ICT related aspects of the 2020 #Trinidad and #Tobago Budget Statement

The Minister of Finance, Honourable Colm Imbert presented the 2020 Budget Statement in the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament on October 7 2019.

The 2019 Budget Statement and related documents can be downloaded at

This post will focus on the ICT related aspects of the 2020 Budget Statement.


The ICT related aspects of the 2020 Budget Statement :

Pages 42-43 under “Licensing Requirements”

Madam Speaker, we have been modernizing the licensing divisions in particularly at Port-of-Spain, Arima, St. James and San Fernando. These modernized offices with improved business atmospheres are expected to provide by end of December 2019, full 8- hour digitized services to the public.

When fully operational, the newly-installed technology will improve the way of doing business, including capture of traffic offences by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, faster online payment for ticket offences through the TT Post, access to licensing information, online certified copy requests and pick up, new cash register system for faster processing of payments by the public and automatic speed and red-light enforcement. In parallel with these improvements, this quantum leap in managing the nation’s transport system would facilitate a dramatic reduction in the corruption in the system that we have been forced to live with for far too long.

We are putting in place by March 2020 a Secure Motor Vehicle Number Plate System aimed at improving vehicle registration and removing all illegal license plates. We are starting this process in March 2020 with a three-year period for the change-out of existing plates. We are also putting in place a parking meter system in Port-of-Spain and San Fernando in 2020.

Madam Speaker, we are supporting these initiatives by legislation through the proclamation by December 2019 of the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act 2017.

With this proclamation, we will be able to implement several far-reaching technological advances to enhance our ability to identify and to prosecute errant motorists, including the use of speed spot cameras, red-light cameras, law enforcement officers using hand-held devices to issue electronic tickets, to pay traffic tickets through TT Post and to utilize an online payment system with penalties for late payment tickets and demerit points.

We are freeing-up the courts of the burden of dealing with traffic ticket fines. I wish to caution that with the modernisation of the system, breaches of various traffic offenses can now lead to the suspension of driver’s permits, fixed penalty ticketing, a system of demerit points and red light camera enforcement.

Pages 42-44 From Trinidad and Tobago Budget Statement 2020

On Pages 69-70 under “Phoenix Park Industrial Estate in Couva” :

Madam Speaker, the new Phoenix Park Industrial Estate in Couva is being developed under the Belt and Road Initiative pioneered by the People’s Republic of China. The Government has already engaged a Design-Build contractor for the project.

With construction scheduled to begin shortly and commissioning in September 2020, the construction company has identified tenants for the industrial estate, including firms already operating in Central and South America in the areas of air conditioning, automotive, heavy machinery, building material, power transmission and furniture.

In a similar outreach, Invest TT, our national investment promotion agency, has identified other major investors, including in business process outsourcing, financial services and information and communication technology.

On Pages 75-76 under “Agriculture”

As I emphasized last year, diversification of the agricultural sector remains a high priority for this Administration. We recognize that access to State Land, fixing historic land tenure problems and further incentivizing agro-processing, value added and direct support services to agriculture will motivate farmers and private sector investors. We have invested more than $10.0 million in the upgrade of the IT systems of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries.

We have targeted three key areas to modernize the agricultural sector: improving internet availability across offices around the country; moving more than 80,000 land files into an Electronic Document Management System and further developing the database of information held in its Geographic Information System; and finally, launching a Land Card which gives state-land users card access to their electronic land files.

On Page 116 under “Safety and Security” :

…New technology and equipment are being acquired to support this expanded operational plan. These include:

…. * mobile devices tracking systems are being procured for vehicles:
– 200 tablets for vehicles for immediate referencing of persons detained at roadblocks; and
– 50 dashboard cameras and 300 body cameras for officers which will assist in monitoring the activities of officers with the aim to protect both the officer and the general public with respect to false accusations.

* surveillance systems and drones with drones providing a 24/7 eye-in-the-sky capability to all points in the country;

* ….equipment for our police service; and information and technology upgrades to support and strengthen police service capability

ICT Related Aspects in the 2020 Public Sector Investment Programme document

In the Public Sector Investment Programme 2020 document, under “Information Technology and Infrastructure”, Pages 36-38

81. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be leveraged to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery in the public sector and in the modernisation of the education system. Improvements to the ICT infrastructure continued in fiscal 2019 with an expenditure of $102.4 million under the Public Sector Reform Computerisation Programme.

82. The Ministry of Finance utilised $16.9 million for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) assisted project for the Establishment of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).

The review and verification of the supply of software for hardware configuration was completed in March 2019. Four (4) consultancies were procured to undertake work in the areas of IT Supervision, Internal Audit, Budget Reform and Treasury Reform.

83. The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) continued the process of the modernisation their infrastructure which included the:

* purchase of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) equipment for TTPS (Northern Division);
* installation of CCTV system at the residence of the Commissioner of Police;
* networking equipment at administrative amphitheatre in the TTPS;
* purchase of specialist equipment for investigative units in TTPS; and
* supply and installation of networking equipment at the residence of the Commissioner of Police.

84. The Ministry of National Security (MNS) Installated a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) at the Forensic Science Centre which was completed at a cost of
$5 million, the system went live in March 2019 the LIMS is a powerful tool that can provide the Forensic Science Centre with the ability to track evidentiary items through their examination lifecycle, assist in the conduct of efficient and thorough analyses and provide new levels of organisational efficiency. Other initiatives by the MNS include:

* increase in the capacity of MNS server infrastructure at the Ministry’s Head Office;
* purchase of new hardware for the Defence Force;
* continuation of procurement of hardware for the ICT Infrastructure; and
* establishment of a Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) database for the Custodian Unit of the Forensic Science Centre.

85. The Service Commissions Department (SCD) utilised $1.2 million for the Establishment of the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). Procurement of the EDMS software continued, while the digital conversion of files is ongoing. Currently, the SCD has digitised 20,649 files from a total of 46,154 files.

86. The IDB assisted project Strengthened Information Management at the Registrar General’s Department continued with expenditure in the amount of $7.5 million for the digitisation of its land records with 4,326 volumes (2,378,152 pages) scanned to date. Specification work on the vault doors, shelving, lighting, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) continued and the Conservation Lab in the vault was redesigned.

87. At the Judiciary, the amount of $4.2 million was utilised for the roll out of the New Case Management System and the Electronic Payments System. Works also continued on the upgrade of the Judiciary Central ICT Service Centre and on increasing the capacity of the Wide Area Network (WAN) of the Judiciary.

88. The computerisation programme in Tobago continued with an expenditure of $1.55 million on the networking of the THA Divisions and the Secondary School Computerisation Programme.

Single Electronic Window

89. The IDB assisted project geared towards the Enhancement of the Single Electronic Window (SEW) continued in fiscal 2019 at a cost of $28.2 million. This included 16
consultancies in execution and 10 consultancies with procurement in progress. Consultancies under execution include:

Component 1 – Enhancing and expanding the services of the Single Electronic Window
* design and implement an Integrated Risk Management System;
* implementation of Electronic Transfer of Funds Framework;
* develop and implement an Automated System for Construction Permitting;
* digitisation of Trade License Unit;
* advisory services to implement a Cloud Based Solution for the SEW;
* selection of a Cloud Service Provider; and
* advisory services to enhance TTBizLink Application Software.

Component 2 – Enhancing the Interoperability of TTBizLink
* advisory services for logistics consultant;
* services for the upgrade of the statistics interface of the Central Statistical Office Website; and
* advisory services for a Euro Trace Programmer.

Component 3 – Modernising the Governance of SEW and the institutional framework
* review of the legislative and institutional framework of the SEW;
* undertake business process re-engineering;
* design and implement change management strategy;
* institutional governance structure;
* training activities; and
* public awareness.

90. The enhancement of the SEW supports the current expansion of the system for the private sector of Trinidad and Tobago so as to improve trading and investment in particular
the trading community. Government agencies also benefited from the expansion of the SEW through the optimisation and simplification of their processes from paper to electronic system.

On Page 114, under “Service Delivery and Industry Development” under “Development of the National Tourism Policy” :

The following projects seek to improve the capacity of the tourism sector to offer world class service and improve the visitor experience:

….. * ICT Infrastructure Development – the MOT continues to enhance Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure in a bid to establish a sustainable, secure, robust, and reliable structure that allows for disaster recovery and business continuity, while providing a level of flexibility and scalability that expedites and encourages the introduction of new and innovative technology and services;

On Page 144 under “Public Buildings” under Administration :

Government will continue its programme of work in fiscal 2020, with the refurbishment, furnishing and equipping of existing government buildings to meet OSHA Standards for a comfortable working environment and to better serve the public. The sum
of $ 137.9 million will be allocated for works which include:

* establishment of eight (8) Activity Centres to provide access to free Wi-Fi and training facilities in various communities such as St. Anns East, Port of Spain North, Lopinot/Bonaire, Diego Martin North East, St. Joseph, San Fernando West, Chaguanas East, and Diego Martin West;

Under the subheading “Communication” under “Capacity Building/Institutional Strengthening” on Pages 149-150:

Vision 2030 articulates the need for effective governance and improving service delivery to citizens. An allocation of $6.9 million will be provided to strengthen the Trinidad and Tobago Postal Corporation (TTPOST). The following activities will be
undertaken in fiscal 2020:

…….Information Technology Upgrade – this upgrade provides the TTPOST with the technological tools in order to enhance operational efficiencies. Furthermore, the Acquisition of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System and the
Track and Trace System will result in improved human resource management and financial reporting within the TTPOST;

On Page 153 under “Law Enforcement”

The TTPS will create a centre with a capacity to monitor and analyse social media activity via the use of surveillance systems.

On Page 186 under “Proposed Key Transformation Programmes for the Next Medium Term” under “Public Investment Strategy 2020 – 2022”

417. The Digital Government Programme, previously the Public Sector Reform Computerization Programme, is the catalyst towards achieving a Digital Society. To this end, an estimated $36.0 million is projected to be spent on a suite of projects including the Implementation of the National ICT Plan, Development of an Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS) for the Ministry of Finance and the Establishment of the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) in the Service Commissions Department (SCD). The Development of the Judiciary Information System will continue with activities, such as, the development of a technology court, network redesign, a new Court Case Management System (CCMS), the implementation of cloud-based solution for Video Conferencing and the expansion of e-Services including CourtPay, CourtMail, EProbate and the development of an Online Small Claims Court and BailNet.