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Contractors hope for early ‘16 regulation

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribuneemdia.net

The Bahamian Contractors Association’s (BCA) president yesterday said he was hopeful that long-awaited legislation to regulate the sector could become law as early as Spring 2016, with the private sector backing “95 per cent” of its contents.

 Leonard Sands told Tribune Business that the asBCA had made proposed amendments over the issue of foreign contractors working in the Bahamas.

“One of the things we think it didn’t go far enough in is when it came to foreign contractors,” Mr Sands said.

“While we recognise that our involvement with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) makes it almost impossible to earmark the industry just for Bahamians, what we would like to see is that if a foreign entity is going to engage in construction in the Bahamas, they at least seek a joint venture partnership with a Bahamian firm and also become members of the BCA.

“Failing all of that, we would hope that they just do as the Bar Association does; they would be required to pay a fee to be registered as a contractor to conduct work in the Bahamas.”

The BCA recently paid a courtesy call on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works, Philip Davis, at which time the draft Contractors Bill was discussed.

“We reviewed a copy of the last Contractors Bill that they proposed to us. We reviewed it thoroughly and sent back a response to them. We are pleased with 95 per cent of what was put to us considering our amendments to them,” Mr Sands said.

“They are proposing to regulate  the construction industry, which is a good step, and the Minister has indicated that he is hoping to bring it to Cabinet before the end of the year.

“What we have done is propose a few amendments to the Bill. We are hoping that those amendments will be included. If they accept those amendments we would be very happy to sign off on it and have it enacted into law as early as Spring 2016.”

Mr Sands added: “We are very happy that a number of things we have been advocating for have been included in the draft legislation. Some things did not go far enough  in terms of the protections that we had hoped for, so we had made proposals on them and, if they accept them, it could be a very wide-reaching, all-encompassing price of legislation that could usher us into the 21st century and regulate the construction industry for the advancement of all Bahamians.

“Our proposals are currently before the deputy director of works. Once he has given his input on them, he would forward them to the minister of works by Friday, and the Minister would give us his response  and whether he would proceed to Cabinet with legislation as amended by the association.”

Comments

sheeprunner12 8 years, 7 months ago

How can the government pass a Bill to regulate an industry that the crooked MPs and MOPW rely on to provide their cronies with big contracts to get kickbacks and jobs for supporters?????

This is like asking for freedom of information ............... not with this present generation of politicians

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