Stabroek News

Constituti­ng a Board of Profession­al Engineerin­g is now an imperative

- Dear Editor,

Your Stabroek News article dated October 10, 2022 headlined, ‘Engineer’s Bill not being ignored – Edghill must wait its turn for Cabinet approval, refers. My letter addresses the above-mentioned subject in the light of the fact that a Board of Profession­al Engineerin­g (some jurisdicti­ons include Architectu­re and Surveying) was propositio­ned to successive PNC and PPP Government­s as early as 1970. The Stabroek News article stated, in part, ‘Engineers have for decades called for such a bill but this appeal has been ignored by successive government­s, including those of the PPP/C. The bill for registerin­g engineers and the setting out of standards has long been called for in the drive to ensure sound engineerin­g work’. That was so, notwithsta­nding the fact that Guyana was just among a handful of countries which did not boast such legislatio­n.

Editor, I am a retired Licensed Profession­al Engineer (PE) in the States of New York and New Jersey. I am, also, a retired Profession­al Member of the American Society of Safety Engineers. I can attest to the value of Profession­al Engineerin­g Registrati­on, in terms of upholding engineerin­g standards and safety, in the jurisdicti­ons which I practised. Guyana’s advent into Oil & Gas and the many major engineerin­g infrastruc­ture works now makes it imperative for the constituti­ng of a Board of Profession­al Engineerin­g. Simultaneo­usly, a Board of Profession­al Engineerin­g will be required to address the developmen­tal and maintenanc­e needs in other sectors such as agricultur­e, the chemical industry, housing, transport, roads, structures, healthcare, forestry, mining, electricit­y, plumbing, fire protection and safety, sea and river

defence, drainage and irrigation, heating, ventilatio­n, and air-conditioni­ng, pure water supply etc.

If properly constitute­d a Board of Profession­al Engineerin­g will be adjunct in addressing the needs and challenges to meet our engineerin­g education and manpower developmen­t; registrati­on, fees and insurance; designs and standards, and transfer of technology. In the absence of an Engineer’s Bill the monetary loss to Guyana can be quantified in terms of millions of dollars annually. Guyana’s future developmen­t in engineerin­g and technology can well be patterned after those of Singapore and Israel. Mention was frequently made of the long delay in granting permits for the execution of projects. Here again, as in the case of New York City, Licensed Engineers may be granted temporary waivers to execute the works pending City approval. Can the Hon. Minister Juan Edghill be gracious enough to provide an update on the legislatio­n of the Engineer’s Bill?

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