Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Blunders shame Ministry, Parliament

Rogue engineers are having a field day in Botswana because when Ministry of Works Transport and Communications officers put together a bill nine years ago seeking to regulate the country?s engineers, they forgot to make provision for funding and operation of a regulatory board.
As it turned out, when the defective bill was tabled in parliament, legislators failed to spot the omission and passed it.
The Minister of Works and Transport, Lesego Motsumi, disclosed on Friday that ?even though the Engineers Registration Bill was passed by Parliament in 1998, the Engineers Registration Board was never constituted due to the fact that the Act did not make provision for funding and operations of the board.?

Section 5 of the Act empowers the Minister of Works and Transport to appoint a Registrar of the Board. The Registrar has never been appointed because the board has not been constituted nine years after the law was passed by parliament.
The minister said, ?Since there are inadequacies in the Act, especially relating to the financial provisions for funding the operations of the Board, my ministry is in the process of amending the Engineers Registration Act. The proposed amendment will address the issue of funding and some other aspects to make this Act consistent with similar legislations governing professional bodies such as the Botswana Health Professions Act of 2001. Currently, a Cabinet Memorandum is being drafted in consultation with other stakeholders to seek Cabinet approval for amending the Engineers Registration Act, 1998.?
The minister was answering questions from the Member of Parliament for Selibi-Phikwe West, Kavis Kario.

The MP had asked the minister to state names of the current board members, the name of the current registrar of the board and when the officer was appointed, the number of engineers registered so far and state if she is satisfied with the operations of the board vis-?-vis the original purpose of enacting the Engineers Registration Act of 1998.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.