ICT related aspects of the 2014 #Trinidad and #Tobago Budget Statement

Cover image of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago Budget Statement 2014 (Source : Ministry of Finance website (http://www.finance.gov.tt)

The Minister of Finance and the Economy, Honourable Senator Larry Howai presented the 2014 Budget Statement in the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament on September 9 2013.

The 2014 Budget Statement and related documents can be downloaded at http://www.finance.gov.tt/mediaroom.php?mid=232

Over several blog posts, I’ll provide the ICT related aspects of the various 2014 budget documents. This post will focus on the ICT related aspects of the 2014 Budget Statement

The ICT related aspects of the 2014 Budget Statement :

Pages 10-11, under “Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Labour”

“Mr. Speaker, while access to the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange allow these small and medium-sized businesses  to connect with investors who wished to participate in the equity of such companies, we are also ensuring that small and micro-businesses are able to participate in the national economy in a consistent and sustainable manner. In the coming year, the Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development will review the Fair Share programme and will hold its first Fair Share Expo to increase the visibility of certified SMEs. The Ministry will also implement a number of initiatives, including a web portal, to add further impetus to this programme.”

Page 17, under Information and Communication Technology

“Mr. Speaker, we have identified the year 2018 to transition Trinidad and Tobago to the top 30 countries out of 148 in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) prepared by the World Economic Forum. The Global Competitiveness Index is the internationally well-established mechanism to assess the competitiveness of the countries in the basket.

We are marketing this objective to signal to the world our readiness as a technologically sound and viable environment for attracting foreign direct investment. We are collaborating with the World Bank Group to fashion supply-side and demand-side initiatives to build an e-ready society, to increase the availability and affordability of technologies, to expand the accessibility of telecommunications and broadband networks and to improve Government efficiency in its delivery service.”

Page 21, under “Education and Human-Capital Development”

“Mr. Speaker, we are moving rapidly to improve our education system:

  • we are creating a technologically-based education system. Laptops have been provided to 70,000 students, 4,000 teachers and over 650 principals, vice-principals and supervisors. Wi-Fi connectivity is being installed and, to utilize the technology, the competency and quality of teachers are being improved;”

Page 23, under “Health”

” Mr. Speaker, in order to make the CDAP [Chronic Disease Assistance Programme] system more efficient and to eliminate abuse, we will commence implementation of a health card system in the new fiscal year. The health card will be electronic and will serve as a means to access health care services. The health card system will ensure that we have a register of all patients accessing the health services; this will enhance our ability to monitor and improve health services being delivered to our citizens. The information captured and managed by this system will provide the basis for the development and implementation of a national health insurance system.”

Page 26, under “Defence, Security and Safety”

  • “building capacity within law enforcement. The Government will continue to increase staff levels and training to boost detection rates. We will recruit an additional 1,000 regular police officers; we will also recruit 5,000 Special Reserve Police with 1,500 expected to be trained by the end of 2013; we are training officers in scientific methods for solving crime, in evidence-based policing and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) techniques. Coupled with the computerising of police charge rooms and the deployment of GPS technology in police vehicles, the approach to law enforcement will be accurate, reliable and efficient;…”

“…Mr. Speaker, the Government has continued to roll out its own CCTV network to bolster existing capacity. Two hundred and forty-five CCTV cameras have been installed at Beetham, Sea Lots, Dundonald Street, Aranguez, El Socorro, Morvant, San Juan and Santa Cruz. Additionally, 118 cameras have been installed at various locations in Tobago. As at
August 2013, 873 CCTV cameras have been installed in East Port-of-Spain and in Tobago. Installation is scheduled to continue in the Central, Southern and Western Divisions.”

“…Mr. Speaker, similarly, the Government will implement a number of medium-term security measures. These policies will provide improved access to social services and deepen law enforcement/community relations. Some of the measures entail:

  • full implementation of the National Security Operations Centre (NSOC) which will be the communications platform of all law enforcement agencies; 
  • enhanced E999 and rapid response service to provide real-time responses to all emergency calls with linkages to all police vehicles outfitted with GPS tracking technology;”