The government yesterday launched a new online solution for the registration and licensing of vessels through the Port Department.
Through the Bahamas Digital Payment Platform (DigiPay), those who engage in the Bahamian boating and shipping industry will be able to make their application and payment processes online, Minister of State for Finance Senator Kwasi Thompson said yesterday.
“This innovative payment solution has the ability to seamlessly integrate with a wide range of business processes and systems throughout the government, allowing for a more accountable collection of government revenue,” he said.
“With real time reporting into the Treasury Financial Management System, DigiPay puts added controls in place to streamline revenue reporting for all government agencies, ministries and departments.”
The onboarding of the Port Department’s services to the digital sphere is the latest in a stream of government services now being made available online.
Thompson said more than 4,000 Bahamian residents have already utilized the government’s new digital service platforms to obtain birth, death and marriage certificates, e-passport renewals and drivers’ license renewals.
Minister of Transport and Aviation Dion Foulkes said through this new platform, customers of the Port Department will be able to apply for an ‘A’ or ‘B’ class masters license and apply for a ‘D’ class operator’s license, as well as register a marine structure such as a private, commercial or industrial dock and apply for a foreign yacht charter license.
“Customers will also be able to upload documents with their applications and will receive email updates from port officials on the status of their applications. Further facilitating the expedition of services, customers will also be able to pay for all of the aforementioned services online, via the solution’s built-in integration with the government’s DigiPay platform,” he said.
“With the introduction of this revolutionary solution and with future additional features we anticipate that phase two will allow customers to create a user profile which will enable them to track the status of their online applications, among other things.”
The government has undertaken a $30 million digitization initiative funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aimed at placing 200 government services online over the next five years.