Members of Parliament on the Physical Infrastructure Committee pledged their unwavering support to the Top Management of the National Building Review Board (NBRB) towards achieving its mandate.
The MPs led by Committee Chairperson and Kigorobya County MP David Karubanga, met the NBRB officials led by the Executive Secretary, Eng. Flavia Bwire during a familiarization meeting at parliament.
“We shall fully back you because you are doing a good job for this country. You can also count on us in case you need amendments to the Building Control Act, 2013 to further ease your operations” Karubanga assured the NRBB officials.
The Executive Secretary Eng. Flavia Bwire took the legislators through the mandate of NBRB which is to monitor building developments, ensure design and construction of buildings are accessible by persons with disabilities, oversee and inspect the operations of the Building Committees, prepare and submit reports to the minister on matter relating to the sector.
The Board also hears and determines appeals from persons dissatisfied with the decisions of a Building Committee and determines fees to be charged by urban and district building committees for approval of plans, issue of building permits and occupation permits.
“ In executing this mandate, we have been able to develop a strategy plan which is aligned to the National Development Plan, established building committees, carried out building compliance inspections among others.” Eng Bwire elaborated.
Despite these strides Bwire highlighted some of the challenges faced by the board such as inadequate resources including human, financial and equipment that affect NBRB’s operational capacity, lack of express penalties to the offenders of the building laws among others.
“Over 90% of the building developments so far inspected are non- complaint, however NBRB does not have the resources to engage in lengthy court battles. A proposal to amend the Act to provide for an express is being explored. Bwire further noted.
The MPs appreciated the challenges at NBRB and pledged their support in mobilizing resources to enable the Board achieve its mandate.
“It seems we are asking for a lot from the Board without giving them enough resources, its like milking a cow without feeding it” Elijah Okupa, the Kasilo County MP explained.
In addition Eng Bwire briefed MPs of the Building Industry Management System (BIMS) an online platform aimed at digitizing the Building Control Services. Through the automated system now piloted in Jinja City, a developer can apply for Building and Occupation permits, commit the services of registered professionals, schedule for routine building operation inspections and get instant feedback for the service requested for online.
A developer can also pay building fees, appeal the decisions of building committees and lodge complaints and whistle blow about non- complaint building Operations.