(CMR) The Department of Planning has been conducting virtual inspections on properties across Grand Cayman since May this year, reducing the number of in-person visits to sites.
Director of Planning Haroon Pandohie said the aim of the initiative is to improve customer service by leveraging mobile technology.
“We have been discussing conducting virtual inspections for some time now in an effort to lessen wait time and utilize technology to be more efficient. Reducing the number of inspector visits to job sites and time spent in transit will result in more effective scheduling and a higher number of inspections being carried out,” he said.
Minister of Planning Hon. Jay Ebanks has commended the planning team on their efforts to enhance efficiency and improve the quality of service to customers across the Islands.
“The Planning Department continues to improve online services to ensure all customers receive world-class service. So far, we are very pleased with how well staff and customers are adapting to the new way of doing business, which we are confident will improve the development process. I am committed to providing the Department with the support needed for them to get the job done,” he stated.
The virtual inspections require an application (app) to be downloaded to a mobile phone allowing the inspector to see an installation, assess, and determine whether it complies with various code provisions.
Senior Electrical Inspector Shondel Bodden explains that once the Department of Planning arranges for an inspection to be done virtually, a call is placed to the contractor regarding the day and time for the inspection.
“There are protocols established to ensure we are conducting the inspection with a licensed contractor and to confirm that we are doing inspection for the correct premises. Once that is established, then we go in to do the remote inspection to check whether the system has been installed according to the approved plans and to confirm that the various components are meeting minimum life safety provisions based on adapted codes”, he explained.
Bodden further stated, “We conduct the inspections using two monitors, one to see the installation and the other to assess the drawings that were approved for the installations. We give the contractors guidance on where we want them to go, what we want to view. We check each component carefully”.
Since the start of the second quarter of this year, the Department of Planning has conducted a total of 3,410 virtual and regular inspections across the Islands.
To book a virtual inspection, persons can contact the Department of Planning at 244-6501 or email [email protected].