Architects are calling on the Government to adapt "a slower and balanced approach" towards construction in the country. The call was made by President of Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Architects (TTIA) Gary Turton. He was speaking at a seminar to commemorate World Day of Architects 2009 at the Building and Interiors Trade Show (BITS) at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya, Tunapuna, on Saturday. Turton said the TTIA and others in the industry had told the Government about its accelerated plan to construct buildings in T&T through the Joint Consultative Council. He said the members had recommended a slower and balanced approach to constructing buildings which would have allowed local consultants and contractors to "gear up" to meet the developmental goals of the country. Turton said a slower approach to construction would have allowed for inclusion of members of the local construction sector. He also said the Udecott inquiry must be allowed to continue. "I believe the public needs to be completely satisfied that there's been no wrongdoing by certain state agencies," he said. "If there has been, the perpetrators should be penalised. "We must remember that a state enterprise such as Udecott was formed to construct buildings in T&T for the benefit of the people of T&T."
Turton said TTIA supported the conclusion of the Uff commission, because it was a waste of public funds. "For us, we continue to lobby for change," he said. "We support the conclusion of the Uff Commission of Enquiry, in that, while there is a cost to the public, it would have been a waste of public money, if a full conclusion is not made." Prof John Uff, chairman of the commission, declared, on September 7, that the sittings of the commission had to be stalled, because the commission was not gazetted. "It does not follow that the proceedings which have taken place over eight weeks have been�"illegal" or of no effect," Uff had said. Justice Mira Dean-Armorer ordered, on October 2, that the Uff Commission should not hold further hearings until February, when Udecott's judicial review case against the commission was scheduled to be held. Reports on October 6, indicated that Attorney General John Jeremie had requested that Udecott's attorneys should withdraw the court order, and on Friday, Dean-Armorer revoked an order which stalled the inquiry into the construction sector, making the way clear for the proceedings to continue.
President of the Contractors Association Mikey Joseph said T&T had wasted too much time when it came to the sittings of the Uff enquiry, and the proceedings should continue. He said if an executive had committed acts in contravention of the law, he should be treated like the criminals who committed murder. "Transparency or not, what we want is action to be taken on those who would have committed any acts in contravention of the law, using the excuse that they broke the law because they were acting on behalf of the State," Joseph said.