Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Royalton engineering firm moves to get registered, others query status

Published:Monday | May 16, 2016 | 5:00 AMAndre Poyser
Brown

Therrestra Ltd, the engineering firm contracted to construct the Royalton Hotel in Negril, Hanover, where a section of a building collapsed and injured construction workers last week, has taken steps to become registered with the Professional Engineers Registration Board (PERB).

The Gleaner reported last Tuesday that the company has been operating in Jamaica for more than a decade without being registered with the PERB, the body responsible for the registration and regulation of engineers in Jamaica.

Last Friday, Dr Noel Brown, head of regulation and compliance at the PERB, said the firm, which is an overseas division of the Dominican Republic-based Therrestra Group, has made contact with the board seeking information on registration.

"They have made contact with the board as a first step to start the process," Brown told The Gleaner.

Brown also disclosed that other foreign firms have also contacted the PERB to ensure they are regularised.

Revelations that Therrestra was not authorised to carry out engineering works in Jamaica raised concerns about a longstanding issue that PERB has had with foreign firms operating in Jamaica solely on the basis of work permits granted by the Ministry of Labour.

Brown, in responding to criticisms regarding the PERB playing a more active role in fingering foreign firms in Jamaica that are not authorised by the registration body, said, "The board was not set up to function in that manner; that is not one of our mandates. The board was not set up to enforce or police worksites; other systems are in place to do that."

As at yesterday, the seven foreign firms registered and authorised by the PERB to carry out engineering works in Jamaica are Kier Construction Limited, China Harbour, Stanley Consultant, Vinci Construction, R.A. Murray International, Principal Engineering Horizons and Bio-GT Solutions.

andre.poyser@gleanerjm.com