Constituting a Board of Professional Engineering is now an imperative
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?