Archer outlines strict guidelines for foreign contractors

Archer outlines strict guidelines for foreign contractors

Nominees for contractor’s board passed on to Minister of Works


NASSAU, BAHAMAS – While the nominees of those persons who will comprise a Construction Contractors Board have been passed on to the Minister of Works for approval, Ministry of Works Registrar Omar Archer stressed that once the board is formalized, foreign contractors will not have much of a say, and will have to follow strict guidelines.

“For a foreign contractor to enter the market once the board has been established, they first and foremost, would have to wait two years,” Archer told the media on Friday.

“Secondly, they would have to be recommended by a reputable contractor; then that recommendation is presented to the  Board for its consideration and the final approval will go through my office.

“So basically, there is not going to be a raping of the industry. That has been going on for the past six or seven decades. We are cutting all of that out, completely.

“We are putting Bahamians first.”

Archer said the move is in an effort to “save The Bahamas for Bahamians”.

The appointment of a Construction Contractors Board is expected to ensure that the construction industry is properly policed.

Tameka Hanna, Vice President of the Bahamian Contractors Association expressed that it is time for Bahamians to lead the way in construction, but she does not have a problem with foreign partnership.

President of The Bahamas Technical and Vocation Institute (BTVI), Dr. Robert Robertson, said BTVI is also looking to increase the quality of its product and have examined the idea of its students receiving external certifications and international accreditation. He noted, however, that they could also make use of the skillsets of local contractors.

“It is important that we canvass the people [contractors] in this room, we find out what their needs are and we work with them to meet the needs of their Bahamian firms so that not only today, but going forward in the future, some four or five years, we have the skillset to meet the needs of the economy,” Robertson said.