Government to strengthen compliance with building standards
In order to encourage good building practices and compliance with existing standards, as well as to mitigate construction mishaps, technical and senior officers in the local authorities recently benefited from a special training session aimed at strengthening their monitoring of building projects.
University of the West Indies lecturer Dr Victor Douse, who was the facilitator, presented on the consequences of using non-compliant materials in the construction industry.
During the training, part of efforts by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, portfolio minister Desmond McKenzie, who brought greetings at the four-hour session held recently at the Bureau of Standards headquarters in Kingston, said the training will be ongoing.
"We are going to have routine training of our technical officers. It is going to be an integral part of the ministry's programme in equipping the staff to effectively perform their duties," he said.
The local authorities have responsibility for building and planning approvals and development control.
The minister noted that the proposed Building Bill will further strengthen the building sector and ensure public safety.
The bill aims to establish new provisions for the regulation of the construction sector, which will see the adoption of a National Building Code to ensure safety in the built environment, enhance amenities and promote sustainable development.
"We are going to engage the parish councils in a more robust discussion on this new Building Bill. Your role in this new dispensation means that you have to be accountable. Credibility has to be an important aspect of your performance," McKenzie told the officers.
Meanwhile, he informed that the report on the Royalton Negril Hotel construction project has been submitted to Cabinet and will be tabled in Parliament shortly.
A technical committee was set up to conduct an investigation following the collapse of a section of the structure in May.