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.”