Wed | Jan 23, 2019

People's Report: PICA Portmore a grand waste of time

Published:Saturday | June 27, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Jennifer McDonald, CEO of PICA.

My husband and I went to the Portmore branch of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) on Saturday, June 20, 2015, to apply for a passport for our son. We decided to wait until the mad rush to avoid increased fees was over.

Their opening hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. We arrived in the office at 2:15, only to be told by the security that no more numbers were being given out to PICA customers and that we would have to come back.

In my annoyance, I asked to speak with the person in charge of the office, only to be told by a PICA worker that she is only a desk clerk, and that the persons in charge are located at the head office, which is where I should make my complaint.

She went on to explain that, if I came back on Monday morning, there would be no guarantee that I would be given a number to be seen, because the number of customers processed varies from day to day. I was told that I would have to "come and see".

What was even more off-putting was the "oh, well" attitude of the desk clerk when I voiced my dissatisfaction.

Another customer said that she arrived at the Portmore office at 10:30 a.m. the very day I did, only to be told that she would not be given a number and would have to return on Monday. I must point out that the tax office in which the PICA desk is located had fewer than 10 customers waiting when I got there.

I am truly disappointed at the level of (non-)service I received from the PICA Portmore office. If the Portmore branch is not able to adequately meet the needs of residents, it should be removed to proper facilities where it can be of more meaningful service, instead of a source of annoyance to Portmore residents, and instead of asking them to play Russian roulette with their time.