Biometric visa, border control system approved

Monday, June 13, 2011

Panama's cabinet has greenlighted the public safety ministry to pay almost US$7mn to local firm OTI Panamá for the provision, design, set-up and integration of a biometric visa system, and software and hardware of an electronic border control system, local press reported.

OTI Panamá has been operating for two months.

According to the official gazette, the cabinet council's resolution quotes public safety minister José Raúl Mulino as saying OTI Panamá's proposal "is in the best interest for the government due to all the benefits it offers." However, the document, signed by President Ricardo Martinelli, does not indicate any other bidders consulted by the authority.

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These systems will be implemented through a turnkey contract, with the payment of US$3.5mn from this year's budget and over US$3.4mn from next year's.

A part of the proposal to the cabinet council, the public safety ministry previously said that these systems "will allow greater control at border checkpoints."