Bill seeks to compel builders to register with new body

Workers at a road construction site in Nairobi.
Workers at a road construction site in Nairobi. PHOTO/FILE
A new bill has been introduced in Parliament seeking to compel players in the building and construction sector to register with a new professional body before they can practice in Kenya.

The Construction Project Managers & Construction Managers Bill 2017, which is being fronted by the newly launched Association of Construction Managers of Kenya (ACMK), seeks to end malpractices that have bedevilled the local construction industry.

According to the Bill, all construction professionals – including project managers – must register with ACMK before they can be cleared to undertake any construction work in the country.

“This sector has been a field for all and has been dominated by quacks and cartels that are out to make quick money at the expense of safety of Kenyans.

“There has never been any legal framework to guide construction and project managers,” ACMK chairman Nashon Okowa said during the inauguration of the association on March 31.

The Bill establishes a board that will scrutinise and approve construction and project managers and prescribe a test that individuals must pass prior to their registration with the association.

“Subject to the approval of the Cabinet Secretary, the board may, from time to time, formulate, vary and carry into effect schemes and curricula for education in construction project management and construction management,” states the Bill.

The proposal comes at a time the country is grappling with frequent cases of building collapse that have been blamed on, among other things, quack contractors and project managers.

It remains to be seen whether the proposal will make it in the next Parliament considering the existence of the National Construction Authority (NCA) that is tasked with streamlining the local building and construction sector.

The NCA, which was constituted under the Act No.41 of 2011, is mandated to register contractors and to prepare a new register of builders cleared to operate in Kenya.