On 1 Jan 1932, the post of Director of Public Works was created. Prior to this, all forms of public works were carried out by hired labourers and convicts, initially under the general control of the Resident Councillor, and later under the orders of the Colonial Engineer/Superintendent of Works and Surveys. In the early years, public works involved mainly clearing of land and construction of roads, and military and government buildings. It was only after the 1880s that public works were diversified to include engineering surveys, lighthouse construction and maintenance, etc. The main functions of the PWD were to develop and manage the public works in Singapore such as schools, roads and airports. It also set and administered building and housing control and parking policies. PWD came under the Ministry of Law and National Development when Singapore gained independence in 1965 and remained under the national development portfolio. In 1988, PWD won its first overseas contract, in a tie-up with government building consultancy Indeco, to participate in the planning and design of an airport project in Nanjing, China.