Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 21, 2015 (SKNIS): A number of government buildings around St. Kitts will be renovated, some on a major scale, in order to reduce the burden on the public purse and improve the aesthetics of the environs.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, made the announcement recently while making a contribution to the 2015 Budget. Minister Liburd quoted figures from a report on the expenditure on rental of office space from 1998 to 2015 prepared by the Accountant General.
“The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis currently … has about 24 rental of office space arrangements spreading across various ministries and departments,” he stated, while reading from the report. “On a monthly basis, the expenditure for rent is approximately $190,233.28.
Minister Liburd said the expenditure on rental fees has steadily increased over the past years with an annual average of some $2 million between 2010 and 2015.
“A total of $10,827,857.49 was spent over the past five years,” Minister Liburd stated.
As such, he explained that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure will carry out an audit in 2016 to determine the current and future space requirement of the public sector. In the meantime, plans are being formulated to restore properties already owned by the government.
“We will undertake a comprehensive programme to rehabilitate and renovate a number of buildings including the Ministry of Finance building and the old Development Bank building,” he said, adding that work has already begun on the former John Gumbs building, which currently houses the Inland Revenue Department.
Minister Liburd said that whatever decisions are made will be guided by the results of the audit.