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  • Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, said the Government is working to have the new Building Act in place by the end of the year.
  • He said the revised Bill, which will facilitate the adoption and efficient application of the National Building Code, is being finalised by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.
  • Thereafter, Cabinet approval will be sought for its tabling in the House of Representatives.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, said the Government is working to have the new Building Act in place by the end of the year.

He said the revised Bill, which will facilitate the adoption and efficient application of the National Building Code, is being finalised by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.

Thereafter, Cabinet approval will be sought for its tabling in the House of Representatives.

“It is being given high priority …It is quite a substantial document,” said Minister Arscott. “A lot of consultations have been done and there are still more to do as well as there are some modifications to be made but certainly, I hope that before the end of this year, we will be able to call it the Building Act of 2015,” he added.

He was addressing the launch of the Jamaica Institution of Engineers’ (JIE) Engineers’ Week 2015 on September 2, at the National Works Agency’s (NWA) Maxfield Avenue offices in Kingston.

The National Building Code will facilitate the adoption and application of internationally recognised building standards as well as the accreditation of building products, construction methods, building components and systems.

It will address a variety of development issues including areas of insufficiently planned development, illegal occupation of and construction on private and public land, among other things.

The Minister noted that the Bill will create the framework to streamline the country’s building system.

“The Bill will create an efficient structure for issuing building permits and certificates of occupancy, establish a fair system for the resolution of building disputes, regulate training and certification standards, license building practitioners and establish procedures for recognising building professionals,” he said.

The local authorities will serve as the building regulator for their jurisdiction, in that they will ensure that all building work within their areas is carried out in accordance with the legislation and the National Building Code.

These authorities will also be responsible for issuing certificates of compliance and occupancy of buildings and building work, as well as stipulate fees for services provided.