Institutional responsibility for planning and development in East Port of Spain is fragmented, having been assigned to a number of public sector agencies. Multiple jurisdictions result in overlap and duplication. Preparation of development plans and management/control of development is the purview of the Minister responsible for town and country planning and is usually carried out by the Town and Country Planning pision. However, the Strategic Development Plan for East Port of Spain is prepared in fulfillment of the mandate of the East Port of Spain Development Company, established by Cabinet, also under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Planning and Development. The Plan would therefore be submitted for approval by the Minister responsible for town and country planning for ultimate approval by Cabinet and Parliament. It is recommended that the Company be established as the planning agency for East Port of Spain in accordance with the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act, Chapter 35:01.
Several other ministries and agencies of the State are also mandated to carry out development in parts of East Port of Spain under different directives and separate pieces of legislation. These agencies and their functions are summarized in Table 3.1.
Interagency coordination, via establishment of an Intersectoral Roundtable, is essential to facilitate collaboration and avoid overlap and duplication. The Roundtable will be chaired by the East Port of Spain Development Company in the role of coordinator of development agencies in East Port of Spain.
The Plan recommends that the following actions be taken urgently, to strengthen the institutional framework for land-use planning and development; to ensure successful implementation of the Plan and to reduce overlap and duplication of effort and expenditure:
- Empower the East Port of Spain Development Company to prepare a Development Order for East Port of Spain, in accordance with the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act, Section 9(1).
- Establish and clarify the roles, responsibilities and relationships of and between the several agencies listed in the table above.
- Approve the East Port of Spain Strategic Development Plan.
- Adopt a structured inter-sectoral approach to plan preparation, development control and implementation of development policies and initiatives, which includes representatives of all appropriate public sector agencies/departments, the private sector and relevant non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
- Adopt a participatory approach to planning and development management which includes policymakers at the central/national, and local government levels, key stakeholders, the private sector, civil society and the general public.