The time it takes to approve a person’s house or building for the delivery of electricity should be reduced from 95 to 18 days, with the introduction of the new Government Electrical Regulator (GER).
Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ today (May 17), Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, said the new change will help to increase Jamaica’s ranking globally in the Doing Business Report.
The Minister noted that with the previous arrangement under the Government Electrical Inspectorate (GEI), if someone wanted to get their building or home inspected and passed, they would contract a certified electrician to get the work done, after which there would be a waiting period for a government inspector to examine and pass the building before electricity could be provided.
The new regulations governing the GER will now allow certified electricians the opportunity to become electrical inspectors.
The GER will have a database of private electrical inspectors (the Amanda system), from which the citizen or customer may choose.
“This will dramatically increase the number of inspectors available, which will significantly reduce the time it takes to get electricity,” the Minister explained.
The GER will be staffed with government auditors, who will conduct spot audits sporadically.
Mrs. Williams pointed out that these auditors will monitor the work of the inspectors and recommend sanctions for breaches, which can be as severe as suspension or revocation of their licences.
She noted that there will be an appeal process for inspectors who feel they have not been treated fairly.
“We want people to know that there should be no cutting of corners, and we want to speed up the process of getting electricity, but at the same time we need to prioritise safety,” Mrs. Williams said.
The Minister pointed out that for the new electricians coming into the system, “in addition to on-the-job training, they will need to have HEART certification, which is necessary for raising the standard of the electricians”.