Immigration officers will be relocated to brand new headquarters later this year in the Princess Alice Corporate Centre in Bridgetown.
Minister with responsibility for Immigration, Senator Darcy Boyce, told the officers on Monday that work on the building, being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, was at “a very advanced stage” and expected to be completed by August.
Features of the new headquarters include enhanced security protocols and facilities; all new furnishings; external doors and windows which are impact resistant up to a Category 3 hurricane; and 58 covered reserved parking spaces for staff. There will also be on-site high-density storage facilities, LED lighting, and integrated indoor air quality monitoring units.
According to Senator Boyce, work is also ongoing to improve the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems in the department, and to convert the paper files to digital systems. As a result, he said, improvements should be realised in areas such as processing, communication with other agencies and data sharing.
Substantial work has also been completed on the development of procedures manuals for the department to ensure certainty and consistency of procedures, the Minister revealed.
Additionally, several areas of immigration policy were being reviewed, and time standards for processing various matters were being developed.
“Once these pieces of work have been finished, we will publish the policies, procedures and expected time standards. We will also move to publish immigration statistics in all areas on a regular monthly or quarterly basis, as necessary,” Mr. Boyce indicated.