In response to the Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis’ call for private land surveyors to phone the Office of the Prime Minister to inquire about surveying positions, Bahamas Association of Land Surveyors (BALS) President Emile Ledee told Guardian Business yesterday that the problem is not a lack of land surveyors, but a broken system that originates from the Department of Lands and Surveys.
Ledee said BALS has been working for five years to get the government to understand that there are problems at the department causing months-long to years-long delays in survey plans being recorded.
He contended that the department has not put out public requests for land surveyors for the work that the prime minister alluded to last week on Thursday.
Ledee said there is not such a significant amount of work at the moment that private surveyors are having to ask the government to bring in more surveyors, explaining that there are local surveyors who can do the jobs.
“Not in any moment or instance has the surveyor general sent any communication to the Bahamas Association of Land Surveyors saying that we’d like some requests for proposals to have these surveys undertaken on the various Family Islands,” he said.
“It is not any kind of business where a surveyor is going to call into the Office of the Prime Minister. That’s just not the way it’s done.
“You don’t ask the land surveyors to call into the Office of the Prime Minister. Anything that is official, you’re going to send out a request for proposal.
“What I’m aware of is some surveyors have been asked to provide estimates and some of us have not.”
The prime minister said on Thursday that he understands there may be a person or persons in a government office obstructing private surveyors from getting jobs, but he did not disclose which office, or if he knows who the person might be. He did, however, promise to find the person and deal with the issue.
Ledee said since 2015 he has hand-delivered numerous letters to the prime minister’s office regarding the problems the association has been having with the Department of Lands and Survey, but they have not been responded to.