A Development Applications Review Process (DARP) Public Portal 11 has been created to improve the process of application for environmental and construction permits.
It is part of the Application Management and Data Automation (AMANDA) system aimed at improving the ease of doing business with municipal corporations and key government agencies.
The online portal, scheduled to be launched in December 2017, will be implemented at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and three municipal corporations – Kingston and St Andrew, St Ann and St James.
It will be implemented in other parish councils after the testing phase. A sensitisation session on the e-portal was held on June 22 at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, to explain how the system will work and at the same time get feedback from users.
Principal Director of the Public Sector Modernisation Programmme, Office of the Cabinet, Wayne Robertson, said the implementation of the portal will play a major role in improving Jamaica’s global competitiveness rankings and boosting economic growth and development. This, he said, is key in helping to achieve the Economic Growth Council’s target of five per cent growth over four years.
He said it is important that the system works as intended. “So, if the system is down, it does not help the customer, and it does not help our abilities to achieve growth,” Robertson pointed out. Mayor of St James, Homer Davis, said the tool will help to fast-track the approval time for developers, who, he said, have often lamented the slow application process.
He said the portal will also allow developers to submit and monitor their applications online as they proceed through the various approval agencies.
“We need the best for our country, and we must ensure that development takes place in a timely and orderly fashion to match the capacity of the population and the types of investments that we accommodate,” he said.
The public session was attended by the Director of Special Projects at JAMPRO, Marjorie Straw; mayors of Trelawny, Hanover and Westmoreland, officers from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Directors of Planning from the municipal corporations and officers from NEPA.
Contributed by the Jamaica Observer.