Government Electrical Regulator Could Begin Operations This Year

Government Electrical Regulator Could Begin Operations This Year

The proposed Government Electrical Regulator (GER), which will govern the local electrical works industry, is expected to commence operations this year.

Principal Director for Energy in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET), Fitzroy Vidal, says based on the extent of work advanced on most of the supporting engagements, it is “very likely” that the GER will come on stream in 2020.

He was addressing industry stakeholders attending the latest GER forum, held at the PCJ Auditorium in Kingston on Thursday (January 30).

Mr. Vidal said among the activities that have been completed or advanced are identification and renovation of property in downtown Kingston to house the GER; development of the Schemes of Management, incorporating strategic human resource and risk management,  transition plans, and medium-term financing arrangements; development of an organisational structure; and drafting of Mission and Vision Statements.

He advised that the stakeholder forums are being held to share proposals being considered in relation to the governing regulations as well as to secure participants’ feedback.

Consultations have already been held with representatives of the Jamaica Institute of Engineers, Jamaica Institute of Architects, Professional Engineers Board, Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association, Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Jamaica Promotions Corporation as well as universities, colleges and accredited educational institutions.

 Mr. Vidal advised that “high-level” discussions in relation to challenges encountered with automation of the overall processare now underway.

He said once these are completed, “we will be able to project [a specific date, this year, when the GER will commence operations]”. 

The GER will replace the State-run Government Electrical Inspectorate (GEI) as the authority responsible for regulating electrical inspection processes, recommending electrical inspectors for licensing to the portfolio minister and monitoring their activities, as well as registering electricians.

This will also see the Board of Examiners, which makes recommendations for certification, licensing and registration, being replaced by a Committee of Examiners.

The move by the Government to divest these activities is consistent with the Administration’s Public Sector Transformation Programme, being led by the Cabinet Office.

Consultancy firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is collaborating with the Ministry and Cabinet Office on the project.

Mr. Vidal indicated that the firm has been instrumental in facilitating the stakeholder meetings and assisting with drafting of the Mission and Vision Statements.

The GEI, which is headquartered at Parkington Plaza in Kingston, also operates from offices in Mandeville, Manchester; St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann; and Montego Bay, St. James.  

The entity, which has nine inspectors, currently receives an average of 35,000 applications for electrical installation work inspections annually.