Water & Sewerage Department to become a statutory body
The government is now expected to transform the Water & Sewerage Department into a statutory body.
In its most recent post-cabinet statement, the government announced that it will introduce legislation to convert the entity into a statutory authority under the Ministry of Transportation, Works 7 Utilities.
The statement further noted that the legislation, entitled Water & Sewerage Authority Act, 2021, will be introduced for its first reading in the House of Assembly at the next convenient sitting.
Previously, former Minister for Communication & Works, Mark Vanterpool, urged the government to make the entity a statutory body after he suggested the department in its current form was a ‘disaster’.
“I can’t blame anyone. I won’t blame myself alone either but Water and Sewerage is a disaster,” the former minister said during a House sitting at the time.
“[It’s] no fault of the workers, no fault of the people there but in terms of a strategy of what we are going to do there going forward with a utility such as Water & Sewerage, I think we need to come to the place where we can make a serious decision and make Water & Sewerage under a statutory organisation,” he added.
Becoming a statutory body would mean the department would now be run by a board and Vanterpool said there are benefits to his proposal.
Vanterpool, who held oversight of the body for eight years during his National Democratic Party’s (NDP) leadership of the territory, said more attention could be paid to the body as result.
“A statutory body can pay attention to [things] in terms of revenue, expenditure, engineering needs, in terms of supplying the people of this territory with water in the right way, in a fair way, in an equitable way,” Vanterpool argued.