Solomon Islands Launches Travel Entry Capture (TEC) App to Modernize Immigration Operations with Support from Papua New Guinea
The Solomon Islands Immigration Department has taken a significant step towards modernizing its operations with the launch of a new app, the Travel Entry Capture (TEC) App. The App, designed to monitor arrivals and departures of passengers was developed with the support of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and aims to streamline immigration processes while strengthening border security.
Funded by the PNG government, the TEC App was developed by the PNG Immigration department and marks a milestone in the collaboration between the two Pacific island nations. The App is set to revolutionize the way immigration officers manage passenger information, ultimately leading to more efficient and effective operations.
Under a bilateral agreement between the Immigration Departments of both countries, PNG has extended its support to Solomon Islands, demonstrating a strong spirit of cooperation and partnership. Stanis Hulahau, PNG Migration Officer, stressed the importance of embracing technology in the evolving landscape of immigration management. “Times have changed, and it is time for Solomon Islands to also embrace technology to enhance its work,” Stanis emphasized.
As part of this agreement, Papua New Guinea is not only providing technical expertise for the TEC App but is also supplying tablets to immigration officers stationed at the country’s international airport. Additionally, PNG has allocated funds to provide new uniforms for Customs and Immigration Officers at a cost of PGK250k, recognizing their role as the welcoming face of the nation for arriving passengers.
“Customs and Immigration are the face of any country. They are the first line of people passengers will see upon arrival in any country,” Stanis noted, emphasizing the significance of their roles in shaping travelers’ first impressions.
Chris Akosawa, Immigration Director of Solomon Islands, expressed gratitude for the support provided by Papua New Guinea, describing them as a “big brother” that’s extending a helping hand to strengthen Solomon Islands’ immigration systems. He revealed that the Immigration Department is actively preparing for the upcoming Pacific Games and will soon issue a call for applications to recruit new staff members. With the anticipated influx of visitors during the Games, the department plans to increase its staff to at least 60 personnel come 2024.
The collaborative effort between Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands was formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in May 2023. This MOU outlines various areas of cooperation, including capacity building, technical assistance, and border security collaboration. The agreement aligns with the Framework Treaty Guiding the Relations between Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, established in 2020, and serves as a framework for strengthening the partnership between the two nations.
The MOU also paves the way for training opportunities and exchange of technical support, facilitating a closer agency-to-agency network and collaboration. With the launch of the TEC App and the support provided by Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands is at ease to modernize its immigration processes and reinforce its commitment to efficient and secure border management.