‘Nobody above the law’, Robert Abela warns construction industry

Construction reform report by committee appointed in the wake of Miriam Pace death limited only to ideas pertaining to sector

Prime Minister Robert Abela has warned construction industry operators that nobody is above the law in a parliamentary speech in which he tabled a report on the industry commissioned in the wake of the Miriam Pace death.

The Prime Minister admitted that the lack of action taken within the construction industry over the years had left a negative impact on quality of life, even if some advancements were made in recent years.

“Today I believe we need to give it a higher priority,” he said.

During his speech he tabled the committee report on the building and construction industry that was drafted by a technical committee tasked with putting forward recommendations on the construction industry as a whole.

The report forms part of the groundwork for the Building and Construction Authority Bill currently being discussed in parliament. 

The Bill provides for the establishment of a Building and Construction Authority, which would regulate all matters relating to the building and construction industry, as well as a register of service providers which would be maintained by the same authority.

It would also see the Safer Neighbourhood Scheme put forward by the Malta Developers Association enshrined in law, allowing neighbours living adjacent to a construction site the option to have an architect's report drawn up at the expense of the developer.

The MDA has since welcomed the announcement, noting both the declaration made by Robert Abela as well as the positive response from PN Shadow Minister for planning Dr Hermann Schiavone.

Kamra tal-Periti welcomes Construction Bill

The Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers, or Kamra tal-Periti, is pleased with the introduction of the above-mentioned Bill, and said that it is “encouraged by the fact that the Bill was clearly influenced by its proposal document and the presentation given to the Prime Minister’s Technical Committee last March.”

“The Kamra shall be proposing additions to the Bill to emphasise the need for separation in the Act between building regulations, which govern design standards falling within the remit of architects and engineers, and construction regulations, which govern construction safety, methodology, and processes falling under the responsibility of contractors,” the chamber said in a statement.