UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | The National Building Review Board (NBRB), the regulatory body for the building sector, has embraced digitalisation through the introduction of the Building Industry Management System (BIMS) by providing building permits online.
Developed by local talents from NBRB and the National Information Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA-U), BIMS was launched in December 2022 with the aim of digitising all building control processes in Uganda.
BIMS offers a comprehensive solution to improve the supervision, monitoring, and enforcement of building laws. Its implementation seeks to address the frequent building accidents that have resulted in the loss of lives and property.
Through BIMS, developers can now apply for building and occupation permits, engage registered professionals, schedule routine building operation inspections, and receive instant feedback on their online requests.
Additionally, all prescribed building control fees can be paid online as the system is integrated with other online payment platforms.
BIMS is seamlessly integrated with the databases of professional and regulatory bodies such as the Institution of Surveyors of Uganda (ISU), the Architects Registration Board (ARB), and the Engineers Registration Board (ERB).
The system includes a roster of all registered surveyors, architects, and engineers authorized to practice in any given year.
Surveyors can confirm the submission of boundary opening reports, accept construction supervision duties, request routine inspections, and update inspection records.
Similarly, architects can acknowledge that they have prepared the submitted architectural drawings, while engineers can confirm the preparation of engineering drawings and request inspections accordingly.
This level of scrutiny helps eliminate non-professionals and middlemen who have been involved in issuing incorrect building plans and designs for many collapsed buildings.
BIMS also automates the payment of building control fees. These fees are calculated based on the floor area in square meters, considering the classification and location of the building.
Once all other requirements are fulfilled, developers can generate a payment reference number indicating the applicable fees.
The payment can then be made using any preferred payment system. BIMS ensures efficient, transparent, and predictable collection of building control fees by the government.
Since its launch, BIMS has been fully operational in 11 cities, 31 municipalities, and several local governments, including Wakiso, Mukono, and Jinja.
Building committees in these areas have been equipped with ICT-enabled devices such as desktop computers, printers, and internet connectivity to facilitate the system’s activation.
BIMS now enables regulators to monitor building operations, developers to access the right services promptly, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to collect revenue accurately, and the government to gauge the level of development in the country.
The NBRB is a corporate body established by the Building Control Act of 2013.
Operating under the Ministry of Works and Transport, it is mandated to monitor building developments and ensure the design and construction of buildings accessible to persons with disabilities.
The NBRB oversees and inspects the operations of building committees, prepares and submits reports to the minister on sector-related matters, and handles appeals from individuals dissatisfied with building committee decisions.
Additionally, the board determines the fees to be charged by urban and district building committees for plan approval, issuance of building permits, and occupation permits.
BIMS is integrated with the National Land Information System to facilitate land verification.
Users can input the plot number and land specifications into the system, which will verify the validity of the information.
For companies involved in construction, the system is integrated with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau for company verification purposes.
The introduction of BIMS marks a significant step forward in the digital transformation of Uganda’s construction industry.
With streamlined processes, enhanced oversight, and increased efficiency, BIMS promises to revolutionise the building control system in the country.
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