The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Hon Rimbink Pato, OBE, LLB, MP yesterday tabled in Parliament some of the impressive recent achievements of the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority (ICSA) in 2012 as required under Section 18, l(d).ofthe PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Act of 2010.
In tabling PNG Immigration's 2012 Annual Report the Minister outlined the key achievements that the agency made last year, and pointed to the ambitious reform
agenda that it is currently implementing. Minister Pato reiterated a few of ICSA's major initiatives that he had covered in his statement.
The Government's directive to the Authority was to raise performance to support PNG's rapid economic development which relied upon efficient utilization of foreign labour.
Taking note of this directive, the Authority focused on and delivered the following outcomes:-
a) Introduction of data entry to streamline passport issuing and visa processing;
b) Training of officers in Core Competency and related specific areas to enhance ability of officers to respond to clients needs;
c) Established and supported the Advisory Board;
d) Supported the Citizenship Advisory Board carry out its Constitutional responsibilities;
e) Released its first ever Movement and Entry Permit Statistical and Trends Report,
f) Established a Temporary Regional Processing Centre in Manus,
g) Successful rollout of its Border Management System to PNG Mission at Wellington, Suva, London, Brussels, and Washington,
h) Established its presence at the Wutung-PNG/Indonesia Border Post, and i) \ Successfully coordinated the activities of the Taskforce established by the Government to Remove Unlawful Non-Citizens.
"Parliament will soon vote to introduce dual citizenship for Papua New Guineans. This will make it easier for the thousands of Papua New Guineans who love their homeland but have also established strong links in other countries top actively participate and contribute meaningfully to its development."
"PNG ICSA negotiated with Australia for online visa access for Papua New Guineans. This is now in place, working well and making life easier for our people."
"PNG Immigration is now looking to establish its own online visa application process for people wishing to travel here."
"ICSA is reviewing the PNG's migration legislation with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration and funding from the Government of Australia. As a result I expect to present new migration legislation to Parliament early next year. This new legislation will enable PNG's migration and border
management practices to meet the economic and security challenges of the 1st century".
"PNG Immigration will implement a cutting edge biometric passport for PNG. It has engaged experts from the International Civil Aviation Organization to assist with an audit of PNG's passport issuance and identity management processes and to recommend an optimal biometric passport system".
"Further technical improvements will be made by the deployment ofICSA's Border Management System to immigration offices in Papua New Guinea and Overseas. The system already operating at PNG Missions at Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Beijing was expanded to Wellington, Suva, Brussels, London
and Washington last year." The system will be installed at all the other PNG Missions and Posts this year.
"ICSA has implemented the Regional Resettlement Arrangements for asylum seekers, which the Government entered into with Australia recently. These arrangements are demonstrably working to reduce people smuggling, encourage people to return to their home countries, and to prevent the tragic loss of lives at sea."
Hon. Rimbink Pato, OBE, LLB, MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration