(a) Local Government Entrenched in the Constitution
Local Government has been entrenched in Constitution.The Constitution (Amendment) Local Government Act, 2015 is now in forcefor the first time in the history of Jamaica.
(b) Strategic Laws
The Local Government Financing and Financial Management Bill and Local Government (Unified Services and Employment) Bill have been tabled in parliament, the Local Governance Bill is now being considered by the Legislation Committee.
(c) Disaster Risk Management Act 2015
The Disaster Risk Management Bill was passed in Parliament and promulgated.
The Act seeks to provide for a strengthened legislative framework for disaster management. This Act replaces The Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Act.
(d) Building Bill
The Office of the Chief Parliamentary Council (OCPC) is currently revising the draftBuilding Bill.This Bill will facilitate the improvement of the building approval process and provide a framework for the effective management of the building industry. The Bill will incorporate the Kingston and St. Andrew Building Act and Parish Councils Building Act.
DEVELOPMENT APPROVAL PROCESS
In the Construction Permits section of the World Bank Doing Business Report, Jamaica had moved up 26 places from a ranking of 52 in 2013 to 26 among 182 countries in 2015. This is attributed to the changes in the approval process including greater efficiency and advanced technology.Additionally, help desks were set up in Local Authorities tostrengthen the process and to support the AMANDA System.During the period the Local Authorities have approved approximately15,000 applications with an estimatedvalue of $100 billion.
The Applications Management and Data Automation (AMANDA)System has been implemented to increase efficiency, effectiveness and transparency in the development application process. The AMANDA System wasimplementedin all Local Authorities.
- PROPERTY TAX PROGRAMME
Over $19 billion in property taxes were collected within the period. The Government achieved its highest collection in the 2014-2015 Financial Year of $7.45 billion, surpassing the collection target of $7.26 billion.This has contributed to over $7.2 billion spent on solid waste management and $6.9 billion spent on streetlights.
- FIRE SAFETY AND PROTECTION
- 10 fire stations were refurbished and rehabilitated (Port Royal, Free Port, Brigade Headquarters, Portmore, Morant Bay, Brown’s Town, St. Ann’s Bay, Christiana, Fire Boat and Savanna La Mar Fire Stations)
- 42 fire units and 5 ambulances underwent major repairs.
- 6 fire units were purchased.
- 2 fire units and 2 ambulances were donated by the Japanese Government.
- 187 hydrants were repaired, and 1345 were serviced of which 107 were done under the Japanese Government Hydrant Maintenance Programme.
- 75 Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) were acquired for fire fighters.
- 500 pairs of walking boots and uniforms were procured for the firefighters.
- INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADE AND DEVELOPMENTRoad Repairs
Over 1000 drains have been cleaned at a cost of $1 billion and approximately 600 KM of roads were repaired across all 14 parishes at a cost of $5 billion.
- COMMISSIONING OF BLACK RIVER MARKET
The construction of the Black River Market project included landscaping, fabricating and erecting vendors’ stalls. This was completed in time to allow for the market to be operational by the December 2014 timeline. It should be noted that the project had no variations and was approximately J$1.4M under budget. This was completed within schedule and budget.
- SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
(a) The Government of Jamaica and the Mexican Government signed a contract on June 3, 2015 for US$1.8M for the rehabilitation of the Riverton access road.
(b) Over $600 million have been spent by the National Solid Waste Management Authority on heavy equipment over the period. This has strengthened the capacity of the Authority to manage waste across the island.
- GOVERNANCE AND INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING
Linstead Town Centre was officially launched in November 2014, and commissioned in December 2014. Consultations regarding the Ocho Rios Town Centre were held with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Developmentand other critical stakeholders including the UDC and the St. Ann Parish Council. This resulted in a draft MOU.
- LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (LED)
Local Economic Development (LED) project was implemented to spur economic development at the community level. The fund allocated to community local economic development demonstration projects in Jamaica is approximately $60 million. This was received from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada (DFATD) and the Canadian, Caribbean and Commonwealth partners.
There are twelve (12) community local economic development demonstration projects that have been supported by Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) Project of which seven (7) are on-going and five (5) have been completed.
- New Roads Rest Stop (completed with kiosks for vendors) JA$5.5M, 60 farmers and food and craft vendors have benefited;
- Beeston Spring Organic Farming & Agro-Processing Facility (Establishment of an organic demonstration plot; erect a seedling nursery; provision of 5 low-tech solar dryers) JA$4.2M, 60 farmers and farm workers have benefitted.
- Riverton Recycling Project (Provision of equipment, namely: Perforator, Forklift, lighting and construction of a ramp) JA$ 8.2M, 12 persons have been employed;
- Portmore Self-Help Disability Organization (PSDO) Mobility Centre (Provision of 2 – 40ft containers for resource center, equipment, skills training) JA$3.2M, 5 persons have gained employment and community members with disabilities have benefitted.
- Ackee Village (Erection of 10 kiosks) JA$6.2M, 20 ackee vendors have benefitted.
- Cecil Charlton Park Redevelopment (Construction of 10 shops/kiosks) JA$11M, 10 entrepreneurs have benefitted;
- Milk River Sea Food & Jerk Festival (provision of tents, chairs, promotion) JA$.5M, 50 vendors, providers of goods and services have benefitted.
- White Shop Agro-Bizz& Agro Processing Project Phase 1 (erect a 15×15 seedling shade house; construct a temporary storage area for produce, farm 6 acres) JA$3M, 10 farmers benefitted.
- Dawkins/ Mocho Greenhouse Expansion Project (erect 2 – 3,000 sqft greenhouses, construct a fertigation house and fence farming area, provide training in sustainable agricultural practices) JA$7.59M, 4 direct beneficiaries
- CATHERINE PROJECTS:
- Spanish Town Heritage Tourism Project (Training of tour guides, staff of the Parish Council and shopkeepers in tour guiding and customer service) JA$1.75M, 30 direct beneficiaries
- Glengoffe Bamboo Charcoal Project (Provision of equipment for the cutting, drying and burning of ripe bamboo and technical and business training) JA$4M, 40 direct and 160 indirect beneficiaries
- Top Mountain Juice Project (Provision of a juice packer, delivery van, cold room and business management training) JA$4.6M, 35 direct beneficiaries
- INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
Geographic Information System (GIS) was installed in all LAs to support their planning and development control processes. Additionally, local spatial data was collected with the support of the Office of the Cabinet, to support the LAs’ Local Sustainable Development Plans (LSDP) preparation process. This resulted in the Portmore Municipal Council completing the collection and collation of local geospatial data and used this data to inform the land use component of its LSDP.