Government departments relocation shuffle
August 27, 2013

Government departments relocation shuffle

An electrical fire has caused some delay in the relocation of two government departments.{{more}}

During a visit to the new office of the Supervisor of Elections last Tuesday, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that plans are underway to move the office of the Director of Audit, as well as the High Court registry.

The Prime Minister said that the registry department was scheduled to move to the site of the old National Commercial Bank (NCB) building on the corner of Egmont and Halifax Streets, but this move has had to be put off, because of unexpected circumstances.

The Government is in the process of retrofitting a building, rented from the Voyager company, to relocate the office of the Director of Audit from its present location, he said.

However, plans had to be changed, because last Tuesday, an electrical problem was recognized at the office of the Director of Audit, upstairs the former location of the Treasury. He said Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis told him the electricity at that building would have to be disconnected.

The work on retrofitting the Voyager building, Gonsalves said, is estimated to take four more weeks, so he has asked the Attorney General Judith Jones Morgan to put off moving the registry department into the old NCB building, so that the Audit department can go there, until the Buildings, Roads and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) has finished retrofitting the Voyager building.

SEARCHLIGHT understands that a fire, believed to have been caused by faulty electrical circuits, occurred at the offices of the audit department early last week, forcing the staff to be off work for a few days.

Over the past weekend, the audit department was relocated to their new, but temporary, offices in the old NCB bulding.

Gonsalves indicated that there were other government departments that are scheduled to be relocated, including the Immigration Department, which will be housed upstairs the Electoral office, in the former D’s Services building.

He also said that plans are in the pipeline to construct a new building for the High Court, but this could be avoided, if property belonging to the Government, currently leased by LIME, is returned to the Government.

“When I heard that Cable and Wireless may leave our property… the land is ours, the lease has come to an end; we have not negotiated any new lease…. But they may want to purchase the building.

“… If they didn’t [want to] purchase it, it might have saved me building… we could have retrofitted that and so on; so I’m waiting to hear from LIME.(JJ)