Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister told Guardian Business yesterday that money has been placed in the 2018/2019 budget to form a Construction Contractors Board. The draft regulations for the board are being worked on through the attorney general’s office.
The Construction Contractors Act makes provisions for the board. Its responsibilities include exercising discipline over and licensing registered contractors.
Meanwhile, Bahamian Contractors Association President Leonard Sands continues to agitate for the formation of the board. He contends there could be concerns from lawyers and developers representing multimillion-dollar projects, who would like to deal with such a reputable body when considering projects in The Bahamas.
Bannister said while the board is a priority for him, he “will not be rushed” to create it, noting there are some considerations the Cabinet will have to make.
Sands said recently that if the government appoints the board, it would not have to call for the blacklisting of shoddy contractors who have ripped off the government in the past.
While closing debate on the 2018/2019 budget in the House of Assembly, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said he would personally put the names of contractors who received as much as $100,000 for work that was never completed on a stop list at the Ministry of Public Works until the money is repaid to government.
The prime minister added that he would also give those names to the Ministry of Legal Affairs for the government to pursue prosecution.
Sands pointed out, “We are hoping that the prime minister would use his good judgment to take things off of his plate and allow the legislation to be enforced, and allow this body, that should have been appointed a year ago by the minister of public works, to do its job in the country.”
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism