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Contractors Board Is 'Shield And A Sword'

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

THE Bahamian Contractors Association's (BCA) president yesterday promised the industry that its self-regulatory Board will be both "sword and shield", providing protection for consumers and builders.

Leonard Sands, addressing the Rotary Club of West Nassau, said the BCA had already submitted its recommendations for construction industry representatives who it wanted to appoint to the 11-member the Construction Contractors Board.

"We are waiting to see when the Minister of Works is going to appoint the Board. We have done our part and submitted our recommendations. The Minister has the sole authority to appoint the Board and fix the date of enforcement of the Act. We hope the Minister makes that decision very soon," said Mr Sands.

The Contractors Act 2016 provides for the establishment of a Construction Contractors Board that will be responsible for registering and licensing contractors. "The Board's job is to carry out the objectives of the legislation and enforce the Construction Contractors Act," Mr Sands noted.

"I am kind of disappointed that some of my colleagues don't understand that this works both ways. The Construction Contractors Board, once formed, protects them. It is a shield and a sword. Someone could bring a complaint against you, and you could also make an application to have the client spoken to or legal proceedings happen to them for taking advantage of you.

"The Board will protect both the clients and the contractor. The power will be vested in the Board to do what the Government won't have the time to do. Arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution comes with this as well. The Board will have a lot of work to do once this Act is in force>"

Mr Sands described the Contractors Act as the most significant piece of legislation in the construction industry outside of the Building Regulations Act. "This piece of legislation changes the way we do business in the country," he added.

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