Getting a police certificate of character? There’s an app for that, the Attorney General Dale Marshall has promised, in a bid to end decades of red tape and red faces for Barbadians queuing up for the declaration of a clean criminal record.
The app is being developed to enable making an appointment and paying for the certificate, the Attorney General disclosed today in the House of Assembly while wrapping up the debate on the Evidence (Miscellaneous) Provisions Bill.
He told the Lower Chamber that the time is coming “very soon” where applicants will be able to make an appointment for a Police Certificate of Character via the Internet.
Marshall said: “We have asked the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology to work with us on developing an app and it is almost finished.
“So that an individual who wants to apply for the Police Certificate of Character can go on his or her phone, laptop or tablet and he will complete the application form online.
“He will make the payment through EZPay, a new Government portal to accept money.
“So you don’t have to stand up at the Treasury or at the Port. He will be given a number and he will show up and collect his certificate.”
The Attorney General said he was intent on bringing a shorter period of time between the application of the certificate and the delivery of that certificate to anywhere between three to five days.
He declared: “We cannot be content to wallow in the past where you stand up in a line and use all of your productive time.
“The current system somebody has to go search through a filing system and look for the name John Browne; then they run back with a card written in handwriting that you barely read.
“Then they say: ‘Yes, he is known, but I can’t quite make out what he was charged with, but he get two years for that.’”
He continued: “You apply for a Police Certificate of Character and they tell you, you can get an appointment in about eight weeks then you have to wait another couple of weeks before you can get it and by that time, the job you wanted to get the certificate for gone to somebody else.”
The Government’s chief legal adviser assured that money is being spent on digitising records to take Barbados into a modern era.
Marshall said: “We’ve invested money in digitising all of the criminal records of person in Barbados.
“We are moving Barbados into a modern era so all of those cards all of that data is being digitised.
“It means that when you apply for a Police Certificate of Character nobody has to search for a long form anymore, nobody has to search the record because it is all there.” (IMC)