JIS News

KINGSTON — The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) has been declared winner of the Cabinet Secretary's Trophy for The Most Improved Customer Service Entity for 2010/2011.

The agency received a trophy and cash prize of $200,000 at the Public Sector Customer Service Competition awards ceremony,  held at the Wyndham New Kingston Hotel on  May 25.

Chief Executive Officer of PICA, Jennifer McDonald told JIS News that the award is recognition of the entity’s commitment to quality customer service delivery.

“We have been modernised to improve on our customer service and our management team and staff have come up with some creative ways of overcoming some of the hurdles that we face and of satisfying our customers,” the CEO explained.

She said that the concept of the PICA mobile service has allowed the agency to further extend its service offerings to its customers by going in select communities and business areas and interfacing with existing and potential clients.

In addition to the mobile service, Miss McDonald said that the entity also offers  next day and three-day passport express services at its Constant Spring location, which customers can utilise, instead of going through the regular seven-day service.

The express service, she noted, which is currently being utilised by approximately 15 per cent of the customers, is quick and  more convenient in satisfying the customers’ needs.

Miss McDonald informed that an additional cashier has been brought on broad at the western office in Montego Bay to improve on efficiency and timely service.

As a means of monitoring and evaluating its customer service delivery,  she pointed out that,  “certain targets and performance indicators are set up and we report on them every month…so when we are going out of line, we know and try to correct as best as possible.”

“Customer service delivery is a part of the reason for our existence as we cannot survive without our customers. We are very focused on offering quality service and we know that this is buttressed in not just a smile, but also in our operational procedures, in our turn-around time and these are the things that we have put in place and continue to fine tune and monitor,” the CEO added.

Miss McDonald  said members of staff  are ecstatic  to  receive such an award, and thanked  all  stakeholders and customers, “since they are the ones who have put us here."

The way forward, she noted,  includes partnering with other government entities with offices outside of Kingston to reach out and provide services to customers in those areas.

PICA’s array of services include the processing of all passport applications; immigration services for all persons entering and leaving the country, whether by sea or air; processing of application for permanent residence, foreign nationals requiring extension of stay to the time given to them by the officers at the Port of entry and applications for Jamaican citizenship, which include citizenship by descent, marriage or naturalisation for persons born outside of the Commonwealth.

 

By KADIAN BROWN, JIS PR Officer