Column: Automation, More Efficient, Cuts Costs

February 28, 2022

[Opinion column written by MP Michael Weeks]

As part of the Government’s commitment to providing services in the most cost-effective manner, the Department of Immigration has undergone a rigorous process review and is overhauling outdated processes and procedures. The objective of the Automation Project is to transition as much as possible away from paper-based processes. The launch of Phase 1 of the Automation System starts in March 2022.

As outlined in a recent statement from Economy and Labour Minister Jason Hayward, one significant difference is that the Department will no longer issue hard copy paper certificates, letters, and work permit documents. Currently, individuals receive hard copy immigration documents, employees receive work permit cards, and employers receive hard copy work permits.

All documentation will be sent electronically and will be accessible on your computers and mobile devices in a digitally secure format. Should you choose to print a hard copy for your records, you will be able to do so.

The change to paperless processes offers convenience as it means on-demand access for applications, information, and other services that traditionally require a trip to Government offices. Automation allows customers to access information 24/7, and by moving processes to digital, the government will become more efficient in processing applications.

Additionally, the cost of manually inputting data and physically managing files is saved when moving toward digital document management. Government can realize further cost savings by not having to print and mail documents to stakeholders and through online payment options that reduce transaction processing costs.

The Department is implementing the project in phases. The initial stages will be basic, with further enhancements being released later. This current phase of the project includes, but is not limited to:

1. Submission of applications;
2. Payment of application fees via a payment gateway;
3. Electronic workflow;
4. Vetting and validation;
5. Status updates with log-in ability;
6. Approval by the Minister or by Immigration senior leadership;
7. Production and disbursement of final immigration documents; and
8. Ability for the Department to run reports.

Substantial work will be done in future phases to review other immigration IT Systems to make the appropriate enhancements. This work will be released over time.

Overall, automating services enables workers to be more efficient, cuts costs, and improves customer experience. All of which are beneficial to stakeholders and the public purse.

- MP Michael Weeks, Constituency 16 – Pembroke East Central

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Comments (1)

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  1. Really says:

    The problem isn’t the fancy I T friends and family package. Start dealing with the antiquated regulations. Start changing the immigration regulations. Start being responsible and accountable for the taxpayers money your department is collecting each and every month. Fix the outstanding problems first before the window dressings.