SDOs are not the answer

I hear what Alex DeCouto, president of the Construction Association of Bermuda (CAOB), is saying.

Special Development Orders are not the answer however, as Cabinet seems to believe. They weren't designed to speed things up but to allow some flexibility for issues of national importance.

Adequately staffing and streamlining the Planning Department is. The situation Bermuda finds itself in now, with a construction boom, is not something that was unforseen with an influx of new reinsurance companies in 2001 and 2005.

The Government has been negligent in allowing things to get this bad. The Immigration Department is a similar story, with key employee exemptions taking over a year to process and regular permits 6 months or more.

The only good thing to come of the slow planning process is potentially a check on an overheated industry.

Fix the process don't circumvent it. Process is important - but not sexy I admit.

Putting these decisions into the Ministers' hands may be expedient, but it lacks accountability and throws far too much into the realm of political backscratching and back room deals.

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