The government has signed a $6.4 million contract with Canadian Bank Note Company to set up a system to monitor the territory’s borders for the next five years and share real-time information between agencies, government announced this week.
Premier Andrew Fahie and Deputy Premier Vincent Wheatley signed the deal for the border management and electronic visa system with Mark Holton, the Canada-based company’s vice president of business development, identity and payment, as well as Fuencisla Santiago, its director of business development. The initiative will allow for “seamless information sharing and statistics gathering” on travellers as well as cargo, according to Government Information Services.
“I am happy to be the beneficiary of all the hard work that went into getting us where we are right now,” said Mr. Wheatley, who is also the minister of natural resources, labour and immigration. “This system will go a long way into helping us take immigration under control.T he idea of shared information in real-time is unbelievable; this is going to be the first time in many years where we can share information between agencies, so this will speed up times at our ports.”
Mr. Fahie added that the system will increase efficiency at the territory’s borders.
“This is not just moving the BVI on the cutting edge, but it is actually putting it on the bleeding edge,” he said. “I thank the representatives from the Canadian Bank Note for meeting our standards and criteria as well as our needs.”
Mr. Holton said he and his colleague were grateful to be signing the agreement.
“As the largest border control solution provider in CARICOM, we are very proud of the work that we have done with your neighbours and the technology that we are bringing to you is indeed bleeding edge,” he said.“We pledge that we will implement this system and we will make it efficient for you and your teams to perform your functions.”
The company will also employee people “on the ground” to help with diagnostics and capacity building, according to a GIS statement, which did not provide numbers or say whether the employees would be from here or abroad.