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2004-08-26 15:50:37

BCA Continues Push For Regulation of Construction Industry

The BCA expressed concern that foreign contractors continue to violate the Act and amendment by changing their names.

The Bahamian Contractors Association met recently with Minister of Finance & Investments Allyson Maynard-Gibson to continue discussions pertaining to regulation of the Bahamas' Construction Industry.

During the meeting the Minister informed the BCA that the addendum to the Business Licence Act regarding a 1 per cent Temporary Business Licence Bond has now been amended and as a result all foreign contractors are now required to put up a 1 per cent bond on a project's contract value at the time a project is awarded. However, a slight adjustment to the original draft of the amendment empowers the Minister at her discretion to allow a foreign contractor, particularly a specialty contractor, to perform more than one job at a time.

The BCA expressed concern that foreign contractors continue to violate the Act and amendment by changing their names, at which point the Minister requested that the BCA provide her ministry with a list of contractors who have not paid their business licence fees and their aliases.

Also on the agenda was the BCA's proposed Bahamas Local Preference Act which would be modelled on the West Palm Beach County Local Preference Ordinance and provide preference to bidders who are 100 per cent Bahamian-owned contracting companies having a permanent place of business in The Bahamas. Local Preference means that if the lowest responsive, responsible bidder is a non-local business, then all bids received from the responsive, responsible local bidders are decreased by 10 per cent for the purpose of determining local preference, although the original bid amount is not changed.

Mrs. Maynard-Gibson said the BCA's proposal for a local preference Act merits further discussion but requested more information as to why the act was implemented and how it has impacted the economy of West Palm Beach, Florida.

The Minister said she considers the BCA to be a valuable information resource to her Ministry and suggested that they pitch their idea for a Contractors Advisory Committee to the Ministry of Public Works. She also reaffirmed that the BCA should continue with its agenda to establish its own licensing programme while waiting for a Contractor's Bill proposed by the Association to be brought to legislation.

The Nassau Guardian

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