The old Central Statistical Office at 80 Independence Square, Port-of-Spain is to be torn down possibly this week and the Ministry of Planning and Development has assured the public that measures are being put in place on site to secure equipment and documents still stored there.
In a media release on Friday, the ministry acknowledged reports on the condition of the old CSO building and assured the public that the ministry was working to address the issues reported.
The ministry said on May 29th, 2013 the Ministry of Planning and Development received a prohibition notice from the Occupational Safety and Health Authority and Agency (OSHA) prohibiting occupancy of the Central Statistical Office’s main building located at #80 Independence Square, Port-of- Spain.
The ministry said it immediately complied and new arrangements were sought for staff of the CSO. During this time, specific processes had to be observed at the guidance of OSHA to enter the building to vacate the premises of equipment, files and documents.
By July 2013, the majority of staff was relocated to the Park and Pembroke Street offices of the CSO and on Friday July 31, 2015, the CSO officially moved into a new building on #47 Frederick Street in Port-of- Street.
Regarding the old CSO building, measures were put in place on site to secure the remaining equipment and documents, the ministry said, noting that at the site the doors were sealed, chained and padlocked to deter access and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service was also engaged to conduct regular patrols.
The ministry further advised that due to unsafe nature of the building OSHA agreed to allow staff into the building using 15 minute rotations to retrieve the remainder of the equipment and regarding the intruders, the Police Service has on more than one occasion removed persons from the building, but said the individuals return and keep finding new entryways.
“Urgent attention is being given to remove the remaining equipment from the building over the course of next week and steps are being taken towards the consideration of the building’s demolition,” the ministry advised.