Regional Passport, Immigration offices to be fully equipped, operationalised in 2019

─ Parliament Committee of Supply approves Dept of Citizenship’s 2019 budget

─Regions 2, 4, 7 and 9 targeted

DPI, Guyana, Monday, December 10, 2018

In 2019, Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of Citizenship will be focusing on equipping and effectively operationalising regional immigration and passport offices. During this year, the ministry identified the locations for these regional offices and construction has already taken shape.

Minister of Public Affairs, Dawn Hastings Williams, answering for the estimates of the Ministry of Presidency, Department of Citizenship.

Moving forward, the intent is to ensure that these facilities are up and running, eliminating the need for citizens to travel to Georgetown to process passport applications. As such, new equipment will be purchased to furnish these offices throughout the country.

$713.5Million has been set aside in the department’s $1.5Billion budget to furnish and equip the passport offices. The larger sum which has been allocated to the Department of Citizenship was today approved in the Parliament Committee of Supply.

Answering for the estimates on behalf of Minister of Citizenship was Minister of Public Affairs, Dawn Hastings-Williams. The Minister outlined that several items are expected to be purchased to outfit the offices.

Some of these include ten Automated Passport Control system (APC) $66.4Million. Thirty-three Passport Issuing Control (PIC) system workstations for Regions Two, Four, Seven and Nine, $330, 36. Border Management Systems (BMS) and warm standby sites, $252Million.

Also, to support the work and digitization of the General Registrar’s Office, six printers for certificates will be procured at a cost of $2.5Million each. These are among a list of other items to be purchased which the minister committed to having laid over.

Meanwhile, other areas under which this $1.5Billion allocation caters for are the procurement of passports and birth certificates with new and improved security features. In 2019, the Department of Citizenship will give oversight to the procurement of 200,000 passports (including the new 64-page passports) and 150,000 birth certificates.

Other matters catered for under the department’s budget include routine maintenance of the Stephen Campbell house where the department is currently housed and the continuation of the digitization project at the Guyana Registrar’s Office which is about 80 percent complete. This project according to Minister Hastings-Williams will come to an end in August 2019.

Delicia Haynes.

Images: Keno George.

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