New ways to submit and pay for services at DG’s office

| 25/06/2020

The Office of the Deputy Governor (ODG) has made it easier for customers to submit applications and pay for services provided by the Office. Applicants for British Overseas Territories Citizenship (BOTC) Naturalisation/Registration, British Registration, and the expungement of criminal records can submit applications via email. 

Payments can be accepted in US or CI cash, debit/credit cards, or local cheques. Customers can also pay the fees for these services at post offices. Presently fees can be collected at the Airport, West Bay and Savannah Post Offices. 

The ODG is the latest government agency to partner with the Cayman Islands Postal Service on their new Swift Postal system, which allows the Postal Service to accept payments for government entities. As other post offices are re-opened, the CI Postal Service will implement the payment system at these other sites as well, including Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

Before the shelter-in-place order, customers were required to come to the Government Administration Building (GAB) to drop off hard copies of their applications and to pay by cheque.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson explained that these are examples of improvements brought about by the challenge of delivering services during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“My office and many other government agencies, like the Cayman Islands Postal Service, have had to reimagine the way our services are delivered and to develop new ways of working. As a result, we have discovered some ‘next normals’ that provide great benefits to our customers,” Manderson said.

Manderson thanked Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow and her team, in particular Deputy Postmaster General Melissa Martinez-Ebanks, Administrative Manager Jodie Whittaker and Chief Advisor Mary Rodrigues, who led an ODG team working to improve these services.

Glasgow explained that the new counter system, Swift Postal, allows CIPS to accept third party payments for government entities and the new service can be set up relatively quickly. Payments to the planning department can already be made at the Postal Service using the new system. 

“While in many respects we are moving towards online business transactions, there is still a segment of the population that is not online for various reasons, even here in Cayman,” Glasgow explained. “This is where the CI Postal Service, through Swift Postal, can assist in servicing those customers as well as customers who simply prefer this sort of in-person transaction.”

Applicants are asked to follow these steps to submit applications and then pay using the new Swift Postal system at the Post Office:

  1. Applicant visits ODG website here and downloads a copy of the application form for the desired ODG service.
  2. Applicant visits the Post Office, identifies the relevant ODG service, pays the fee and receives a receipt.
  3. Applicant emails completed and signed application form, the receipt of payment from the Post Office, and any other required documents, as follows:

While the Office of the Deputy Governor encourages its customers to take advantage of these more convenient ways to apply and pay, it recognises that a small number of customers may wish to submit hard copies of their application documents and cheques for payment. 

For this purpose, customers can use the kerbside drop boxes provided by Facilities Management at the Government Administration Building (GAB). 

These changes will remain in effect until further notice.

Another innovation from the ODG team included online Pledge Ceremonies in May during the shelter-in-place order using Zoom. Normally people have been required to attend Pledge Ceremonies at the GAB.

 Since that time, 165 new British Overseas Territory citizens have been successfully sworn-in using this service.

The Office of the Deputy Governor is working towards the launch of a new online system for BOTC applications, scheduled to be rolled out later this year. 

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Category: Civil Service, Local News

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