Civil registry moves into new, improved premises
November 8, 2013
Civil registry moves into new, improved premises

In their new location, employees of the Civil Registry are better equipped to serve the public efficiently and effectively.{{more}}

During a tour of the new premises, at the former location of the Halifax Street branch of the National Commercial Bank, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves stated that the new location is a vast improvement over where they were previously.

Gonsalves also disclosed that over $400,000 had been spent to equip and renovate the new premises.

“The actual renovations cost nearly $200,000 and the equipping of the registry…the equipping with the furniture, the computers, air conditioners; all the other facilities which are here, cost slightly over another $200,000. So you’re talking over $400,000,” he said.

“We haven’t put in the cost for the multipurpose ID system, which is a grant through the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)”.

The Prime Minister explained that currently, the registry has embarked on digitalizing deeds by entering them on a modern information system.

“So, you’ll have the deeds, not like how you have them in the search room at the moment with the…they’re dog eared and pages are torn and so on and so forth,” Gonsalves said.

In addition, he noted that measures have been put in place to ensure that secure birth certificates are produced, particularly so that no one will be able to use a fraudulent birth certificate to acquire a national passport.

“If you have a fraudulent birth certificate, you can beat the system perhaps and get a passport which you’re not supposed to get,” explained the Prime Minister. “We have had to take very special measures to protect the integrity of our birth certificates. Not only the document itself, which has to be reliable, but the information which you get to put in the system”.

In his remarks, Gonsalves commended the registrar and her staff for coping with the move. He also commended the Roads, Buildings and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) for works that were carried out on the building.

Registrar Tamara Gibson-Marks declared that the staff at the Civil Registry were very pleased with their new location.

“We’re very happy that we can serve the public better and with more ease,” she said. “It’s improved, it’s modernized, we have new equipment and we can work better.

“Our business is to ensure that we serve the public efficiently and effectively and I am assured by my staff that with these new facilities, we are doing just that”.

Gibson-Marks also took the time to boast about the country’s achievements in terms of being the only country in the OECS to be able to produce birth certificates electronically.

Marks added that Jamaica and Trinidad are the only two other islands in the English speaking Caribbean which print birth certificates.

“No other island is so modernized, so I think it’s a great milestone for SVG and it’s something we should be proud of as Vincentians. We need to commend the Government for the interest they have paid in the registry and we are happy with our new premises,” the registrar said.

The Civil Registry was previously located in the High Court building.(BK)