Building watchdog to oversee construction industry and enforcement of rules

The Building and Construction Authority will be a single focal point for building regulation as new watchdog will absorb powers of four entities

The construction industry will be regulated by a single authority, making it easier for people to lodge complaints
The construction industry will be regulated by a single authority, making it easier for people to lodge complaints

A new authority to regulate the building industry will act as a single port of call for citizens and developers, Transport Minister Ian Borg said.

The minister, who is responsible for planning and infrastructure, said laws regulating the construction industry were “antiquated and needed urgent revision”.

The new Building and Construction Authority will absorb the work done by the Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC), the Building Regulation Office (BRO), the Building Regulation Board (BRB) and the Masons Board. 

Transport Minister Ian Borg at the unveiling of the White Paper proposing the creation of a new authority to oversee the building industry
Transport Minister Ian Borg at the unveiling of the White Paper proposing the creation of a new authority to oversee the building industry

Borg was speaking on Tuesday morning at the unveiling of a White Paper proposing the creation of a new authority to serve as a focal point for the construction industry. The paper has been issued for public consultation until 15 October.

“All stakeholders, including citizens, do not have a single port of call when enquiring on how the sector is operating, when they want to lodge complaints or when they want reassurance,” Borg said.

He noted that current laws were no longer compatible with how development took place today and hoped that the Malta Construction and Building Authority will act as the “transparent port of call” that is required.

Borg said the creation of the authority, which was an electoral pledge, did not mean the current entities were incompetent but merely that legislation was outdated and inconsistent. “The current entities and offices did their jobs diligently with the resources they had available,” he said.

Carlo Mifsud (right) is acting as coordinator for the setting up of the new authority
Carlo Mifsud (right) is acting as coordinator for the setting up of the new authority

Former Lands Authority CEO, Carlo Mifsud, will oversee the setting up of the new authority. In a presentation, he introduced the aims and objectives of the entity and assured everyone that it will aim to cut bureaucracy.

Several laws regulating the industry will be reviewed, such as the Police Code and the Building Regulations Act, he added.

Mifsud said the Building and Construction Authority will communicate very closely with other entities outside the construction industry, including the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability and the Civil Protection Department.

“The aims of the entity include investment in training, acting as government advisor, becoming the national focal point for the sector, bringing together stakeholders and devising of quality assurance frameworks,” he said. It will have within it several directorates under a non-executive chairman and a CEO.

The Kamra tal-Periti (KTP) issued a statement after the unveiling, welcoming the White Paper issued for consultation by the Transport Ministry. It said that, "the consolidation of the various fragmented pieces of legislation, bodies and departments regulating the industry under one legislative and administrative umbrella is a positive development towards ensuring higher standards in the building and construction industry, to bring it in line with modern practice and standards, and to ensure the protection and sustainability of the significant investment made when properties are bought or rented out."

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