The House of Representatives in Jamaica on Tuesday passed the Building Bill, which seeks to establish a modern legislative framework that will serve to reduce the vulnerability of Jamaica’s built environment and ensure public safety.
The legislation, which was passed with 24 amendments, was piloted by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie.
The Bill provides for the establishment of the National Building Code, and identifies the Bureau of Standards Jamaica as the agency that will set the acceptable local and international standards for construction.
In addition, the legislation establishes that the municipal corporations are to be the local building authorities and will be responsible for inspecting, certifying and taking the actions necessary to approve new structures, change existing buildings or destroy dangerous structures.
According to the Jamaica Observer, it also streamlines the permit application system to eliminate unnecessary referrals and expedite responses; facilitate the introduction of special express services; and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities regarding accessibility, safety and user-friendliness.