The Development Assistance Centre (DAC) is a knowledge-based service unit that supports the development approval process in Jamaica by providing cutting-edge pre-application guidance to clients. The DAC manages the processes for the supply of information to clients to assist them to determine feasibility of the project proposal to prepare for and make acceptable and complete applications to the pertinent approval agencies. Once the application is made, it is anticipated that the process for approval will be completed within the Government’s 90-day approval process requirement. The DAC has the authority to call upon any GOJ agency to facilitate [pre-application] information to project proponents.
Key products of the DAC include:
- Response Letter
- Technical Information Document (TID)
2008 DAP Project by GOJ/JCC/USAID
2010 DAC Pilot project launched
2010 DAC Pilot operational
2011 DAC formally opened
2011 DAC approved as part of NEPA structure
The DAC fosters and supports an environment for growth, investment and sustainable development.
The DAC provides a predictable and transparent pre-consultation and facilitation service to potential clients to complement and support the development approval process.
- Customer Service
The DAC operations are guided by principles that support and promote:
- Environmental sustainability and orderly development planning , a livable environment and economic viability
Customer satisfaction through service delivery to internal and external clients
- Public education and outreach and the general public
The DAC carries out the following five main functions:
- The DAC pre-consults with clients that have projects at various stages of development.
Pre-consultation entails internal technical assessment by relevant Branches with the Agency of the proposal presented and providing advice and recommendations to clients regarding technical (including legal) and process requirements that will help them to determine project feasibility and how to achieve project approval. Pre-consultation also serves to assist in determining the completeness and readiness of the project prior to submission for approval.
The DAC facilitates inter-Agency collaboration, coordination and review by both internal and external technocrats. Facilitation involves hosting meetings with pertinent commenting or approving agencies as required and the client. This affords ongoing communication to provide accurate and timely information to the client prior to applying for approval of the project.
Monitor and Track:
The DAC monitors and tracks projects in the approval process and generates reports pertaining to the performance of the development approval process. Projects within the development approval process system that are not moving with expected timelines are highlighted and report made to the relevant agency/authority in an effort to get action for intervention that will support timely approval.
Report on Performance:
The DAC reports to the relevant authority on various performance indices such as:
- Number of DAC projects processed
- Time taken to process projects received by regulating agencies
- Number of project approvals outstanding with reasons
- Indicators of below standard performance
The DAC analyses performance data from the agency approval process to identify issues constraining efficient and effective development approvals and makes improvement recommendations to the relevant authority.