The Office of the Deputy Governor (ODG) has made it easier for customers to submit applications and pay for services provided by the Office.
Starting on Tuesday, 23 June 2020, applicants for British Overseas Territories Citizenship (BOTC) Naturalisation/Registration; British Registration; and the expungement of criminal records, can submit applications via email. Customers may also pay the fees for these services at Post Offices. Presently fees can be collected at the Airport, West Bay and Savannah Post Offices. Payments can be accepted in US/CI cash, Debit/Credit Cards, or local cheques.
The ODG is the latest Government agency to partner with the CI 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,” Mr Manderson said.
Mr Manderson thanked the Postmaster General and her team, in particular Ms Melissa Martinez-Ebanks, Deputy Postmaster General, Operations and Human Resources, as well as Administrative Manager, Ms Jodie Whittaker and Chief Advisor, Mrs Mary Rodrigues, who have led an ODG team working to improve these services.
Postmaster General, Ms Sheena Glasgow, explained that the new counter system, Swift Postal, allows the Postal Service 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,” Ms 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,” Ms Glasgow said.
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 www.odg.gov.ky 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:
a. BOTC Naturalisation/Registration to email@example.com
b. British Registration to firstname.lastname@example.org (scans must be in color for British Registration)
c. Expungement to email@example.com.
While the Office of the Deputy Governor encourages its customers to take advantage of these more convenient ways to apply and pay, it recognizes 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 curbside drop boxes provided by Facilities Management at the Government Administration Building (GAB).
These changes will remain in effect until further notice. Interested persons should monitor and visit www.gov.ky for the latest official updates.
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Zoom Pledge Ceremonies for New British Overseas Territory Citizens
Another innovation from the ODG team includes new online Pledge Ceremonies in May, during the Shelter-in-Place Order.
ODG introduced the new, online Pledge Ceremonies using Zoom, to accommodate individuals who would previously have been required to attend in-person Pledge Ceremonies at the GAB.
Since that time, 165 new British Overseas Territory citizens have been successfully sworn-in using this service.
In addition 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.