Transport CS James Macharia on Monday struggled to convince senators that views of the public were incorporated in the National Construction Authority (Defects Liabilities) Regulations, 2020.
Macharia appeared before the Senate’s Roads and Transport Committee where he said his ministry held discussions with institutions in the construction industry during the formulation of the regulations.
However, committee chair Kimani Wamatangi said the meetings could have been convened exclusively for professional bodies and not necessarily for wananchi.
“Was there public participation? If it was there, was it adequate? Was there an advert in the local dailies inviting people to give views on the regulations?” Wamatangi asked.
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi said wananchi have been complaining that they were never consulted before the regulations were gazetted. “We want the ministry to explain how the regulations were effected without following due process,” he said.
The CS, however, said his ministry held meetings with institutions last year in December when it was formulating the regulations.
“We had meetings with the various institutions and I believe they represented a broad spectrum of stakeholders,” he said.
The National Construction Authority (Defects Liability) Regulations introduced a defects liability period for commercial buildings that gives owners up to seven years to recall contractors to the sites for rectifications. The defects’ liability period was also increased to a minimum of 12 months.
Contractors are supposed to remedy any defects within the stipulated period. The regulations made it compulsory for contracts to outline a latent defect liability period.
The new regulations are meant to protect building owners from shoddy construction work.