The passport production and issuance operations of the Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) have been certified to the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) Standard by the National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ).
This follows the entity’s completion of the nine-month preparatory process, which included a two-stage audit.
Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, who has portfolio responsibility for the NCBJ, formally presented PICA’s certificate to Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Andrew Wynter, during a ceremony at the agency’s head office on Constant Spring Road on Wednesday (December 9).
Mr. Shaw, in commending PICA, noted that the ISO 9001 QMS is the most popular standard globally, adding that achieving this certification “is testament to the collective dedication and vision that is needed to create a better Jamaica through wealth creation”.
He said the Ministry is keen on improving the quality of the public service, recognising that Jamaica’s business environment and global competitiveness are equally hinged on the quality of service delivered by the public and private sectors.
“That was why we revised the National Quality Policy of 2019, which was supported by the Strategic Public Sector Transformation Project. It provides the Government’s policy framework to promote the production or delivery of high-quality goods and services in all aspects of national life,” Mr. Shaw outlined.
He said that the policy proposes the implementation of the ISO 9001 QMS as a vehicle to transform most public and private institutions, organisations and businesses to facilitate the socio-economic transformation of the Jamaican society towards achieving global competitiveness.
“As the Minister… under whose portfolio Standards fall, I am elated to note that this Government is leading from the front regarding the adoption and implementation of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System, and I am encouraging the private sector to vigorously follow suit,” Mr. Shaw said.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, under which PICA falls, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda also welcomed PICA’s certification, describing the accomplishment as “no small feat”.
He noted that it is indicative of the level of commitment, work and energy by PICA’s team.
“When an agency that is critical to national development, such as PICA, takes the steps to become certified in this manner, it tells [us]… that their work will be seamless, efficient and to the benefit of the country,” Senator Samuda pointed out.
Mr. Wynter for his part, said PICA’s certification “marks the end of a journey… and the beginning of another”.
“This achievement of certification… is another demonstration of the agency’s commitment to providing quality service to our customers, both locally and abroad,” he pointed out.
Noting that the Standard provides the framework and context within which PICA will operate, Mr. Wynter said “it also forces the agency to address issues and examine our operations and processes to ensure that we are always at our best”.
PICA is among the first 18 of an initial 40 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) earmarked for ISO certification, through collaboration between the Ministries of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and Finance and the Public Service and facilitated under the World Bank-funded Strategic Public Sector Transformation Programme.
PICA also joins a small group of agencies already achieving ISO 9001:2015 QMS certification. These include the EX-IM Bank and Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ).
NCBJ Manager, Navenia Wellington Ford; World Bank Resident Representative, Ozan Sevimili; and ISO Standards Ambassador, Reginald Budhan, were among the other officials and guests attending the certification ceremony.