GL&SC lease application service to be offered online by 2017

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Even as Government continues to work towards an efficient and professional public service sector through, in part, the implementation of digitised systems, the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC) has begun work to offer online lease application processing and instant responses to questions and queries.

These online systems, a Government Information Agency (GINA) release stated, will be implemented in a phased approach, which will be completed by the end of 2017.

GL&SC Information Systems Manager David Cole said that the Commission was working on making available online, all the services offered at its physical offices, through its website, which was currently being reconfigured.

The first phase, he explained, is the refining of the website’s content, which will be completed by the end of 2016.

“What we are doing right now in relation to the website specifically is that we are revamping our existing website. We are changing its look. We are looking at refining its content and most importantly in another phase, making it much more interactive… we are working on creating a website that can effectively engage members of the public, as well as any other stakeholder in the kind of services that we offer here as a Commission. We are designing a website, which can be used by not just the desktop, but the smartphones so that when persons access it, it is fully responsive to the device it is being accessed from,” he said.

The Commission will be working to make the chat feature available by the middle of 2017 to afford customers and members of the public instant responses to their questions, queries and suggestions, while the online processing of applications is expected to take shape by the end of 2017.

Cole explained, “We are trying to make it very dynamic. We want to put in a chat feature… We want to be able to do a better display of our maps because a lot of persons do not know that we produce a variety of maps for any kind of use. We hope for it to be really efficient and for it to provide timely feedback. Whatever can be done at our physical offices, we want our website to be able to provide that to our stakeholders. The application process is one such service. In moving in line with Government’s move to be more digital and this concept of e-governance, we want to be able to have our clients with the application process, doing it online, submitting the application, vetting it and processing it.”

While he noted that there were some legal ramifications in terms of notarised signatures among other things, which were yet to be worked out, Cole said that the ultimate goal was a more efficient Commission and satisfied stakeholders.

“Definitely the intention is to be as transparent as possible and to offer what we offer at our offices online,” the Information Systems Manager said.

While these works are ongoing inside the Commission, the e-Government Unit of the Public Telecommunications Ministry is also working alongside the Information Systems Department of the GL&SC to create a Wide Area Network (WAN), which will link all of the databases and record management systems of the various offices of the GL&SC. This will ensure that there is greater collaboration among the offices and better retrieval of client records, regardless of their location.

GL&SC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Trevor Benn said that the Commission was working on serving the needs of its customers and stakeholders and as such, would review and reconfigure its services to suit this goal. Already, the Commission has removed its dress code, while the current application process is scheduled to undergo some changes.

In the past, persons applying for renewal of their leases were required to undergo the same processes as someone applying for the first time. Since taking office, however, Benn said that this has changed and persons were now able to have their renewals completed almost immediately, providing they would have satisfied the required criteria.