October 03, 2018
The Ministry of Public Works (MOW) is responding to recommendations by the Ease of Doing Business Committee to improve its plan approval process thereby providing better service to the public.
The MOW in partnership with the Department of Information Technology hosted an Electronic Plan Processing System workshop Thursday, September 27, 2018 at the Paul Farquharson Centre for architects, engineers and designers who submit plans for building permits through the Buildings Control Division.
The objective of the workshop was to ensure that external users of the proposed Electronic Plan Processing System, have an opportunity to contribute to the development of the process and are informed of efforts to improve the entire experience with the Ministry's Buildings Control Division.
Emma Foulkes, Under Secretary, emphasized that the system will assist in moving applications through the various agencies more quickly and aide the Buildings Control Division's capacity to store drawing files. She said the electronic storage of approved drawings would make research and retrieval much more “efficient” than the current process where officers have to physically search the overstocked and outdated storage rooms.
The Hon. Desmond Bannister, Minister of Public Works, said one of the committee’s six recommendations highlighted the need for the establishment of an electronic platform to facilitate and streamline electronic applications and the information process. He pointed out the need for the elimination of excessive paper work and repeat visits to the MOW in connection to a single application.
Minister Bannister said the Ministry’s present system is “too manual” and “time consuming.”
He said the Committee’s recommendations emphasized modernization of the application, inspection, approval and notification process which should reflect best practices and a greater infusion of technology supplemented by increased availability, and appropriately skilled officers.
Minister of Works, the Hon. Desmond Bannister describes Electronic Plan Processing System for Building Pemits at Paul Farquharson Centre, Police HQ, September 27, 2018. (BIS Photos/Derek Smith)
By Kathryn Campbell