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Maltese Architects Slam New Construction Law And Say Contractors Should Be Responsible For Works

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The Kamra tal-Periti has insisted that the Legal Notice designed to rein in the construction actually does “little to guarantee public safety” after the legislation failed to clearly define responsibilities while the government also failed to recognise its own mistakes.

“To date, Government has failed to fulfil its duty to regulate the industry adequately,” the statement reads.

The government so far has published the legislation without consulting the Kamra, as required by law, and has refused to meet to discuss their concerns. A series of questions sent to Minister Ian Borg remain unanswered.

The Building Regulation’s Office (BRO), the Chamber explains, was not only left severely underfunded for years but also never put in place a system for the registration and licensing of contractors in breach of regulations.

“[BRO have] a meagre annual capital budget of €150,000, which is barely equivalent to the salary of six of its employees, rendering it effectively powerless and ineffective.”

The Construction Products Directive, which falls under the remit of the MCCAA, was also never enforced, the Kamra said. Meaning that “virtually no building and construction products on the market, which forms part of the wider European single market, are CE certified, and are therefore illegal.”

“This has significant consequences for the consumer and the perit, in that there is no way to verify that the specifications are being met by the suppliers of building products, including bricks and pre-stressed concrete planks.”

The inability to enact the draft Periti Act has also resulted in the profession itself failing to modernise.

The lack of separation between the planning process and the building regulation process has also created further institutional confusion and inadequate enforcement.

When it comes to actual responsibility,  the Kamra insists that the perit should be responsible for designing, specifying and directing the works to ensure that the building is safe while the contractor should be responsible for executing the works, including following the design, specification and direction of the perit.

“It is up to the contractor to decide the composition and qualifications of his personnel to fulfil his responsibilities. This is the norm in developed countries.”

“This, coupled with the fact that the requirement for registration and licensing of contractors has not been brought into force, results in a situation where effectively the STO is being made to bear the shortcomings of Government to regulate the sector.”

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