THE HISTORY OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Columbus landed on and named Trinidad in 1498. A century later, Spaniards settled the island, which remained under Spanish rule until the British captured it in 1797. During the colonial period, French, Dutch, and British forces fought over possession of Tobago, and the island changed hands 22 times—more often than any other West Indies island. Britain took final possession of Tobago in 1803. The two islands of Trinidad and Tobago were incorporated into a single colony in 1888. Trinidad and Tobago achieved full independence in 1962 and joined the British Commonwealth—becoming a republic in 1976. Trinidad and Tobago is the fifth-largest exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the world and the single largest supplier of LNG to the U.S., providing two-thirds of all LNG imported into the U.S.
THE CHALLENGE: NO ELECTRONIC INDEXING OF PROPERTY ASSESSMENT RECORDS
One of the issues that the government of Trinidad and Tobago has encountered while attempting to modernize their processes was that none of the property records in each of the country’s 13 Corporations (the equivalent of states) were electronically indexed. Each of the 13 Corporations followed their own guidelines for creating and storing these property description cards and a majority of the documents had been maintained on physical paper cards. There were no existing standards for formatting or content with some cards containing as many as 320 fields of data that needed to be captured. And in many cases, the information on the cards was incomplete or obscured such as listing geographical landmarks as addresses, as well as interchangeably using descriptors—concrete, brick, tile, block—to describe the same physical aspect of different properties (i.e. roofs). The government turned to Thomson Reuters and provided five months to complete the project from the time the go-ahead to proceed was received.