its functions and keep it abreast of the move by Government to advance its
The authority now has a custom-made database which provides an
electronic system for the management of building applications.
The database developed by local company, Farara
Business Solutions, is designed to help the Building Authority
process building applications more efficiently, compile more accurate
records, facilitate the easy retrieval of those records and enhance the
information sharing capabilities among departments.
Building Inspector Supervisor, Mr. Perry Penn is quite keen to begin fully
tilizing the database and witness the change in operations that it is likely to
bring. “A database of this nature is long in coming,” he said, adding that “It
will reduce the amount of time spent making calls to agents or the Town and
Country Planning Department to enquire about the status of applications.
Mr. Penn further described the database as a much-needed added convenience.
“It will enable officers in the department to get on the computer, access the
system and immediately know the exact status of an application that has been
submitted for approval. We will be able to respond to our clients more
efficiently! It also gives us the ability to conduct research and queries
before applications are actually submitted to our office and provide greater
accountability in ensuring that inspections are performed in keeping with
departmental standards and building regulations,” he stated.
Officers in the department have already been provided with demonstrations of
how the system works and are currently in the process of populating the database
and familiarising themselves with its various functions. The department plans to
begin using the database in early December and Mr. Penn expects the immense
benefits to be immediately visible.
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) was instrumental in securing the
database for the Building Authority which is linked to the existing Mitigation
and Planning Database currently in use by the Town and Country Planning
Department. The creation of these systems will allow the DDM to monitor how
mitigation issues are being addressed and how the recommendations provided as
part of the Hazard Vulnerability Assessment process are being applied.
DDM Director Ms. Sharleen DaBreo commented, “It is important that such
a system is readily available to provide an analysis of planning and building
applications and to assist in better monitoring and evaluating development
practices throughout the Territory.”
Ms. Da Breo said the creation of the database provides an example of
Government’s commitment to furthering the e-Government initiative. She noted too
that it allows for the integration of three critical development
components – disaster risk reduction, physical planning and construction.
“Together, these processes demonstrate how these processes can
contribute to safer and more environmentally sustainable practices in a
Territory that is vulnerable to a number of hazards and which must be considered
in its thrust to maintain a fragile environmental system while ensuring that
economic opportunities are available to contribute to a safe and comfortable
lifestyle for residents,” the DDM Director said.
The database project was funded under the Comprehensive Disaster
Management Harmonized Implementation Programme (CDM-HIP), through the Caribbean
Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).