The Ministry of Local Government & Community Development is deepening its efforts to improve the Development Approval process by strengthening the capacity of Local Authorities to work with the Application Management and Data Analysis (AMANDA) software.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony for the month-long training exercise which began on Monday July 8, 2013, Minister of Local Government & Community Development, the Honourable Noel Arscott said that “the implementation of the AMANDA software is a major stepping stone in helping to improve Jamaica’s development application process”. The Minister applauded the Cabinet Office for their role in sponsoring the training exercise to support the implementation of the software which will be implemented in all Local Authorities and commenting agencies on a phased basis; AMANDA is currently being utilized in eight Local Authorities (LAs).
The Minister explained that the AMANDA will reduce inconsistencies, end bottleneck in task assignment and processes, enhance accountability and increase customer satisfaction. In using the AMANDA software LAs have implemented a Development Application Help Desk where there is consultation to determine correctness and completeness of application before the information is logged into the database from which an acceptance letter and unique reference number if generated.
With the development application process already integrated into AMANDA setting out each task as well as the responsible persons and timeline, once a task is completed and is indicated the programme then prompts the person responsible for performing the next task in the process flow. Applicants are able to view the status of their application via any web portal.
The “Training of the Trainers’ exercise, as it is being dubbed, is being conducted by CSDS Inc. developers of the AMANDA software; ten (10) IT developers and 30 end users from NMLG&CD and Local Authorities and commenting agencies (NEPA) that have already been using the AMANDA system, will be trained and certified.
Other referral agencies to benefit from training are:National Works Agency (NWA), Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB), Rural Physical Planning Unit (RPPU) of Ministry of Agriculture, Environmental Health Unit (EHU) of Ministry of Health.
The Local Authorities that have already using AMAND in the processing of development Approvals for nine lots and under (in the first instance) are: Kingston & St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), St. Catherine Parish Council, Manchester Parish Council, St. Elizabeth Parish Council, Hanover Parish Council, St. James Parish Council, Trelawny Parish Council and Clarendon.