KSAMC sets new rule for building inspections
MAYOR of Kingston Councillor Delroy Williams says that the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) will no longer allow single officers to conduct inspections of any building development.
“We are now using multiple officers, and when you have multiple officers doing inspections for something to go through [that does not meet the requirements] it would have involved collusion,” he stated.
Mayor Williams said that this was among decisions taken by the KSAMC Building Committee, which has so far resulted in the interdiction of two senior members of staff. He added that the corporation is continuing investigations that could lead to the interdiction of two more officers, based on the results so far. However, the names of those affected could not be revealed for judicial reasons.
The mayor noted that the interdictions are outside the purview of the KSAMC, which has done its investigations and turned over all its documents, arising from those investigations, and made its recommendations which are being purused by the Services Commission which handles covenants involving public sector employees.
“We have recognised that we live in a country where people are entitled to representation, and that process is beyond the KSAMC. We have no control over the process. So, we have to wait for that process to be completed but, in the meantime, we have to continue to do our work,” he told Nationwide‘s Cliff Hughes during the hosting of his call-in programme on Wednesday.
The KSAMC’s new rule comes in light of the controversial St Andrew housing development undertaken by suspended National Water Commission (NWC) boss Mark Barnett and his wife, which is the subject of an internal corporation investigation. The investigation is checking reports, inspections and approvals related to the construction of the apartment complex at 11 Charlemont Drive in Hope Pastures.
Mayor Williams, meanwhile, charged that there has been misrepresentation in the media regarding the corporation and the controversial apartment complex. The KSAMC, he said, made the recommendations available to other entities that it has no control over, for them to adopt measures that required crossing constitutional boundaries.
He said that controversy over the Charlemont Drive development has forced the KSAMC to seek added information from building applicants/contractors which are still in the process at the corporation.
“We did that because previously the people were only being made aware of issues and developments at the post-approval stage and, therefore, they were objecting and raising issues about past approvals,” the mayor admitted. Applications are now to be posted on the corporation’s website which will allow people to search for all the applications that are before the KSAMC and in the processing stage.
He said that this was necessary if they are able to be able to raise concerns or objections, while applications are being processed.
“And we have made that very clear that no application should enter the Building Committee for decision-making without the objections and concerns raised by residents and placed before the committee,” the mayor said on Nationwide.
Minority leader in the KSAMC Councillor Andrew Swaby, however, argued that the investigation by the corporation surrounding construction of the multi-family residential development on Charlemont Drive, Kingston 6, has come a few years too late.
He criticised Mayor Williams by expressing his disappointment with what he described as a lack of urgency on the mayor’s part to deal with issues within the municipality as they arise.