Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance, Dwight Sutherland. (FP)

The effective management of facilities in the public sector is important to reduce costs to the government, given the current economic situation the country faces.

That was the core message from Minister of Housing, Lands and Maintenance, Dwight Sutherland, on Thursday, as he addressed the Smart Facilities Management Consultancy & Management Services’ Strategic Facilities Management Workshop entitled: “Re-Imagining Facilities Management to Enhance Safety, Productivity, Efficiency & Cost-Savings in a COVID World “.  It was held at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Needham’s Point, St. Michael.

Minister Sutherland highlighted the timeliness of the workshop.  “This two-day workshop is of particular interest to me and the staff of my Ministry given the mandate of the Ministry for the management of government facilities and properties, including maintenance,” he stated.

He continued: “It is anticipated that this workshop will offer the opportunity for us in the Ministry to have a better understanding of what would be required for us to better manage our properties, in such a manner as to improve overall efficiencies and in the process, enhance our level of productivity and realise cost savings.”

Mr. Sutherland pointed out that facilities management was one of the fastest growing professional disciplines around the world, both in terms of volume and diversity of commercial activity, and facilities managers are responsible for many of the buildings and services which support businesses and other types of organisation.

“It is becoming an increasingly important area of professional activity as the management of many classes of property becomes more sophisticated and the requirements of both owners and occupiers of buildings assume greater importance, accompanied by the increasing expectations of the occupants of properties.

“In order for people to do their best work and feel engaged in their environments, they need to be in buildings that are safe, welcoming, and efficient. Facilities management therefore has a significant role to play in everything that surrounds the people utilising facilities; whether it is where they work, play, learn or live, persons should be able to do so in an environment that is comfortable, productive, and sustainable,” he stated.

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