The National Security Ministry is still awaiting the completion of architectural designs to commence construction of the new Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) head office in Kingston.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, who has responsibility for PICA, says the initial designs are being modified by the architects.
He told JIS News that the modifications are based on the Ministry’s acquisition of land, in addition to property already secured at North Avenue, which is located close to PICA’s current head office on Constant Spring Road in St. Andrew.
“Once we get (the revised plan) from the architect, it will be submitted to the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation for approval, and then (we) will proceed to construct the new office,” the Minister said.
Mr. Montague, who toured the head office earlier this year, indicated then that the new facility is being built to provide more comfortable space and surroundings for the staff at Constant Spring Road.
The Minister also indicated that online passport applications and renewals are being introduced this year as part of efforts to boost Jamaica’s national security infrastructure and foster more efficient security checks.
Additionally, Mr. Montague advised that discussions are ongoing with vendors to facilitate an e-passport system, which is expected to increase operational efficiency and reduce the wait times at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
Article by: Douglas McIntosh
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm