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PR 28/19 | Kamra tal-Periti celebrates three important dates in its calendar

Verzjoni bil-Malti

The Kamra tal-Periti joins its European and global counterparts in celebrating three important days which remind us of the important role the profession has in ensuring a better environment for all mankind.

 

World Habitat Day 2019

World Habitat Day was established in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly, and was first celebrated in 1986. The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It also reminds us that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.

Building on last year’s theme (Municipal Solid Waste Management), the theme for 2019 is: Frontier Technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth. Technology has great potential to improve how people work and live, to significantly accelerate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change. Frontier technologies, such as automation, robotics, electric vehicles, renewable energy technologies, biotechnologies, and artificial intelligence can transform the social, economic and environmental spheres. They can offer better, cheaper, faster, scalable and easy to use solutions for every-day problems, including waste management. The task ahead is to harness frontier technologies to achieve sustainable waste management while mitigating their possible adverse economic, social and political consequences.

 

World Architecture Day 2019

In 1986, the International Union of Architects (UIA) established World Architecture Day to coincide with World Habitat Day, with the aim to draw the attention of professionals and the public to issues concerning cities and housing. The theme chosen for 2019 is “Architecture … housing for all”.

More than one billion of the 7.5 billion human beings on our planet live in places they build for themselves, using whatever materials they can scavenge, on whatever land they can claim, often tenuously. Millions lack permanent shelter altogether, as refugees and persons displaced by conflict and calamity. Architects around the world will be considering how design has an essential role in alleviating human suffering, reducing planetary burdens, and enhancing the quality of life for everyone.

 

European Engineers Day 2019

Every 5th October, the European engineering organisations ECEC (European Council of Engineers Chambers), FEANI (European Federation of National Engineering Associations), ECCE (European Council of Civil Engineers), together with ENAEE (European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education) celebrate European Engineers Day to draw attention to the importance of securing the availability of excellent engineering solutions in Europe. The impact of engineering is visible in every aspect of human life, through increasingly more sophisticated inventions, techniques and equipment, and this Day is a good opportunity to remind the profession of the importance of achieving excellence in their respective fields.

 

For further information visit:

https://www.un.org/en/events/habitatday/

http://zvin.mjt.lu/nl2/zvin/l6wv2.html?hl=fr

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PR 26/19 | New Building and Construction Agency

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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

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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

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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.

 

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PR 19/19 | Developments on LN 136 of 2019

Verzjoni bil-Malti

The Kamra tal-Periti would hereby like to notify the following developments since the bringing into force of LN 136 of 2019.

 

Meeting with Government

Government requested an urgent meeting with the Kamra tal-Periti to discuss the new regulations that were brought into force earlier this week. The Kamra tal-Periti immediately accepted the offer for a meeting which happened yesterday afternoon.

During this meeting, which lasted almost three hours, the Kamra outlined in detail the several issues in the regulations and the positions voted upon in the Extraordinary General Meeting held on Friday 21st June 2019. The Kamra also expressed its deep concern for public safety due to conflicts between the Civil Code and the new regulations, and the confusion surrounding the apportionment of responsibilities.

The Kamra tal-Periti also insisted on the urgency for the setting up of a system of registration of contractors so members of the public, and periti themselves, can begin to regain confidence in the industry.

It was agreed that further meetings would occur in the next few days during which amendments to the new regulations will be proposed by the Kamra together with its team of legal consultants for Government’s consideration.

The Kamra tal-Periti reiterates its commitment to assist Government in fulfilling its intention to bring about a positive reform of the industry in the interest of public safety.

 

Exemptions under Regulation 26

Regulation 26 states that “[w]hen before the start of the works, the perit in charge of the project certifies, after giving clear reasons, that the structural interventions will not affect third party property, the provisions of regulations 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 do not apply”.

 

This implies that if a perit certifies that no damage will occur to third-parties during works, the entire set of regulations can be circumvented. If damages do occur, the perit issuing such certification would carry personal criminal and civil responsibility for anything that happens, even when the contractor is at fault.

This has put members of the profession under immense pressure to sign such declarations as contractors and developers are incurring extremely high costs due to the effective suspension of works. The Kamra has received multiple reports from members of the profession who received personal threats as well as threats of crippling and vexatious lawsuits if they do not sign such declarations.

The Kamra tal-Periti is hereby making it clear that if any such lawsuits are filed against periti who are diligently and responsibly applying the law, it will enter such lawsuits parte civile and put all its resources to defend its members against cowboy operators.

The Kamra will also be writing to the Chief Justice to request that such lawsuits are dismissed on a prima facie basis in the interest of public safety.

 

Exemptions under Regulation 25

Regulation 25 states that “[w]orks of excavation, demolition and construction, that would have started but are not complete on the date of the 25th June 2019, as well as those works of excavation, demolition and construction, that still need to begin, fall under the provisions of these regulations provided that the Director of the Building Regulation Office reserves the right to issue appropriate orders according to the requirements and nature of the particular site.

Members of the public are urged to write to the Director of BRO on commencement.bro@gov.mt keeping in copy their perit asking for clearance to proceed with works, and insisting that a clear scope of works and a list of the specific exemptions from the regulations are specified in such clearance.

 

 

The Kamra tal-Periti will continue to defend and promote the interest of public safety first at all times.

 

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