An online platform for property and real estate services is expected to improve key access to the public, Public Administration Minister Allyson West said last Wednesday.
The new portal for the Property and Real Estate Services Division (PRESD) was launched at the Helen May Johnstone Room, Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.
West, the feature speaker, said the platform is the first in a series of digitised initiatives by the ministry, which is aligned to Government’s National Development Strategy 2030 for sustainable development.
“I am pleased to announce that the ministry’s new convenient, secure property management information system will significantly improve the ability to provide affordable accommodation for selection by ministries, divisions and agencies.
“One of the first in a series of digitalisation of the ministry’s services, the new PRESD Portal will make the process seamless,” she said.
At the launch, Mark Edghill, president of the Association of Real Estate Agents (Area) spoke of the advantages of the ministry’s latest project. “The PRESD portal is a step in the right direction in utilising online platforms to streamline and improve efficiency and accuracy in doing business with the state as it relates to the management of their real estate interests.”
The online service will bring greater convenience, accessibility and efficiency, enabling property owners and real estate agents to register properties at https://presdportal.gov.tt for government ministries, divisions and agencies to select for rental, lease or purchase.
Government units requiring accommodation will be able to make an online application to PRESD and review accommodation listings to determine whether any of the properties suit their needs. The portal will also allow government agencies that provide ancillary services to PRESD such as the Valuations Division, the Occupational Health and Safety Unit and the TT Fire Services to electronically receive requests for inspections and to respond in kind.
The scheduling of property maintenance will also become more convenient and accessible through the service.
West also spoke of plans to deliver on several initiatives in the new year to “provide adequate and appropriate accommodation for ministries, departments and agencies and in turn enhanced customer service.”
She outlined refurbishment works at the Tunapuna and Siparia administrative complexes as one initiative.
“We are also establishing service hubs in strategic locations, through the expansion of our network of administrative complexes; and have begun the process of the establishment of these complexes in Point Fortin and Arima,” she said.
The ministry is also developing a “citizen feedback system” for the public to share their views to help the ministry improve the operations of the Public Service, she added.
West also said the Strategic Human Resource Management Council has also been re-established, with participation from the ministry, the Personnel Department led by the Chief Personnel Officer and the Service Commissions Department, to also deal with efficiency issues of the service.
“In 2023, we expect to see significant advancement in public service delivery as a result of the work being undertaken by the council.”
She again assured Government was working on a remote-work policy, as the pandemic led many in the public and the private sector to rely on digital platforms to work during lockdowns and restricted movement.
“We recognise that this is intimately interwoven with the digital transformation of the Public Service, which is why we are working hand-in-hand to ensure that both of these initiatives progress simultaneously. For this reason, the development of this policy will be characterised by key stakeholder consultations, fit-for-purpose considerations and results-oriented design; because we are determined to ensure that the work-from-home policy does not negatively impact the service provided to the citizenry.”
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