New Era in Passport Printing for Vanuatu Immigration Office
The Vanuatu Immigration and Passport Services (VIPS) have officially confirmed the installation of a state-of-the-art passport printing machine, slated to commence operations by May 24, 2023. This exciting development follows the unforeseen malfunction of the previous device, which had been out of commission since May 11.
The Journey to a New Machine
Challenges with the Existing Machine: The sudden breakdown of the current machine created a significant setback. Despite concerted efforts by the dedicated IT team, repair attempts were unfortunately unsuccessful. Consequently, this necessitated the procurement of a new, more reliable machine at a cost of around VT2.5 million.
Return of the Old Machine: For security reasons, following the supplier’s advice, the faulty device will be sent back to the factory in Germany for thorough repairs.
Anticipation of the New Machine: On a brighter note, VIPS’ Director, Jeffrey Markson, announced, “We are pleased to announce that the tracking code for the new printing machine was received yesterday, and we anticipate its arrival at our office by May 24.” As soon as the machine is in place, passport printing will resume without delay.
Towards a Permanent Solution
The unforeseen difficulties with the current passport system sparked concern within Vanuatu. This led to a strong commitment from the responsible departments to devise a permanent solution, with an understanding that the passport system is a complex matter requiring careful attention.
New Passport Operating System: Currently, there’s an ongoing effort to secure a new passport operating system. A supplementary budget proposal is presently before parliament for discussion during the 2023 First Ordinary Sitting of Parliament.
Enhancements in the New System: The projected new passport system intends to overcome the previous system’s shortcomings. As Director Markson elaborated, this will involve comprehensive reforms including, increased security features in booklets, more streamlined citizen enrollment, and secure issuance.
Additional Considerations: Alongside these changes, VIPS is also exploring the reinstatement of passport lodgement services in provincial offices and potential lodgement through foreign missions.
The Path Forward
- Technical Working Committee: To further progress these improvements, the VIPS has crafted a policy paper for the Council of Ministers (COM). The paper proposes the formation of a technical working committee to monitor the project from inception to completion.
- Responsibilities of the Committee: This committee will engage vendors, meticulously assess their capabilities, and provide recommendations to the tender board. The proposed committee is estimated to complete the project within six months, marking a swift resolution to the passport printing issues.
- Commitment to the Citizens: Lastly, the Immigration Office wants to reassure the public that swiftly resolving the passport printing issues is their utmost priority. They are devoted to implementing a permanent solution within a practical timeframe, keeping the immediate needs of the system in focus.
This journey to a new era in passport printing showcases VIPS’ commitment to providing better and more reliable services to the citizens of Vanuatu. The upcoming improvements promise to elevate the security, efficiency, and convenience of the passport system to a new level.