Architects’ association applauds new agency

(source: Pixabay/Malachi Witt)

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Maltese architects’ association Kamra tal-Periti has applauded the establishment of a new Building and Construction Agency through the publication of Legal Notice 192 of 2019. The body will act as a precursor of the Building and Construction Authority that will be set up in the coming months, according to a press statement sent to Business Malta.

The Maltese government has shown commitment to establishing an authority to regulate the building and construction industry, which will be accompanied by the promulgation of new building and construction regulations in line with the Kamra’s proposals published last May. This is outlined in the Letter of Commitment addressed to the Kamra tal-Periti last week.

The new agency is tasked with the design, implementation and dissemination of policies together with the consolidation and review of laws and regulations, in the form of a national building code, as well as with carrying out all the necessary preparations to set up the Building and Construction Authority.

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“This is an important milestone in ensuring better regulation of the industry, and the Kamra tal-Periti looks forward to presenting its proposals outlined in A Modern Building and Construction Framework for Malta to the Agency, with a view towards implementing them in the near future,” the Kamra tal-Periti says.

Consolidation ahead

“We need to ensure that the building and construction industry is regulated uniformly and with a clear direction,” said Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg, according to a press statement by the government’s Department of Information (DOI).

“We started working last year when we published the white paper for the setting up of the Malta Construction and Building Authority (MCBA) and consulted with all interested parties. The setting up of this Agency was the next step before we finally set up the authority in the near future. We should also remember that a few weeks ago we carried out an important reform in the same industry, to continue working towards more safety, responsibility and transparency. I am now looking ahead to the setting up of the MCBA,” the minister added.

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The Malta Construction and Building Authority is expected to eventually consolidate the various current entities, in particular, the Building Regulation Office (BRO), the Masons Board and the Building Regulation Board (BRB) under one authority. This authority is tasked not only to focus on buildings during the construction stage but will also monitor the performance of completed buildings once occupied, the DOI press statement adds.

Turbulent times

After the walls of three buildings collapsed in the past two months in Malta near construction sites, forcing the government to temporarily halt demolition and excavation works, the Kamra called for an extraordinary general meeting.

Prior to the EGM the Kamra published its preliminary position, and after the EGM the Kamra pledged commitment to improving the public safety of citizens and urged the government to enter discussions with the association.

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The Kamra also welcomed the recent listing of licensed masons published on the website of the Building Regulation Office (BRO). 

The Kamra sent a letter to the minister, asking to clarify a number of points. At the same time, the Kamra also asked for a meeting prior to the publication of the legal notice.

Kamra tal-Periti met the government to discuss the new regulations that were brought into force, during which the association outlined its issues with the current regulations, and the positions voted upon in the extraordinary general meeting on 21 June.

EDITORIAL NOTE: The present article has been updated with a quote from the infrastructure minister and with additional information from the DOI press release, as well as the “Consolidation ahead” crosshead has been added.