JIS News

The Registrar General’s Department (RGD), began accepting payments online for express applications for birth, death and marriage certificates, as of yesterday (Sept 9).
“Effective today, we are offering to Jamaicans all over the world, the ability to make applications and at the same time request service,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of the RGD, Dr. Patricia Holness told JIS News. “I tested the system and within five minutes of announcing the service, we received one application. The RGD was able to respond to the first customer, a Jamaican living in Florida, by 5:20 p.m.,” she said.
“The system was posted on the RGD website at 4:30 p.m., and by 5:12 p.m. we had received two applications,” Dr. Holness said in a telephone interview.
She explained that “we have been aware of the demand from our customers for the express service online for sometime now.”
The CEO said that the only services, which are not available online are record updating services, since the RGD would need to see original documents for verification. These activities include Late Entry of Name, Correction of Error, Late Registration and the Addition of Father’s Particulars. These will not be offered online although these services are available on the express service.
The move comes as the Agency improves its services to its customers.
Dr. Holness noted that the Department is now advertising for new positions as it moves to enhance service delivery.
During the 2007/08 financial year, the Agency received and processed some 49,212 express applications. For the period April to June 2008 over 11,000 such applications were processed. At the end of the first quarter of the 2008/2009 financial year, the RGD reported a 112 per cent success rate in application satisfaction. The Department further reported that for the current period, express applications are being printed in less than one day.
“We have therefore decided that with this ability to satisfy customers and having regard to their constant demand for services with improved speed, we will be offering the express service online for birth, death and marriage applications,” the CEO said.
She reminded customers that “they will need their entry numbers when making applications online for birth and death certificates. The CEO added that, “in the case of marriage applications customers must include the marriage officer’s name.”
Customers without an entry number or a marriage officer’s name may make their request for this information by logging on to the RGD’s website at www.rgd.gov.jm and clicking on the icon for entry number. This move will benefit thousands of overseas customers who are unable to apply online as they have no entry number.
She pointed out that, “this was not the first time that the RGD was offering its premium service online as the seven-day service along with the ordinary service has been offered online for over five years.
During this time, the RGD reviewed its approach to the express service online by introducing a number of measures, including the electronic request for an entry number, and a marriage officer’s name.
“The improvements,” the CEO said, “have resulted in great efficiencies in a number of areas and we now feel comfortable that we are able to satisfy our customers on all our speed services.”
This offering of express service online is one of the continuing improvements to the RGD’s website. The RGD re-launched its website in 2006 and since then, it has introduced new features such as online payment, and an interactive blog with customers. Through the interactive blog the RGD has received over 80,000 emails, most of which have been answered within 24 hours.