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Immigrationís New Site, Logo

Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson (third from left), and senior Immigration Department staff, attend the Monday, 21 January launch of Immigration Week 2008, at the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa. From left are Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, Border Security, Bruce Smith; Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, Administration, Kerry Nixon; Director of Policy and Strategy Christopher Eakin; and Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, Enforcement, Dennis Brady.

Published 22nd January 8, 12:0am

A new website that allows Immigration clients to access services online, and a new logo that underscores the departmentís commitment to serving Cayman, were two highlights of yesterdayís (Monday, 21 January) launch of Immigration Week 2008.

Giving his keynote address before Caymanís top officials, Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson said Immigration Week is part of the departmentís ongoing efforts to improve customer service.

This is in keeping, he noted, with a promise he made when he became Chief Immigration Officer in 2004. Two achievements from 2007 topped his list — the customer-service flow system, which handled some 90,000 walk-in customers; and the call centre, which handled some 50,000 calls.

"The launch of the website, in particular, is geared towards further empowering the departmentís clientele by providing all the information they need at the click of a button," Mr Manderson said. The site also signals the departmentís belief in Freedom of Information, he acknowledged, and reinforces its pledge to keep open the lines of communication with the public.

Among the officials present at the function, held at the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa, were His Excellency the Governor, Mr Stuart Jack, CVO; Speaker of the House, the Hon. Edna Moyle, JP; Chief Secretary, the Hon. George McCarthy, OBE, JP; Deputy Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks, MBE; and Attorney General, the Hon. Samuel Bulgin, QC, JP, immigration officials and staff along with members of the business community.

Mr Manderson said that Immigration Week 2008 also will showcase some of the legislative changes that reinforce the governmentís commitment to protecting Caymanians; provide clarity and certainty for employers and work-permit holders; and promote inward investments.

"While we emphasise service to the public, we intend to increase our law enforcement activities to ensure that all segments of our population respect and observe the Immigration Law," he said.

"We will, accordingly, be intensifying our efforts to prosecute breaches of the Immigration Law, and we will be holding employers and employees who break the work-permit rules to full account."

Mr. Manderson went on to say that "while we will be intensifying our enforcement efforts we will also expend significant resources on public education which we hope will prevent the commission of immigration offences".

As part of the public education process, a key feature of Immigration Week will be having meetings in the various districts, beginning with West Bay on Wednesday and Cayman Brac on Thursday.

Mr Manderson also lauded his staff, past and present, who have contributed to the departmentís growth and development. He said the quality of their service can be measured by the fact that 14 staff members were nominated for the Governorís Five-Star Award for Customer Excellence (F.A.C.E.) awards, including one who was among the four winners.

The Immigration website can be accessed at www.immigration.gov.ky.

The departmentís new logo is a royal blue and silver shield with three distinct components and its motto is Security, Stability, Prosperity.

In explaining the significance of both, Boards Administrator, Mrs Sherryl Miller said that the shield is the classic symbol of defence and security and is a bold statement that the Cayman Islands Immigration Department is in the vanguard of protecting the people of the islands and the islandís way of life.

"The motto-security, stability, prosperity were carefully chosen to capture the role of the Cayman Islands Department of Immigration in safeguarding the growth and development of the islands," Mrs. Miller said.