DevelopTT, the new online application portal of the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) of the Ministry of Planning and Development, is realizing the Government’s vision of moving the nation towards becoming a digital society. Through the services offered by DevelopTT, Trinidad and Tobago continues in leaps and bounds towards this trajectory.
To ensure users of DevelopTT are secure and safe for document upload and submission, it was necessary to employ digital security features that are consistent with global standards.
The DevelopTT platform uses the accepted standard for popular e-commerce sites like Amazon.com, Walmart and Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter etc. by operating on a cloud based application that utilizes Hypertext Transfer Protocol and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption known as Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).
HTTPS is a secure protocol to encrypt communications between the end user and the application. HTTPS prevents websites from having their information broadcast in a way that’s easily viewed by anyone snooping on the network. In addition to this secure protocol, DevelopTT also utilizes several other measures for data security:
- Proprietary secure 2D bar code feature and watermark for all certificates generated in the system. The 2D bar code was necessary to secure printed documents and avoid manipulation and fraud.
- Network security mechanisms involving both hardware and software components comprising – Access Control, Antivirus and anti-malware protection, usage of licensed software, multiple firewalls for intrusion prevention, mobile device management & security as well as data backups.
- System Level Audit History, meaning the system will indicate who opened files, downloaded, and edited them, and at what time. This information can only be accessed by the system administrator.
Access to DevelopTT is absolutely restricted to only users with credentials to login to access the sensitive information, and the Division asks that its key stakeholders get registered today. Users will only be able to perform the tasks assigned to the role they have been granted, for example, applicants will not be able to approve or print secured certificates. One agency cannot approve or circumvent the process of another agency involved in the permitting process. To be even more confident that user experience is secured, the browser being used displays a padlock in the left corner of the browser bar. This safety feature indicates that the site visited is secured by HTTPS. The DevelopTT Portal displays this padlock.
Users frequently ask where DevelopTT stores submitted information. DevelopTT exists in the Single Electronic Window (SEW) cloud environment hosted locally at a Tier 2 datacentre facility. A Tier 2 facility is defined as a location that has multiple sources of servers, network links and other data centre components. DevelopTT is not only protected physically through the datacentre facility, but is also protected by law through the Cyber Crime Bill (2017) by Clauses: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. The Act can be viewed in its entirety at CyberCrime Bill (2017) at https://www.ttparliament.org/legislations/b2017h15g.pdf.
Additionally, the collection and use of personal information by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is in accordance with, and will be protected under, the Data Protection Act, 2011. The Electronic Transaction Act, 2011 has been proclaimed and gives legal effect to electronic documents, electronic records, electronic signatures and transactions.
This Act has been instrumental in enabling e-government solutions such as e-Tax and e-ticketing.
These layers of security should give one confidence that DevelopTT is safe and secure. The user can also be assured that their information, passcode and dashboard interface is not susceptible to external attacks. It is because of these sophisticated security features, DevelopTT users are required to register with ttconnect and subsequently acquire valid TTBizLink credentials in order to access the DevelopTT platform.
DevelopTT, the new e-service of the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) of the Ministry of Planning and Development has been conducting Pilot runs in the T1 and T5 Region. The initial Pilot started in March 2020 and the second phase subsequently commenced in June 2020. The Pilot has allowed users to submit development permitting applications electronically for the regions T1 and T5. These pilot boundaries are:
- Chaguanas Borough Corporation
- Couva/Tabaquite/ Talparo Regional Corporation
- Diego Martin Regional Corporation
- Port of Spain City Corporation
- Portion of Tunapuna/ Piarco Regional Corporation
- Portion of San Juan/ Laventille Regional Corporation
Digital submissions for construction and other related approvals in the form of Town and Country Planning Division requests for Planning Permissions, Building Permits and Completion Certificates are being accepted. Users of the system have all given some level of feedback thus guiding the accessibility aspects. These valuable inputs allow for full readiness of the system before a nationwide launch.
DevelopTT is a partnership of the Ministry of Planning and Development and Ministry of Trade and Industry and also involves the other government agencies and Municipal Corporations involved in the construction permitting application process. Agencies such as the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Services, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), Ministry of Works and Transport, Commissioner of State Lands and the HDC are all involved in the process. This project is also critical to the Ministry of Trade’s efforts to improve Trinidad and Tobago’s performance in the Ease of doing Business Index Rankings.
The Minister of Planning and Development, along with the TCPD, encourages the nation to become registered users of DevelopTT. Receive a unique ID (Passcode) and keep it safe and secured. Remember your passcode is the doorway to submitted confidential information. Visit www.developtt.gov.tt or www.ttbizlink.gov.tt for registration information.