[WATCH] Contractors’ registry is first step in industry’s regularisation, lobby says

MDA boss Sandro Chetcuti hails ‘revolution’ in starting registry for all demolition and excavation contractors, bricklayers and builders

MDA boss Sandro Chetcuti (left) and BRO head Michael Ferry
MDA boss Sandro Chetcuti (left) and BRO head Michael Ferry
MDA boss on construction cowboys and regulating the industry

Developers’ lobby boss Sandro Chetcuti has hailed an industry “revolution” as he launched a National Contractors Registry which will be listing individuals and companies operating in construction.

The Malta Developers Association president said the registry, which is a joint initiative between the Building Regulation Office and his lobby, would contain the details of all excavation and demolition contractors, bricklayers and builders in the sector.

Chetcuti said that registration for these three groups would be “obligatory” and all those involved would have to register themselves by the end of September.

However, when asked what steps would be taken when it came to those who failed to register, he said that there should be no reason why those in the sector should refrain from doing so.

“Those who don’t bother to register won’t bother to obtain a license once the license system is in place,” he remarked.

Underlining that the MDA had already received a hundred registration applications in the two days since the registry was launched, Chetcuti said that “most of those in the construction industry want to regularise themselves.”

“We have been insisting on such a registry for years, and, at last, the time has come to start regularising the industry,” he said.

The registration, which can be done online, by post, or in person at the MDA offices, will only cost an administrative fee of €50, he said. “Our aim is not to make a profit but to ensure all are registered.”

Turning to the legal notice amending construction laws, Chetcuti said this was a step in the right direction, but that it had to be followed up by other measures.

“After the recent incidents, the legal notice was implemented, but it won’t work on its own. It is a start, but we need to follow up with more initiatives,” he said.

Once the registration process closes in September, the MDA and others would be launching accreditation courses to train those involved in construction and ensure they are all accredited to do the work they do, Chetcuti added.

He said the contractors would eventually also be classified according to the work they do, relative to their size.

“I promise, in the name of the MDA, that we will be work with a lot of vigour for this to happen.”

Asked by MaltaToday whether naming construction industry cowboys - which he has mentioned several times as giving a bad name to the sector - would have helped prevent the recent building collapses, Chetcuti said he the MDA didn’t want to dish out blame, choosing instead to draw up positive measures such as the registry.

“We will be positive, by creating awareness and launching this registry,” he said.

“There will also be made available the necessary training for those in the sector,” Chetcuti added, “Anyone who wants to learn, and to respect the country’s law, and to be reliable, should do so.”

Those few who would refuse to cooperate will automatically be cast aside from the industry, he said.

A building blocks exercise

BRO head Michael Ferry underscored that it had been decided to undertake the registry initiative with the MDA in the interest of industry collaboration.

“This is a building blocks exercise. We are trying to strengthen the good and eradicate the bad,” he said.

The registry will help contractors understand that the industry is being regulated, and will also service to market them, through listing them on the BRO website as registered individuals or companies, he added.

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