The Ministry of Local Government & Community Development has acquired fifteen (15) hand held GPS devices along with software and related accessories for use in a streetlight audit to be conducted islandwide.
The audit is to be conducted by Local Authorities (LAs) in conjunction with Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd (JPSco) in a bid to improve efficiency in the monitoring and management of streetlights as well as to ensure that there is greater level of accountability of the service being provided by JPSCo Ltd.
This is essential as the Local Authorities’ responsibility for the management and monitoring of streetlights includes paying for the service and this is a very high cost that has been increasing steadily over the years. The Government paid One Hundred & Seventy Eight Million Dollars ($178M) for streetlights over the 2010/2011 fiscal year and $2.62 billion is projected for this year. In fact, the cost for streetlights has increased by 83% between January 2009 and February 2012.
Consequently, the Ministry in conjunction with the LAs and the JPSCo Ltd. developed a shared Streetlight Database with online public access, to document and track street lights in Jamaica.
The streetlight audit will ensure accurate account of all existing streetlights based on location, type and wattage.
A 5day training exercise (in the use of the equipment), involving personnel from the LAs as well as other individuals who will be contracted to carry out the audit, is currently underway at the Ministry. The audit is expected to begin within in one week and will be conducted over a 3month period. Once the streetlight audit is completed the GPS equipment will be retained by LAs for use in their planning and road works activities.