The Way Forward

March 12, 2018, 6:09 a.m.


THE Construction Industry Council (CIC) continues pushing our efforts forward in encouraging the introduction of annual licensing of those directly involved in the construction industry.

CIC president Gordon Jenkins remains optimistic that this would move forward "with some urgency" with the industry's strong backing from Government.

And while Mr Jenkins said the construction industry and government had voiced their support for this regulation, he also hoped that the financial and insurance industries would add their backing.

"Licensing of builders is a common requirement throughout the world," Mr Jenkins said in a statement.

"We need to be licensed in Fiji to seriously strengthen our industry."

Mr Jenkins said the very foundation of licensing must rest with legislation in which the government must have the power to impose necessary penalties for questionable building activities.

"Our industry is basically unregulated and allows for unscrupulous builders to take advantage of homeowners as an example of what we are facing," said Mr Jenkins.

Statistics from the Consumer Council of Fiji last year noted that they had received 56 complaints relating to "poor quality workmanship, absconding builders and delays in job completion", costing consumers $1,797,797.

The call to introduce the legislation is also aimed at addressing the problem of small building contractors exploiting those who want to build or upgrade their homes.

Mr Jenkins said a licensing fee could also be introduced as part of the legislation making it self-funding.

"In addition to pushing our efforts forward in encouraging licensing of the industry soon, we also know that it will receive a strong endorsement at the CIC conference to be held at the Warwick Resort, June 14, 15 and 16," he said.

"It will be one of the major issues to be tackled at the conference. With a cross section of Government and the industry as well as suppliers as delegates, we are confident that many of these concerns, like licensing, will to be seriously addressed."

This article was originally published by The Fiji Times on March 12, 2018.