Unless legally binding standards are established for the various professions people will continue to suffer the consequences of malpractice

Dear Editor,

In an SN letter of February 11, the view was expressed that professionals such as engineers and architects were not playing a meaningful role in the construction industry to ensure that structures were designed and built in accordance with generally accepted standards (‘Professionals not playing a sufficiently prominent role in construction industry’).

Unfortunately, Guyana is not one of those enlightened countries which as a matter of necessity and policy have legally enforced codes of practice, and therefore Guyanese are generally free to design and build anything as they see fit. In Georgetown, the M&CC with the Ministry of Housing have oversight within a certain jurisdiction to enforce specific building parameters such as the delineation of a building’s boundary, but they do not review such vital elements of a structure such as strength requirements, soil bearing capacity or fire safety in the case of a building when plans are submitted. At the other end of the spectrum many of the so-called professionals are not licensed nor are they qualified by their limited training and experience to undertake the work they dabble with.

Because of the lack of regulation and legal enforcement with the imposition of stiff penalties for non-compliance, the country pays dearly for shoddy work/service such as the Good Hope stelling gangway collapse, slippages of  river revetments at Charity and Mabaruma, delays in the Hope Canal and Vreed-en-Hoop power station completions and so forth and so on. Then there are safety concerns for workers in the absence of legally enforced safety rules and regulations and patients who suffer from medical malpractice everywhere because of lax medical oversight.

Since its inception, the Guyana Association of Professional Engineers (GAPE) has entered into dialogue with the government of the day to legally establish codes of practice for engineers and the industry, but so far their efforts have been in the wilderness as legislators seem uninterested in statutes to enforce standards of any kind unless there is a public outcry as was the case with establishing speed limits on the roads.

Unless standards and codes of practice are established and legally binding for the various professions serving society, be it engineering, medical, legal or construction, there will be little or no change to the status quo and people will continue to suffer the consequences of malpractice of all sorts and in every field.  In an environment where claimed professionals tend to do as they please and are answerable to no one, regulations and codes of practice have to be established and legally enforced to hold them accountable for their accreditation and performance if the present trend towards lawlessness in the country is to be avoided.

Yours faithfully,
Charles Sohan

Latest in Letters

default placeholder

‘I did resign as Ambassador to China’

Dear Editor, Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge may have been inadequately briefed when he made inaccurate statements about me in Kaieteur News (‘Those ambassadorial appointments…’  June 26).

default placeholder

No good reason was given for scrapping the fuel export licence to the Chinese

Dear Editor, The question is: Why the scrapping of the fuel export licence? A government can end a licence for good cause and according to set procedures which seek to assure fair play.

default placeholder

IDB report looks at housing in Guyana, including hinterland

Dear Editor, During a meeting last week of representatives of the Caribbean diaspora with officials of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) part of the discussions focused on the findings of a study by the bank entitled ‘The State of Social Housing in Six Caribbean Countries.’ One of the countries is Guyana and one of the report’s authors, Michael Donovan was among the panellists.

default placeholder

Low-cost housing for the poor needs to be available for rental

Dear Editor, Tiger Bay has been an age-old concern since I was born, and now I am an elderly person. This community has had a notorious reputation even though it has produced reputable persons.

default placeholder

Does the Roads Inspection Unit still exist?

Dear Editor, Governments and ministers are servants of the populace and definitely not the other way around, and at a given juncture, they must be able to facilitate visits by concerned citizens and community groups, etc.

default placeholder

Life for senior citizens should be made easier

Dear Editor, Our senior citizens are much more deserving of respect than what is currently meted out to them both in the public and the private sectors This is particularly evident at banks and post offices especially at month ends when salaries and pensions become payable.

default placeholder

Congratulations to the WI team and coach

Dear Editor, Praise to the team, and special congratulations to the coach. Home has not been a significant advantage to West Indies for a long time, so there is obviously something else that explains winning against both Australia and South Africa.

default placeholder

All eyes are on Sherod Duncan

Dear Editor, I am concerned about Mr Sherod Duncan on two fronts. Firstly, his meteoric rise to fame and stardom is dazzling and because of this, he has to be wary.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: