Construction regulations consultation: PN calls for contractor register

The party said there should be clear requirements and standards for one to be approved as a building contractor

The PN has urged the government to set up a contractors register
The PN has urged the government to set up a contractors register

The Nationalist Party is calling on the government to implement a register of all construction industry contractors operating on the island.

This register, it said, should be organised in a manner that made it clear what was expected of contractor, including the necessary criteria and certification required for them to form part of the register.

It should also clearly specify the type of service a contractor is able to offer and their competences, the PN added.

On Saturday, the party issued a number of comments regarding draft construction industry regulations published for public consultation by the government on Monday. The consultation ended on Friday.

The PN noted that a five-day consultation period was too short, adding that while it understood the urgency of the matter, more time was necessary for a holistic solution to be found.

In fact, it said that there were many laws that related to construction, insisting that the proposed rules were centred around just one of these laws.

“While one appreciates that the subject of this law is important, one must also note that there are various other laws that are relevant and that have direct relationship to this law,” the PN said.  

It stressed the need to ensure that the definition of different roles identified in proposed regulations are in conformity with the country’s laws.  

Among the problems with the current system identified by the PN was a lack of enforcement on construction sites.

It said that various meetings with residents and stakeholders had showed that the current laissez-faire attitude was contributing to more abuses. “Without proper and timely enforcement the law is ineffective.”

The PN also called for training to be provided to those working in the industry in order to ensure the highest possible standards.   

Regarding the issue of who the designated site manager should be, which the draft rules say should be the architect, or any other person certified by the architect, the PN said this made it unclear what would happen in instances were there is a difference of opinion between the project architect and the architect managing the site.

It said that the criteria regarding who could be a site manager should be broadened to address issues of supply and demand in the present market.

The PN said it was positive that the new regulations would require a geotechnical design repot and structural appraisal to be carried out, but said it was also important for the Geographical Survey of Malta to be kept updated given that it must serve as a repository of the country’s natural resources, minerals and earth processes.

More in National