Categorized | National News

Gov’t Signs $30 Million IDB Loan

The government has  secured the funding needed to advance two major  projects. A $30 million loan agreement has been  signed with the Inter-American Development Bank  for digital transformation and natural disasters.

The Minnis administration  is seeking  to strengthen its competitiveness by modernizing and digitalizing the public services.

According to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, the loan will also be used to streamline and place government procedures online.

“In this case, a once only policy will also be implemented;  that’s to say when one government agency has a piece of document, that very same document will be made available to other government agencies.

“No longer will the Passport Office or the Ministry of the Public Service ask you for your birth certificate or marriage certificate. 

“Citizens and residents will only need to carry one card which will likely be a modified version of the NIB card.

“This will be an electronic identification with a digital signature, instead of passport, drivers’ license or whatever.

“On- line services will be accessed through a single window facility at international standards for infrastructure and applications, as well as with security and service delivery at the forefront,”  said the Prime Minister.  

Dr. Minnis added that a pilot program is in the works for the renewal of passports and driver’s licenses and the verification of birth certificates, affidavits and police certificates.

“The pilot will be the first to  connect these Ministries and the information will be shared diligently. 

“Once fully implemented,  Bahamians should be able to fully and securely apply online for these services without physically providing birth certificates, marriage certificates, and police certificates. Yes, that means no more lines at the Passport Office,” the Prime Minister said.   

The second loan – the contingent loan for natural disasters – this will assist The Bahamas in preparing for natural disasters, minimizing the potential of loss of life and damage to properties.

“We must maximize our ability to recover  as quickly as possible,  in order to quickly get our communities and the economy back on track following catastrophic events. 

“A  key part of any readiness plan is to have access to resources as quickly as possible to speed up response and recovery efforts.” 

“The CLL is a line of credit that is on standby in the event that we are hit by a hurricane and require additional funds to recover,” he said  

Written by Jones Bahamas

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