April 26, 2021
The Port Department will be moving into the 21st century as it becomes accessible in cyberspace via its new digital platform, allowing its customers to be able to conduct business online.
During a press conference held on Monday, 26th April, Minister of Transport and Local Government, the Hon. Dion Foulkes said the move is among the government’s objectives of modernizing services at the Port Department. The new portal will go live on Monday, May 3.
Also in attendance at the press conference were the Minister of State for Finance, Sen. the Hon. Kwasi Thompson; Permanent Secretary, Bernadette Thompson and Officials from the Ministry of Finance.
Minister Foulkes said, “This move is in keeping with the government’s mandate to aggressively automate its services in its efforts to improve the ease of doing business for its clientele, both locally and internationally.”
He said that the online service represents a collaborative effort between the Port Department, the Department of Transformation and Digitization and the Ministry of Finance. Among other services, customers will be able to complete applications and register private and commercial boats or watercraft such as jet skis and parasail.
Customers will be able to apply for an “A” or “B” class masters license and apply for a “D” class operator’s license; register a marine structure such as a private, commercial or industrial dock and apply for a foreign yacht charter license.
Documents can also be uploaded with the application. Customers will receive email updates from Port officials on the status of their applications.
Additionally, in a bid to expedite services, customers will be able to pay for all the aforementioned services online, via the solution’s built-in integration with the government’s DigiPay platform.
“Essentially, the public will now be able to conduct processes, which were previously carried out manually, in a streamlined manner for maximum productivity,” said Minister Foulkes.
Minister of State for Finance, Hon. Kwasi Thompson said that the Port Department’s new online portal will fully embrace the government’s goal of increasing and integrating online services to promote efficiency and accessibility for the general public.
“Once again DigiPay, The Bahamas’ digital payment platform, has provided the gateway to facilitate the Government’s move towards modernization and digitization,” said Sen. Thompson.
“This innovative payment solution has the ability to seamlessly integrate with a wide range of business processes and systems throughout the government, allowing for a more accountable collection of government revenue.”
DigiPay has already been installed in several other agencies including the Immigration department and the Judiciary. He added that DigiPay has made it possible for citizens in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, Abaco and North Andros, aged 18 and over, to apply and pay for a range of government services including: copies of birth certificates, death and marriage certificate, police records, driver’s license renewal and e-Passport renewals.
As the platform will offer a secure payment feature, customers will be able to pay for applications with their credit or debit cards. In addition, he said that the DigiPay integration will soon be able to accept payments, with Sand Dollar, the country’s new digital currency, created by the Central Bank. Minister Thompson said that The Bahamas takes the top spot in the world for rolling out a digital currency, outranking China and Cambodia.
News date : 04/26/2021 Category : Press Releases