CARICOM nationals will now have more efficient access to the provisions of the CARICOM Single Market due to a recently concluded training exercise. Close to 300 public administrators and officials across the region have been trained in a new data management and work flow system that will make application processes under the CSME much smoother. The training initiative, a major component of the CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project (CTCP) funded by the Government of Canada, commenced last November and wrapped up in early March 2015. It covered CARICOM Member States from Antigua and Barbuda in the north right through to Suriname and Guyana in the south of the region.
The new system was conceptualized by the consulting firm, A-Z Information Jamaica Limited, who also conducted the training in the participating Member States with support from the Secretariat’s staff. It allows CARICOM citizens to apply online as skilled nationals, service providers or entrepreneurs and for administrators to process these applications, all in a virtual environment. The system has been commended by stakeholders as very user-friendly and efficient in streamlining the various processes. It serves to harmonize and standardize these administrative processes across Member States as well as capture useful data on the use of the CSME regimes by nationals and commercial entities. A manual of these administrative practices has also been produced by the consultants under the project and is now in the review stage. It will be presented at the 40th Regular Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in late April for its endorsement.
The Community Strategic Plan 2015-2019 identifies, among other areas for priority focus , the accelerated implementation of the CSME, building competitiveness and unleashing key economic drivers to transition to growth and to generate employment and the development of human capital.
The Core purpose of the CTCP is to provide support and resources to 12 Member States as part of their ongoing efforts to further implement and operationalize the Single Market. The Project focuses on the following technical areas:
Successful implementation of the CTCP will lead to a more efficient operation of the CSME. The CTCP provides targeted support to Member States to improve CSME Compliance (legislative, administrative and institutional). The Project and its deliverables also communicate to the CSME population that dedicated efforts are on-going in making the CSME more accessible and more user friendly.
The following will be in place at the end of the Project:
The Document and Workflow Management System (DWMS) is a crucial component of the larger initiative to make the rights under the CSM more accessible and to ensure a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness in the processing of these rights. The system will contribute to the achievement of the full integration of the national markets of Member States of the Community into a single, unified and open market area.
The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas calls for the modernisation of Governments Bureaucracies by inter alia:
In addition to addressing these Treaty mandates, the system will also generate reliable data on the movement in the Single Market. This has been a challenge the Community and Member States have been grappling with over the life of the CSM.
The system is a fully integrated web-based information management system which will facilitate the movement of skilled persons, temporary service providers and business persons across the twelve (12) participating Member States, by efficiently processing a significant number of documents which fall under the following processes:
Expected Outcomes of the Document and Workflow Management System
The expected outcomes of the Document and Workflow Management System are:
(a) Improved application procedures, efficiency in the processing and approval and increased overall user friendliness of the system;
(b) Harmonised and standardised application throughout the twelve (12) participating Member States; and
(c) Improved capability to collect and capture reliable data which will enable Member States and the Community to formulate/develop policy and take decisions based on factual information.