The Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) presented a draft diversification roadmap to the ministers and permanent secretaries in attendance at a meeting last week.
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Works Ministry goes public with new app
Works Minister Surujrattan Rambachan wants to ensure that his ministry is run in an efficient, business like manner. “It is not only about what is happening within the walls of the ministry, but road works, landslips, road closures and alternative routes. One of the goals of the ministry is to reduce the stress of the public and the stress of the consumer by how we do business.
“I see the Ministry of Works as a business. We must be customer focused and customer centric,” he said yesterday at the launch of Works and Infrastructure Information Zone Electronic-portal (WIZE), a Ministry of Works mobile app, at the Conference Centre, Movie Towne, Invaders Bay.
The app provides a mobile avenue of two way communication between the Ministry of Works and the public. It can be downloaded at Goggle apps Store but is currently only available for Android-based devices.
Some of the features include:
Notices-A list of topics of interest and advice, where necessary, of action to be taken.
Photo Galleries-Photo albums which will keep the public up-to-date on the progress and activities of the ministry.
Traffic Cams-Clicking on a list item will display a live video stream of the traffic at various camera locations.
Map-An interactive map displays the location of several types of works taking place across the country.
Rambachan said often there had been lack of information and an inability to give feedback to the public. “While I was at the Ministry of Local Government I was trying to purchase a facility like this and they went out for tenders and the cost of buying an app like this from a company in India was over $1 million. This is one of the most significant things I have encountered over the last four years at three ministries,” he said. The minister said in the current fiscal year under the PURE programme there are 740 projects in progress, which means 740 locations throughout the country.
“Under the URP programme there are 753 projects. Under the Highways Division, 285 projects have been completed. This means for this fiscal year, there are 1,965 projects being done in the country. Can you imagine what it is to drive to every one of these locations? Now we can take this app and pass it on to all the district offices and train them on how to give you feedback,” he said.
Rambachan said the app cuts away excess time and cost and reduces the “unnecessary animosity” between the ministry and public. “In a country where the public has a high value of the right to know, they just do not want to know that a road is being built, they want to know the cost of thee road. They want to know if the public is getting value for money,” the minister said.