SICCI establishes Building & Construction Working Group

The Building and Construction Working Group (BCWG) subcommittee of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) held their first meeting on Tuesday 16th June 2020.

Although this meeting was their first one, the National Building Code Solomon Islands (NBCSI) and the draft Infrastructure Management Bill 2017 were agreed upon as key focus for their term.

The BCWG is a subcommittee that was established by the SICCI Board allowed for under its Constitution.

The BCWG will provide a platform for informed, expert discussions to formulate SICCI positions on measures that can be considered by Government and development partners relevant to the building and construction industry. The positions will as far as possible, promote the interest of local services and goods providers and local jobs.

In establishing the body, SICCI appointed its six (6) members after an Expression of Interest (EOI) process facilitated by the Secretariat.

At this first meeting, Mr Daniel Tucker was appointed chair by majority vote. The other members are Joe Sika (Tongs), Ricky Fuoó (Tropical Glass Builders), Flori Gatu (SIWIBA), Ian Gooden (Solomon Water), and Andrew Bulman (Solbridge company).

The newly-elected Chair of this Group, Mr Tucker, also Solomon Islands Country Manager for Kramer Ausenco, says that whilst it’s a privilege to lead this working group, it is also one that he takes very seriously due to its long-lasting impact on the country.

“Our objective is that we help the industry by working with government, and its development partners, everyone with stakes in the building and construction sector, to address identified gaps and hindrances.

“And we will do this by promoting real-time experiences and facilitating expert discussions or consultations,” Mr Tucker said.

He said the first meeting agreed that the BCWG will focus on two key projects, namely the finalisation of the national building code, and supporting government to pass the Infrastructure Management bill.”

The Secretary to the BCWG is, Mr John Kanai Taámora, who is also the SICCI Advocacy Officer for close to four years now.

“SICCI sees that for Solomon Islands, out of COVI-19, it is an infrastructure-led path that we take in terms of jobs it creates directly and the domestic procurement of local services and goods,” says Mr Taámora.

“We are encouraged that the government agrees with this, endorsing our position as early as the last SIG-Private Sector Advisory Group meeting of 13th March where we relayed this imperative of local content, local jobs,” he added.

“This is important because close to SBD8.4bn is planned for our country in terms of infrastructure works, and that is a substantial injection that could be of wider benefit not only for business, but also for wage-earners, and households.”

Mr Ta’amora wants the working group to work hard to realise the SICCI Board’s vision of quality, durable building infrastructure for the country.

“The Chamber Board is optimistic that with the group focusing on these two projects we are on a good path of setting the legal and policy framework for the industry that will assure us and our future generations to come, that our building infrastructure are safe and enduring.”