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A new e-service has made it easier to apply for police clearance certificates.

Published 11th May 2017, 10:48am

Government has this week launched a revamped e-services portal, as part of a project to increase the number of services provided online.

On Wednesday, 10 May 2017, a new online application process for police clearance certificates joined the suite of existing services that individuals and businesses can access from the site,

The redesigned portal and online police clearance application are the products of collaboration between the e-Government Unit in the Cabinet Office, the Computer Services Department, and in the case of the police clearance certificates, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS), with strategic direction from the e-Government Steering Committee.

Premier and Minister for Home Affairs (MHA) Alden McLaughlin stressed the importance of the increased provision of e-Government services to the growth of the Cayman Islands economy, citing in particular the financial services sector.

“For that reason our goals in establishing the e-government programme were that it should improve customers’ experience, by reducing the time and costs of service delivery. Other goals were to enhance public perception of the civil service and increase the Cayman Islands’ competitiveness with other jurisdictions.”

His Excellency the Acting Governor, Franz Manderson, chairs the e-Government steering committee in his capacity as Deputy Governor and Head of the Civil Service. Mr Manderson explained that the decision to prioritise the project had followed research into the priorities of the local public and stakeholders within Government with regards to which local services should be provided online.

“We believed that it was extremely important for us to thoroughly assess existing needs and to develop an evidence base that would inform our work before proceeding,” the Acting Governor stated.

The e-services portal also facilitates links to services hosted by other Government agencies, such as: the Departments of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing; Lands and Survey; and Planning; as well as the National Workforce Development Agency and the General Registry.

While some services require registration, others, including applications for police clearance certificates, do not. Designers have also built in a range of display options for the public to aid in finding the services they require.

As part of the electronic application process for police clearance certificates, users will also be able to pay securely online. The Cayman Islands Government will not collect or retain card information for online payments.

At the moment the RCIPS processes around 150 applications for police clearance certificates a day, or 3,000 a month.

Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose noted that the revamped process will reduce the inconvenience to customers by eliminating one of the two trips previously required to the Records Office. It also streamlines the number of data systems with which RCIPS staff must engage from six to two.

“We believe this will have a strongly positive impact on our customers and our staff, who have often had to sacrifice lunch breaks to ensure that customers are served in a timely way during the cumbersome manual process,” remarked Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne. “The efficiency of the online process reinforces the type of accessibility and convenience we are striving to provide to the public as a modern police service”

MHA Acting Chief Officer Michael Nixon said that the e-services portal and online police clearance certificates project reflects a new strategic approach to the deployment of Computer Services Department resources. For the pilot project the department used its technical expertise to implement solutions on behalf of business owners, rather than seeking to develop the solutions themselves.

With this aim in mind Computer Services Director Simon Spiers committed a cross section of his agency, including the web development, application development and security teams, to work on the projects under the leadership of e-Government Director Ian Tibbetts, and the e-Government steering committee.

Next up for e-Government will be refinements to the online police clearance certificates process, the publication of a draft national strategy, procurement for the physical infrastructure of an e-Government platform, and the presentation of recommendations for an electronic identification component to the e-Government Steering Committee.