House passes Bill to regulate land surveying profession

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MINISTER of Natural Resources and the Environment Mr Robert Persaud has said that, given the growth in all sectors of the economy and competition for land (housing expansion, development of natural resources, etc), the important role of land surveyors and land surveying cannot be understated.The minister made this point in the National Assembly during the debate on the Land Surveyors (Profession) Bill on Thursday evening. The Bill, which is a product of extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders including practitioners and the private sector, was passed with the unanimous support of the House.
Minister Persaud said that as it stands right now, Guyana does not have sufficient land surveyors, even the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) does not have a full complement of these professionals to meet the developmental needs of the public and private sectors.
Over the years, the Government has sought to increase training and training activities and in this regard, 10 surveyors graduated in late November last year. Minister Persaud explained that as a result of the high demand for surveyors, there have been many complaints of the quality of work and work ethics.
He said the need for the profession to be better regulated was recognised and that measures are put in place in instances where there are no institutions and mechanisms to manage the profession more effectively.
The Bill seeks to establish a board of land surveyors that will be tasked with managing the profession. This Board will also be responsible for putting the necessary arrangements in place so as to ensure that land surveyors are properly trained and certified.
Minister Persaud pointed out that there are lots of loopholes and often many individuals in this profession “get away with murder”. He said the ministry is looking to put an end to this, and will be putting in place a code of conduct, as well as associated penalties for practitioners who are found to be in breach of same.
Meanwhile, APNU Member of Parliament Rupert Roopnarine, who also proposed an amendment, said this Bill breaks new ground in setting out the regulations to which surveyors must adhere. He expressed satisfaction with the fact that this new Bill parts ways with the old Act, in that it divests powers away from the minister. The Land Surveyors’ Act was last amended in 1973. (GINA)