Architects withdraw construction site directives following agreement with ministry

The ‘principle issues’ with the new regulations have now been addressed, Chamber of Architects vice-president Andre Pizzuto said

The Infrastructure Minister and the Chamber of Architects have come to an agreement on the way forward for the construction sector, leading to a withdrawal of directives issued by the Chamber.

The withdrawal was welcomed by the ministry, which said in a statement that it would continue to strive for “security, responsibility and transparency”.

The directives were issued by the chamber over a requirement, introduced in regulations which came into force in June, for Site Technical Officers at construction sites to be warranted architects.

Borg announced earlier in the week, that the regulations were being amended and would now allow engineers to carry out the role.

Minister Ian Borg expressed his satisfaction at the fact that the chamber was no “on-board” with the reforms.  

“Demolition and excavation work on sites will be monitored and given full attention. People’s safety is our first priority. Let’s continue working together,” Borg tweeted. 

Speaking to MaltaToday, Chamber of Architects vice-president Andre Pizzuto said that the agreement followed long negotiations with the ministry.

“Our principle issues were addressed and we hope that the final result will be a more regularized and professional sector,” Pizzuto said.

He added that, as part of the agreement, government had committed to a far more detailed and comprehensive reform.

“The government has said that it would soon be giving further details on how this reform will be enacted,” he said. 

Pizzuto added that government had also pledged to reform the Periti Act of 1999, which regulates the profession and which Pizzuto said was today outdated and not in line with similar laws in other European states.

At present, the law outlines the qualifications required for one to be warranted architect, but makes no reference to what their responsibilities are.

Parliament is expected to start discussing the reform when it returns back from summer recess in September. 

“Through the reform, we will start seeing better regulation in the industry,” Pizzuto said. 

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