JIS News

The Registrar General’s Department (RGD) held an outreach activity in Florida on September 24 and 25, at the invitation of the Jamaican Consulate General.
The event was entitled ‘Diaspora Outreach Programme 2010’, and was held at the University Area Community Development Center at 14013 North 22nd Street in Tampa.
Jamaicans in the Diaspora in Florida were able to access their vital records, such as birth and other certificates and also used the opportunity to check on their genealogical history.
“We are joining forces with the Consulate General and other agencies to speak to Jamaicans in Tampa. This is a continuation of the outreach activity of the RGD. We are not doing this for profit, but as a benefit to Jamaicans,” Chief Executive Officer of the RGD, Dr. Patricia Holness told JIS News last week.
“We do not use the amount of money we make from a venture such as this one to measure the success of the intervention,” she added.
Reiterating her point, Dr. Holness said that her organisation’s recent visit to Cuba actually resulted in a loss, but was still considered a worthwhile activity.
“We lost almost all the money we invested in going to Cuba. The Jamaicans we spoke to in Cuba were not able to pay, but were able to get all the information about their roots in Jamaica,” she said.
In the meantime, an RGD team headed by the CEO, is now in Grenada and will be there until September 28, to attend a Caribbean Regional meeting entitled, ‘Best Practices on Civil Registration: promoting Social Inclusion’.
Dr. Holness will make a presentation on the RGD’s ‘Best Practice on Civil Registration’, addressing groundbreaking initiatives put in place by the RGD, which include Bedside Registration. She will address the important matter of the use of security paper on which all RGD documents are now printed.
The Grenada meeting is jointly organised by the Organization of American States (OAS), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with the aim of strengthening co-operation among Caribbean States to establish a Regional Action plan for the modernisation of civil registry institutions.
“We were invited by the Organization of American States to present in Grenada, the best practice arrangements of registration and the production of certified copies of documents,” Dr. Holness said.
Meanwhile, commenting on the complaints against the RGD being reported in the media, Dr. Holness reminded that the satisfaction rate is in the high 90 per cent, but said that a vocal minority will always serve to create the impression of general dissatisfaction.
“You can’t use the calls in the media to define whether or not the RGD is doing a good job,” she pointed out.

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