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Story Highlights

  • The Government has signed a $278.8 million (US$2.37 million) deal with American technology firm, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) that will provide Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) with unlimited access to the entity’s suite of technology software.
  • Under the four-year Enterprise Licence Agreement (ELA) the 83 MDAs already using the system will have greater access to ESRI’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, thereby boosting their operations at a significantly reduced cost.
  • This is expected to considerably enhance key areas of the Government’s operations including: land administration and management, planning, hazard mitigation and emergency management, environmental science, national security, and utilities and infrastructure.

The Government has signed a $278.8 million (US$2.37 million) deal with American technology firm, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) that will provide Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) with unlimited access to the entity’s suite of technology software.

Under the four-year Enterprise Licence Agreement (ELA) the 83 MDAs already using the system will have greater access to ESRI’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, thereby boosting their operations at a significantly reduced cost.

This is expected to considerably enhance key areas of the Government’s operations including: land administration and management, planning, hazard mitigation and emergency management, environmental science, national security, and utilities and infrastructure.

Agencies and institutions will also benefit from access to updated high resolution satellite imagery, topographic maps, and base content data; and training and technical assessments and guidance from visiting ESRI personnel, and representatives of their local agent, technology firm, Spatial Innovisions.

The arrangement will also see ESRI writing off the approximately $87 million (US$740,000) in outstanding licence fees owed to it by agencies, consequent on challenges experienced by the entities.

Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Spatial Innovisions, Silburn Clarke, signed the agreement during a brief ceremony at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Wednesday, July 22.

Delivering brief remarks, Mr. Pickersgill said the ELA represents a “win-win” for all government entities using ESRI’s software, by enabling them to “improve their productivity and performance.”

“It will improve the speed, accuracy, and quality of data, which all government agencies need to modernise their processes and improve the experience of doing business in Jamaica,” he noted.

Additionally, the Minister said: “it will (also) help us to save money, reduce debt, and provide the means to undertake additional services relating to the development approval process, disaster mitigation and management, as well as emergency response, (and) land titling and registration.”

For his part, Mr. Clarke, in noting the “tight budget” within which the government currently operates, said his firm was “proud and happy” to have played a role in facilitating the ELA’s development and implementation.

The ELA, which will also accommodate 57 schools, was developed through collaboration with the Ministry’s National Spatial Data Management Division, and the Land Information Council of Jamaica (LICJ).

ESRI is the largest global supplier of Geographic Information Systems software, which the Government of Jamaica has been utilising in its operations for more than 20 years.