Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | July 6, 2009
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Passport agency faces huge drop in revenue
Kimesha Walters, Gleaner Writer

The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) has reported a massive drop in revenue since the onset of the global economic recession last year.

Jennifer McDonald, chief executive officer at PICA, told The Gleaner yesterday that the government body has been struggling to grapple with the change in fortunes.

"We saw a big downturn in our revenue late last year as a result of the wider financial crisis," said McDonald, though not disclosing the hard figures.

The PICA chief, who has been with the organisation since its transformation, also mentioned that it was a challenge getting staff accustomed to the business philosophy of an executive agency, such as meeting targets and achieving other operational objectives.

Executive agencies are government bodies which are expected to sustain themselves financially. Agencies which made this transition previously depended on central government for funding.

"We are performance driven, so it is really getting everyone into that culture, that target," added McDonald. She noted, however, that employees have begun catching on.

Second anniversary

PICA yesterday celebrated its second anniversary as an executive agency with a church service at the Bethel Baptist Church in St Andrew.

During her address at the church service, McDonald praised the employees at the agency for their efforts.

"I laud you for the success that we have experienced. None of this would have been possible without you," she said.

"Much is expected of us and we have and will continue to rise to that expectation."


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