bay office is in keeping with PICA’s strategic initiative of enhanced customer experience, effective client engagement, and efficient business processing.