THE Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) has relocated its St Ann office to better serve residents of the parish and its environs.
The new location, situated at 8 Park Avenue in St Ann’s Bay, was officially opened last Friday. PICA previously operated from the St Ann’s Bay Post Office.
Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wynter said the public’s need for better facilities has been answered by the agency.
“PICA is on a journey [to becoming] one of the best public sector entities — and this is a part of that. We want to provide you, the public, and our employees with world-class facilities so that we can give you world-class service,” he said.
“Today, I am particularly proud to stand here in front of this facility and to be here for this opening. This is one of the centres of excellence that we want to use to serve the public, to show that the public sector can provide some of the highest and the best levels of service to you,” he said.
The newly relocated PICA St Ann office will serve people from within the parish as well as Trelawny and St Mary.
“I have heard that we have customers from as [far away as] Clarendon and St Catherine who come here for service, so we now have better facilities so we can better serve St Ann and its environs,” Wynter said.
Minister of state in the Ministry of Education and Youth and Member of Parliament for St Ann North Eastern, Marsha Smith in her remarks said PICA forms an important part of the island’s national security apparatus.
“[The agency] is one of the softer approaches to crime fighting because it is all about the prevention of a lot of crimes that take place,” she said, noting that PICA prevents the entry of unsavoury individuals into the island.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert commended the agency on its growth over the years.
“I want to congratulate Mr Wynter and his staff on the tremendous growth that has taken place at PICA. I also want to thank the officers and the people at PICA for the courtesy with which they have treated the public,” she said.
“You are part of the prosperity [and] the growth that this Government supports and continues to strive for to benefit the people of Jamaica,” she said.