The Sustainable Urban and Rural Development of the Vision 2030 National Development Plan describes the Development Applications process as lengthy and advises that the majority of Development Approvals is granted in a 1 -2 year and 2 – 3 year time frame. The document also indicates that Development Applications have taken over ten (10) years to be granted in some instances. Consequently, creation of a comprehensive and efficient planning system with an aim to streamline the Development Approvals process was positioned as national strategies and key actions respectively. The Ministry of Local Government and Community Development and local authorities amongst several other Ministries, Agencies and Departments were made responsible in this regard.
Subsequently, the Cabinet Office has been facilitating the modernisation of several components of the Development Applications Process with the support and involvement of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development (MLGCD). The Implementation Plan was developed by the Public Sector Modernisation Division of the Cabinet Office in collaboration with key stakeholders.
In an effort to streamline the Development Applications Process the introduction of a web-based tracking and monitoring system (AMANDA – Application Management & Data Automation) in the local authorities is scheduled to be completed by March 2015. The Cabinet Office has main responsibility for this activity. However, given its significance to the MLGCD, the Ministry has consistently participated in, support and lead where necessary in this regard.
The AMANDA implementation had as its prerequisite the completion of streamlining and standardising the business processes for sub-division, building and planning applications. These standardised processes have been encoded into the AMANDA system and outline critical timelines towards the achievement of requisite 90 days processing time for Development Applications. A standardised approach has also being adopted towards the implementation of a revised modern application form, checklist, site investigation and monitoring forms and brochures.
The AMANDA Programme was implemented to improve the development approval process, strengthening the economic development imperative of the Government. During the period 2013 - 2014, 4,543 (86.5%) applications with an estimated investment value of $30,549,632,630 were approved.