Construction of new Parliament building set to start next yearFriday, March 19, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Construction of the new Parliament building at Heroes Circle in Kingston is scheduled to start early in the 2022/23 financial year.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the House of Representatives on Thursday that detailed designs and drawings for the building have been completed, and building approvals have also been granted by the various authorities.
“The project is now going through the public investment process, after which we expect to enter the procurement phase, after which construction is projected to start early in the 2022/23 financial year,” he said during his contribution to the annual Budget debate.
Holness deplored the fact that, with 16 sessional committees and several ad hoc committees, the current building (Gordon House) does not have the facilities to properly accommodate a fully functioning Parliamentary committee system.
“Neither does the Parliament have the administrative capacity to support multiple committee meetings simultaneously,” he stated.
“Nevertheless, the business of the nation cannot be stalled. Committees that are empanelled under the Standing Orders must start working on their subject matter and review materials, even if they don’t have hearings. By the end of June, I am mandating that all sessional committees must have at least one meeting, whether in person or virtually, given the COVID protocols,” Holness said.
His announcement confirms a year long delay in the start of construction of the building, which was expected to commence in 2021, following a commitment from Holness that construction would have started by then.
Winner of the Government’s Houses of Parliament Design competition, Evan Williams, and his team, Design Collaborative, are to provide the concept for the structure. The winning concept design, titled ‘Out of Many, One People,’ was awarded in March, 2019, at a ceremony at Heroes Park.
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