Launch of New Border Management System in Airports and Immigration Offices in FSM

April 23, 2008

The Australian Embassy

On 9 April 2008, the Australian Ambassador, H.E. Susan Cox, hosted an official ceremony at Pohnpei airport to mark the completion of the FSM Improved Border Management System in Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap. At the ceremony, Ambassador Cox commented that,

"The new computerised system would not only strengthen border security but also improve passenger processing times using automatic passport readers and generate national statistics to assist tourism and government planning."

FSM Secretary of Justice, Maketo Robert, accepted a plaque from the Australian Government to commemorate the successful installation of the new systems which now networks the national immigration office in Palikir, the four state immigration offices, the four international airports and passenger ships.

Secretary Robert thanked Australia for sharing its technology and technical expertise with the FSM noting that the new systems will greatly expand the country's border management capability. The Australian Ambassador acknowledged the project as an important example of development cooperation between the Governments of Australia and FSM. The project was jointly funded by both Australia (approx. USD$800,000) and the FSM (approx. USD$150,000). FSM's contribution was to upgrade the airports and Immigration offices to prepare for Australia's technological contribution.

Also present at the ceremony was Mr David Coombe from Natural Systems, the Australian immigration systems company that provided the project software and support. Mr Coombe noted the delays with installing the Border Management System in Yap following Typhoon Sudal in April 2004. However, he expressed his satisfaction that all four states are finally operational with the new System.

Other companies involved in the project included Pohnpei-based Asumen Ventures Incorporated (AVI), FSM Telecom and Dynjab Technologies. The ceremony was also attended by the Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr Kandhi Elieisar; Chief of the Division of Immigration and Labor, Mr Mohner Esiel; Chief of Police, Mr Pius Chotailug; Immigration Program Manager (IT), Mr David Wolphagen; General Manager of Pohnpei Tourism Office, Mr Edgar Santos; and AusAID Program Manager, Mrs Emma Tiaree.