Mr. Jones takes PWD director’s chair

With the formalization of the National Roads Authority, the Public Works Department begins a new focus on the construction and maintenance of government buildings.

Appointed as Acting Director for six months, Max Jones will lead the department through an organisational review.

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Works Ms. Andrea Bryan stated, ‘With the former PWD Roads section becoming the new NRA, there is now an opportunity to review the organizational structure and efficiency of the PWD. It is the Ministry’s aim to create an environment that offers opportunities for the upward mobility of qualified Caymanians on staff and to position the PWD to become the provider of choice for the Cayman Islands Government, not because it is mandatory, but because the PWD offers the best service. The ministry recognizes the staff of the PWD as the department’s most important resource and this re-structuring will serve to benefit the future training and placement of staff. Through this re-structuring, it is intended to establish human resource policies, design and manage a comprehensive performance review programme and coordinate succession planning in the department.’

Max Jones commented ‘I am very excited at the prospect of heading up the Public Works Department. The immediate priorities for PWD are very clear. Over 100 government facilities have been damaged by Ivan and we have a major challenge ahead to return these facilities to their pre-Ivan condition and better. Also, the re-structuring of PWD along with the implementation of government’s financial management initiative offers a great opportunity for PWD to improve the quality and efficiency of the services we provide to our clients.’

Mr. Jones, who holds a bachelors degree and a professional qualification in civil engineering has an extensive background in the PWD which began in 1982 with his appointment as Executive Engineer. In that capacity, he managed the capital building section of PWD, which was responsible for the construction phase of government’s building projects. This encompassed a wide range of projects, including buildings for sports complexes, fire stations, prison, public jetties and launching ramps, hospital, schools, civic centres, police and office building projects for the majority of government departments.

The section also provided project management services on a number of capital projects for government and its statutory authorities. Mr. Jones has been government’s project manager for a large number of the major capital projects undertaken over the last twenty years. These include the Owen Roberts and Gerrard Smith International Airport terminal buildings, the Cayman Islands Community College and the Owen Roberts Fire Station.

In 1994, whilst acting Chief Engineer, Mr. Jones sat on the Cuban Crisis Committee, which was charged with managing the influx of approximately 1,200 Cuban refugees who arrived on Cayman’s shores over a three-week period. He managed the enormous PWD effort to construct Tent City and associated facilities and he was awarded the MBE for his services to the Cayman Islands Government during that extremely challenging time.

In 1999, he was promoted to Deputy Chief Engineer (Buildings) taking on responsibility for the management of all sections of the Buildings Division, namely the Architects, Project Management, Quantity Surveying, Construction Management and Maintenance sections.

More recently he has enjoyed the roles of steering committee member and of directing the project management staff for such major enterprises as the new Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town and the new schools programme which includes the recently completed Prospect Primary School.

Mr. Jones also acts as Deputy Chairman of the National Hurricane Committee’s subcommittee responsible for shelter assessment and damage evaluation and has played an active role in government’s hurricane preparedness activities over the last 17 years. He initiated the PWD’s annual hurricane preparedness exercise, compiled the Department’s hurricane preparedness and response manual and continues to advocate building construction to withstand a category 5 hurricane.