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Ready in 3 minutes: Electronic birth certificate

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 12:36 pm
by bimjim
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl ... =161480096

Ready in 3 minutes: Electronic birth certificate
Thursday, May 21st 2009

Service in three minutes with proper ID.

That's what the Legal Affairs Ministry is now offering to members of the public who want an electronic birth certificate.

This, according to Legal Affairs Minister, Peter Taylor who said yesterday that upgraded computer software has significantly reduced the amount of time people are being asked to wait before they can collect a copy of the electronic birth certificate.

He was speaking at a press conference to formally unveil the real time system at the Ministry's head office on South Quay, Port of Spain. Taylor said the US$3.5 million upgrade will reduce the three-hour wait for a copy of the certificate to three minutes once consumers present proper identification.

"On May 4, we introduced a service, where for the first time members of the public would be able to come down to the ministry, apply for their birth certificate and receive it there and then," he said.

Taylor however, said since the inception of the electronic birth paper, they had to deal with numerous complaints of human error, compounded by the demand placed on them by other ministries, such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of National Security, who made it a prerequisite for people to provide the Pin number as a source of identification.

"So you can understand the pressures the demand brought to us almost overnight on the resources of the ministry. The building has not changed, the capacity downstairs has not changed, but we had now to grapple with this instantaneous flood of people," he said.

Registrar General, Susan Francois added that this real time delivery of birth certificates was possible because they had over 2.8 million birth records in an image database and a text database available to them instantly via the computer, so all they needed to do was check whenever someone came in.

Information Technology Specialist at the Ministry, Malcolm Dobson, however, said that's not all of which it was capable.

"The old system did not have reporting facilities, this new system has simpler reporting facility that most staff, who has access to it can perform whatever aspect is required of them," he said.

But more than that, the new system, which is protected from hackers by a firewall, will now play a key role in the registering of live births, deaths and stillborns at the nation's hospital once it is fully rolled out, Dobson said.

"As we roll it out to the hospitals and to other offices, we are able to capture data almost immediately, thereby we are able to improve on that data (reducing errors)," he said. - Aabida Allaham