Laws coming for architectural community

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Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, Attorney General of Antigua & Barbuda, is assuring the architectural community that the laws and the professional board for which they have been clamouring will soon come into effect.
Benjamin said the architects’ concerns have come to his attention. He admitted that nothing significant had been done to the Architect Registration Act that was passed more than 30 years ago.
“I have representation made to me by several architects. I have looked at the act which was passed in the 1980s, and regrettably, nothing has been done to effectively put provisions of that act in place,” he remarked in an interview with OBSERVER media yesterday.
He, however, promised that positive change is coming for the professional group in the near future.
“I shall put my efforts towards having the law updated, and having the board instituted effective soonest, so they can conduct their affairs as they ought to as a professional body,” said the Attorney General.
Alex Pigott, president of the Institute of Architects, while speaking on OBSERVER AM, said one of the challenges the body is currently facing is the under-utilisation of the professionals because of the absence of laws needed to govern the group.
“We have an act on the books, but it is not being enforced, so the opportunities for local architects are not what they should be,” he said.
Pigott said local architects should have more chances to take part in some of the large projects that are coming into the country.
Colin John Jenkins, vice president of the institute, while concurring with his president, said that there is not sufficient appreciation of the professional group. He further stated that members of the public will often try to avoid the groups’ services, and this can lead to problems in the long term.
“A lot of persons are unfamiliar with what the building industry entails. Some persons think that it is only for large extensive projects so they will try and go around the system,” Jenkins concluded.
The Institute of Architects will be having their inaugural network conference on September 30, to create a stronger bond between industry players.

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