Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has poured cold water over the Kamra Tal-Periti’s fiery concerns that the recently introduced Legal Notice designed to rein in the construction industry failed to properly address the issues surrounding the responsibilities of both contractors and the government.
“I speak according to facts; the fact is that there is an uproar over the current situation. Do you know what currently happens? An architect just signs the method statement, and the contractor just goes and follows it,” Muscat said at a press conference concerning rental reform. “That’s it, there’s no follow-up, then when something happens it is no one’s fault, it is ridiculous.”
Earlier, the Kamra released a statement saying that the new laws actually do “little to guarantee public safety” after the legislation failed to clearly define responsibilities while the government also failed to recognise its own mistakes.
“There are pertinent questions to be had on the overall qualifications of people working in the sector, but the laws will ensure that no one will act with a lackadaisical attitude when conducting construction works,” Muscat said.
While conceding that the reform was introduced late and would certainly incur more expenses in the industry, he stood by the increased responsibilities and qualifications of both architects and site technical officers.
The Kamra noted that the government so far has published the legislation without consulting them (as required by law) and has refused to meet to discuss their concerns. A series of questions sent to Minister Ian Borg have so far remained unanswered.
Beyond their issues surrounding their own increased responsibility, the Kamra said in a statement that the government also failed to recognise its own responsibilities, given a severely underresourced Building Regulations Office and the absence of a system for the registration and licensing of contractors in breach of regulations.