Courts Registrar issues call for Periti to serve on RRB and RLCB for 2019 – 2020

The Registrar of the Courts of Justice of Malta has issued a call for Periti with at least seven years practice to serve on the Rent Regulation Board or the Rural Leases Control Board. The term of office is for two years, and may be renewed for further periods.

The Kamra tal-Periti is hereby notifying all interested members of the profession to submit their nomination through the registration form below.

Deadline for the submission of nominations is 23rd August, 2019 at 12 noon.

 

Registration form

BRO issues call for applications to join STO Register

Following the agreement reached between the Kamra tal-Periti and Government, which was formally announced on Friday 2nd August 2019 through Circular 11/19 and Press Release 25/19, the BRO has began publishing a list of registered Site Technical Officers (STOs). The register is intended to provide the general public with a list of qualified people who are authorised by the BRO to provide this service.

The Council of the Kamra tal-Periti is hereby notifying members of the profession that, as per Letter of Commitment, the BRO has issued a call for Periti and graduates in engineering to register their interest to provide the service of Site Technical Officer (STO) as defined in LN 136 of 2019. The form can be found below. When completed, it is to be sent to bro@gov.mt.

The agreement included the removal of the obligation on the perit in charge to approve the STO appointed by the contractor, as long as such person is included in the STO register published by the BRO. The publication of such a list eliminates the risk of culpa in eligendo for periti in charge.  Periti are reminded not to submit the Site Management Responsibility Form until it is amended reflecting LN 180 of 2019 and agreement reached with Government as outlined in the Letter of Commitment signed by Minister Ian Borg. The current form still states that the perit in charge is responsible for the execution of the works (which is the contractor’s responsibility), that the perit in charge is approving the STO (which is no longer a legal requirement), and that the STO must be a perit (which is in conflict with the list of registered STOs published by the BRO and with Third Schedule of LN 136 of 2019 as amended). Once the forms are updated, periti are to ensure that the appointed STO is on the register.

As per para 4 of Directive 12/19, Periti are to await further instructions from the Council on the uploading of BRO forms.


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Judgement of ECJ: minimum and maximum rates of fees for architects and engineers (HOAI) are not compatible with EU law

This is a Press Statement issued by the Bundesarchitektenkammer – BAK (Federal Chamber of German Architects)

 

In its judgement of 4/7/2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) determined that the minimum and maximum rates of fees for architects and engineers (HOAI) are not compatible with EU law. This was despite the court confirming that minimum rates can help to ensure the high quality of planning services. However, the German regulation does not pursue this objective in a coherent and systematic manner, since planning services can also be provided by service providers without the latter having to provide proof of their professional aptitude. The ECJ does not consider the binding nature of the maximum rates to be necessary, since the German Federal Government has not sufficiently substantiated that a non-binding framework for pricing is not sufficient to guarantee consumer protection.

In the run-up to the ruling, the Federal Chamber of German Architects (BAK), the Federal Chamber of Engineers (BingK) and the organisation regrouping architects´ and engineers` associations for the HOAI  (AHO) had initially been able to persuade the German Federal Government to uphold the HOAI and to defend the binding minimum and maximum rates before the ECJ, and through that alone they were maintained for almost half a decade longer. Throughout the entire procedure, the BAK together with BIngK and AHO supported the German Federal Government with comprehensive legal and empirical-economic expert reports. The ACE, private builder associations and the BFB (German liberal professions) were also involved in providing political and presentation support. Unfortunately, all of these efforts have not been successful.

The obligation to comply with binding minimum and maximum rates must indeed be abolished as soon as possible due to the judgement. However, the HOAI can remain otherwise unchanged, since neither the performance plans nor the fee rates were the subject of the proceedings.

The judgement will undoubtedly have serious consequences. The BAK is therefore intensively examining which conclusions can be drawn from the ruling, in particular whether the “incoherence” objected to by the ECJ could be counteracted by restricting planning authorisation to architects and engineers. It is working with the BIngK and the AHO to minimise the impact of the ruling. These include proposals for the modification of the HOAI, to ensure that architects and engineers can continue to benefit from the usual, tried and tested fee structure. It is proposed that in the absence of any other express agreement, it is assumed that the average rates are considered to have been agreed. Unless otherwise agreed, the amount of remuneration must be commensurate with the nature and extent of the assignment and the performance of the architect. In the case of a dispute, the court of appeal (e.g. civil court or public procurement tribunal) should also be obliged to obtain an expert opinion from a chamber of architects or engineers.

Immediately after the ECJ ruling, the profession was provided with comprehensive information and support materials to minimise the uncertainty caused by the ruling, in particular with regard to its impact on existing and future contracts.

 

For further information on the ruling please visit the explanatory page.

 

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PR 26/19 | New Building and Construction Agency

Verzjoni bil-Malti

The Kamra tal-Periti welcomes the establishment of a new Building and Construction Agency through the publication of Legal Notice 192 of 2019. This new Agency is the precursor of the Building and Construction Authority that will be set up in the coming months, and which Government is committed to establish as 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.

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.

 

 

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PR 25/19 | Government commits to major reforms in the construction industry

Verzjoni bil-Malti

Legal Notice 136 of 2019 regarding the Avoidance of Damage to Third Party Property Regulations, 2019, came into force on the 25th June 2019. This was later amended through Legal Notice 180 of 2019, which came into force on the 29th July 2019, and which removed the obligation of the perit in charge of the project to approve the Site Technical Officer appointed by the contractor, as well as widening the pool of persons authorised to provide such services through the inclusion of those in possession of a Bachelor of Engineering.

In the period between the publication of the two Legal Notices, the Council of the Kamra tal-Periti worked incessantly to ensure that the interests of the profession are safeguarded, and that public safety is placed at the forefront. In particular, it is to be noted that the Kamra’s primary contentions with the Legal Notice revolved around the fact that periti are the only actors on construction sites who are properly regulated, while all other actors operate in an unregulated manner, to the extent that the industry had reached, in the Kamra’s own words, a state of crisis.

Although the Legal Notice as amended only reflects two of the changes requested by the Kamra, significant progress has been made on various other overarching and important matters that impact the industry, and which have been recorded in a Letter of Commitment presented by Government to the Kamra tal-Periti yesterday.

The commitments made by Government include the establishment of a new Authority to regulate the building and construction industry, and that this will be accompanied by the promulgation of new building and construction regulations in line with the Kamra’s proposals published last May. This will be accompanied by the long-awaited registration, licensing and classification of contractors and skilled labourers by Government, and in line with the Kamra’s proposals, thus ensuring that liabilities are carried by the professional and the contractor in a more equitable manner in line with the Civil Code. The new regulations will clearly delineate the various responsibilities to be carried by each of the participants on a construction site, which will, in the interim period, be addressed by Forms of Contract to be published shortly by the Kamra tal-Periti. The new regulations will also address liability periods of the participants on a construction site, bringing them in line with existing European models.

 

 

Government is also committed to table in Parliament, immediately after the summer recess, various amendments to the Periti Act, which currently regulates the profession. Such amendments have been the subject of discussions with subsequent governments since 2007, and there is now convergence on most of the proposed amendments. The Kamra tal-Periti looks forward to concluding discussions in line with the direction given by the members of the profession at its various General Meetings, and to the successful conclusion of this matter.

 

 

In terms of Legal Notice 136 of 2019, as amended, various aspects were agreed, including the establishment of a register, to be published by the Building Regulation Office, of persons who are competent to provide the services of a Site Technical Officer, the amendment of the various forms that are to be submitted to the Building Regulation Office to be in line with the latest Legal Notice and the processes agreed to between Government and the Kamra, and the eventual integration of the provisions of the Legal Notice in the regulations that will be eventually established under the Act regulating the new Authority.

The Kamra notes with satisfaction that practically all of the motions approved by its Extraordinary General Meetings held on the 21st June 2019 and the 5th July 2019 have been successfully addressed and there is now a recorded commitment by Government to implement significant reforms to the industry. The Council of the Kamra tal-Periti is confident that there is the political will to ensure a comprehensive reform of the building and construction industry, as also outlined in the Kamra’s document A Modern Building and Contruction Regulation Framework for Malta (May 2019) which has already received the support of all the stakeholders who have been consulted to date.

 

Government has clearly acknowledged the fact that an overhaul of the construction industry is not only necessary but also desirable to ensure that it moves forward in a sustainable manner. Although addressed to the Kamra tal-Periti, the Letter of Commitment is an important milestone for all actors in the industry, including the general public. The Kamra looks forward to being a primary participant in ensuring that the agreed reforms are implemented in the coming weeks and months.

 

 

 

 

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PR 24/19 | Premju Emanuele Luigi Galizia 2019 recognises the sterling work of the profession

Verzjoni bil-Malti

It was a hundred years ago, on the 25th July 1919, that Herbert Plumer, then Governor of Malta, brought into force the Architects’ Ordinance, which governed the profession of Land Surveyor and Architect and paved the way for the establishment of the profession of Architect and Civil Engineer (Perit) as we know it today. The Kamra tal-Periti marked this occasion with the second edition of the Premju Emanuele Luigi Galizia, which celebrates the work of the local profession and recognises excellence in architecture, civil engineering, urban regeneration and interior design.

The profession is characterised by gestures and interaction with physical space, and it was therefore fitting to accompany the Premju Galizia with a public exhibition of some of the best projects the profession has produced over the past year. Projects that range from the national scale, such as the two urban regeneration finalist projects, to more intimate interior design projects.

This exhibition, which will run until the 2nd August 2019 at the Ġnien il-Biskuttin adjacent to the Christ the King monument in Floriana, is representative of the breadth and diversity of the profession’s competences and skills, and is intended, in part, to counterbalance the negative perception surrounding the industry, of which the profession forms part.

Design has a direct impact on our quality of life and the environment. The Kamra tal-Periti is firmly committed to assist government in every which way to ensure that our urban environment makes a marked shift towards ever higher quality and standards.

The Awards were presented during an elegant Gala Dinner held on the 25th July 2019 at the Phoenicia Hotel, with over 200 periti and guests in attendance. The excitement and comraderie were palpable, as this event served as yet another occasion for the profession to come together, share its successes, and discuss important issues that affect it on a day to day basis.

The following is a list of the winners of the various Awards:

 

President’s Award for Best Overall ProjectChris Briffa Architects for Reef Guest House, Bahrain
President’s Award Special CommendationValentino Architects for threeplusone
Quality Architecture AwardMJMDA for Limber Lattice
Urban Regeneration AwardPeriti at GHRC and MTIP for Triton Square & Fountain Project
Housing Project AwardValentino Architects for threeplusone
International Project AwardChris Briffa Architects for Reef Guest House, Bahrain
Emerging Practice Special CommendationArchi+
Interior Spaces AwardMMK Studio for Qormi Industrial Minimalist Home
Interior Spaces Special CommendationForward Architects for AX Rosselli Privilege
M. Arch. Thesis Project AwardMartina Cutajar for Chance and Order in Architectural Production
M. Arch. Dissertation AwardAndrew Borg Wirth for True Thick and Thin: Architecture as an Implication
M. Eng. Thesis Project AwardEmmanuel Bonello for The Sea Maiden
M. Eng. Dissertation AwardLucia Calleja for Auxetics in Architecture: A Study on Geometry and Topology

 

 

The Council also awarded a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award to Emanuele Luigi Galizia, one of the most prolific and important architects of 19th century Malta, and after whom the Awards are named. The Award was received by Mr Francis Galea Naudi and Mr Rob Galea, who are direct descendants of Galizia.

This year’s Premju Galizia was sponsored by JM Vassallo Vibro Steel Ltd and Satariano, and supported by Brands International Ltd, Halmann Vella, Vivendo Group, AX Group, Bathroom Design Malta, Creations, Light Design Solutions and The Farsons Foundation.

 

 

Notes to press:

  1. A full press pack has been sent out to the press. Please contact us on galizia@kamratalperiti.org for more information.
  2. Photographers of the winning projects and events are to be credited when published
  3. Our main sponsors, J.M. Vibro Steel Limited (JMV) and Satariano, are to be mentioned in all reporting regarding the event.
  4. Further information about the Awards can be found here: https://premjugalizia.org/
  5. Further information about Emanuele Luigi Galizia can be found here: https://premjugalizia.org/emanuele-luigi-galizia/

 

 

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PR 23/19 | Kamra tal-Periti marks the centenary of the Architects’ Ordinance with the 2019 edition of the Premju Emanuele Luigi Galizia

Verzjoni bil-Malti

It was on the 25th July 1919 that Herbert Plumer, then Governor of Malta, brought into force the Architects’ Ordinance, which governed the profession of Land Surveyor and Architect and paved the way for the establishment of the profession of Architect and Civil Engineer (Perit) as we know it today. This year, the Kamra tal-Periti is therefore celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Ordinance, and is marking this special occasion with the second edition of its Premju Emanuele Luigi Galizia.

The Premju Galizia was first launched in 2018, the culmination of a long-held ambition of the Kamra to award excellence in architecture, civil engineering, urban regeneration and interior design. In this year’s edition, the Kamra is once again also awarding the best emerging practice, as well as launching two new categories, one for multiple dwelling projects having three or more units, and one for the best international project carried out by a locally warranted perit.

Following a shortlisting process which took place earlier this month, the finalists will now present their projects to various panels of judges. The 2018 cohort of graduates of the Faculty for the Built Environment will also be presenting their Master of Architecture and Master of Engineering theses and dissertations, after also having gone through a shortlisting process last October. The presentations are open to the public and will be held at the Phoenicia Hotel between Monday 22nd and Wednesday 24th July as per the program at this link: https://kamratalperiti.org/event/premju-galizia-2019-jury-presentation-sessions/

The final Awards will be presented during a Gala Dinner to be held on the 25th July 2019, which will also be accompanied by an outdoor exhibition of the finalist projects which will be installed near the Christ the King monument in Floriana, and which will remain open until the 2nd August 2019.

This year’s Premju Galizia is sponsored by JM Vassallo Vibro Steel Ltd and Satariano, and supported by Brands International Ltd, Halmann Vella, Vivendo Group, AX Group, Bathroom Design Malta, Creations, Light Design Solutions and Simonds Farsons Cisk.

 

Notes to press:

The press are invited to attend the public presentation sessions which will be held as per the program at this link: https://kamratalperiti.org/event/premju-galizia-2019-jury-presentation-sessions/. It would be appreciated if you could include this link in your reporting to encourage the public to attend.

Further information about the Awards including the 2019 finalists can be found here: https://premjugalizia.org/

Last year’s winners can be viewed here: https://premjugalizia.org/2018-winners/

 

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PR 22/19 | Periti propose solutions to address industry slowdown

Verzjoni bil-Malti

Last Friday, the Kamra tal-Periti held another Extraordinary General Meeting, which attracted around 400 members of the profession. This Meeting was the second in three weeks, with the first being held on the 21st June 2019, and which also attracted a similarly large crowd. Both Meetings focussed on the recently introduced Legal Notice 136 of 2019 regarding the Avoidance of Damage to Third Party Property.

Addressing those present, Perit Simone Vella Lenicker, President of the Kamra tal-Periti, stated that a lot of progress had been made since the previous EGM. The Legal Notice as published included a number of changes from the original draft that addressed some of the Kamra’s concerns during the short public consultation process carried out. She also acknowledged that a major milestone had been reached on Friday morning when Minister Ian Borg and Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius, together with the Kamra tal-Periti and the Malta Developers Association, announced the setting up of a register of contractors, which will be followed up later this year by the establishment of a system of licensing and classification. This announcement was in no small way due to the Kamra’s insistence that registration, licensing and classification were long overdue, and were one of the reasons why safety and quality on construction sites was often lacking.

The Kamra tal-Periti has taken a leading role in this matter and has drafted its proposals for a new Legal Notice to outline the processes and requirements to attain the necessary goals, and discussions are currently under way with Government on these proposals. During the EGM, Perit André Pizzuto, Vice President of the Kamra tal-Periti, outlined the proposed system, which will start off with three Registers: Building Construction, Excavation and Demolition Contractors. These would then be further classified on the basis of risk, as defined in MSA EN 1990, namely High, Medium and Low Risk. When undertaking a project, the perit in charge would commission or carry out a risk assessment and would indicate the type of contractors required to carry out the envisaged works.

The Kamra’s proposal retains the figure of the Site Technical Officer introduced with LN 136 of 2019, however the minimum qualifications held by such person would depend on the risk category in which the contractor is registered. The proposals made by the Kamra for registration, licensing and classification were approved by the EGM, and the Council was given the go ahead to continue to pursue their introduction with Government. These proposals are expected to address the current slowdown being experienced by the industry following the overly hasty introduction of the new regulations on the 25th June 2019, particularly on sites where demolition and excavation works cannot proceed without the appointment of a Site Technical Officer.

The EGM also unanimously agreed that there are a number of points with regard to Legal Notice 136 of 2019 that need to be addressed without further delay. These include primarily: the role, responsibilities and competences of the Site Technical Officer; a clear division between the Works Specifications that must be prepared by a perit, and the Method Statement which must be prepared by the contractor in order to state how the Specifications are to be implemented and achieved; a clearer distinction between temporary and permanent works; and also the removal of various inconsistencies between the Maltese and English versions of the Legal Notice. The Kamra tal-Periti will be seeking further meetings with Government this week to address such issues.

Meanwhile, the Kamra tal-Periti received letters of support for its position from the international community of architects, namely from the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the Union of Mediterranean Architects (UMAR). Both organisations commended the Kamra tal-Periti for its work to ensure that historically established lines of responsibility on construction sites, in accordance with international practice in all developed countries, are maintained and strengthened.

 

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PR 21/19 | Kamra tal-Periti receives support from international associations

Verzjoni bil-Malti

The Kamra tal-Periti welcomes the announcement made on Friday by Minister Ian Borg and Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius regarding the setting up a of a system of registration of contractors which will commence next Wednesday. This follows on from various calls that the Kamra has been making since 2007, which was strongly reiterated in recent weeks following the introduction of Legal Notice 136 of 2019 regarding the Avoidance of Damage to Third Party Property. Safety on site is paramount, and registration, licensing and classification of contractors are essential to ensure that contractors are given the adequate training and are equipped with sufficient skills to improve the quality of works execution and safety on construction sites.

The Kamra tal-Periti has taken a leading role in pushing for the introduction of registration, licensing and classification of contractors, and has drafted its proposals for a new Legal Notice to outline the processes and requirements to attain such goals. Discussions are currently under way with Government with a view towards enacting this Legal Notice later this year.

With regard to Legal Notice 136 of 2019, there are still a number of points which the Kamra tal-Periti is insisting need to be changed, in the interest of public safety as well as in the interest of the profession, contractors and developers. These include primarily the role, responsibilities and competences of the Site Technical Officer, a clear division between the Works Specifications that must be prepared by a perit, and the Method Statement which must be prepared by the contractor in order to state how the Specifications are to be achieved, a clearer distinction between temporary and permanent works, and also various inconsistencies between the Maltese and English versions of the Legal Notice. The Kamra tal-Periti will be seeking further meetings with Government next week to address such issues.

Yesterday, the Kamra tal-Periti has received letters of support for its position from the international community of architects. Thomas Vonier, President of the International Union of Architects (UIA), expressed “support for the Kamra tal-Periti’s efforts to prevent the profession of architects from assuming responsibility for services provided by third parties, as foreseen in the Legal Notice 136 of 2019. The Union commends the profession as it advocates clear and rigorous guidelines describing the responsibilities of the various stakeholders on construction sites in the interests of safety and quality of the built environment.

In a separate letter, Wassim Naghi, President of the Union of Mediterranean Architects (UMAR), stated that the 25th General Assembly of the organisation held in Rome this week had expressed its “support for the Kamra‘s relentless efforts over the past three weeks to ensure that the profession is safeguarded following the introduction of new legislation which was introduced suddenly, and without, what seems, an adequate period of consultation. We salute the Maltese profession in its efforts to retain its independence and impartiality, and for promoting clear and strong guidelines delineating responsibilities of the various stakeholders on construction sites in the interests of safety and quality of the built environment. The General Assembly also supports the Kamra tal-Periti in its strong calls requesting Government to immediately allocate sufficient and adequate resources to the local Regulator in order to allow it to carry out its statutory functions in a timely and efficient manner in the interest of public health and safety on and around construction sites.”

 

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PR 20/19 | Will this Legal Notice make our building sites any safer?

Verzjoni bil-Malti

The Kamra tal-Periti rejects the assertion that it and its legal advisers have not understood the Legal Notice 136 of 2019. The fact remains that over the last week massive meetings of periti, contractors and developers were organised in order to clarify what was meant to be crystal clear.

In a meeting held yesterday morning between the Kamra tal-Periti and government consultants regarding the Legal Notice, in the presence of MDA president, it was agreed that changes to the Legal Notice were necessary, and in the interim the BRO would issue binding guidance to industry stakeholders on the types of works that may be exempt from the new regulations through regulations 25 and 26, and on the liabilities that the Legal Notice implies. It was made clear to the Kamra that no demolition and excavation works would be exempted from the new regulations, upon application. It is not clear whether this means that construction on existing buildings are not covered by the Legal Notice, in spite of Schedule Six. This means that the only way that some types of construction works may proceed is by the BRO agreeing that the regulations can be circumvented altogether. This begs the question whether public safety is being safeguarded with the coming into force of the new regulations, and how further collapses of buildings will be prevented, and whether the whole confusion created was worth the effort.

The Kamra has reiterated its advice to periti to follow the requirements of the Legal Notice in its current form, until such time as the BRO issues binding guidance on the interpretation of the Legal Notice. When such guidance is issued, the Kamra will verify whether such guidance reflects what was verbally agreed, and will advise members of the profession accordingly. The Kamra was also given assurances that it would receive the fourth version of the relative BRO forms for its review before their re-publication. The BRO did not follow through such assurances. The Kamra is still not in agreement with the forms as published yesterday evening.

The Kamra is very concerned that only a few hundred building sites are currently operational. It cannot understand why all this chaos has been created, when now we are being told that most sites, except for excavation and demolition works, can qualify for exemption from the rules. Will this Legal Notice make our building sites any safer?

The Kamra’s demand for a proper registration of contractors, which was forcefully echoed by the MDA’s members at yesterday’s information session, has so far not been implemented by government. In the Kamra’s view, this is the most critical step in safeguarding public safety and preventing a repeat of the accidents of the last two months.