Several Quintano report proposals have been implemented, Minister says

XTRA | Planning Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi says several proposals from the Quintano report, aimed at reviewing the regulations governing the construction industry, have been implemented

Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi
Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi

In a recent appearance on TVM's Xtra, Planning Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi provided insights into the ongoing efforts to reform the construction industry.

"Several proposals have already been implemented, and some proposals are being worked on," Zrinzo Azzopardi told host Saviour Balzan.

The minister was responding to Balzan's question regarding the Quintano report.

The report in question took stock of the situation and propose changes to the regulatory setup governing construction.

The committee responsible for overseeing the report, chaired by retired judge Lawrence Quintano, was established shortly after the tragic incident in St Venera, which claimed the life of 54-year-old Miriam Pace.

The committee's objective was to review the regulations governing the construction industry and its practices.

Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi highlighted several proposals that have already been implemented, with a particular focus on the establishment of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the licensing process for contractors.

Minister Zrinzo Azzopardi stressed the importance of strengthening the BCA's enforcement capabilities, including an increase in the number of building inspectors within the authority.

This step aims to ensure that regulations and standards are strictly adhered to, ultimately contributing to improved safety and quality within the construction sector.

Another significant change, according tot the planning minister, was the finalisation of the licensing process for contractors. 

The minister said the significance of this reform, is to bring individuals involved in building, demolition, and excavation activities under a regulatory framework that was previously limited to a builder's license. 

"By introducing this licensing requirement, the government aims to address the prevailing issue of unqualified individuals operating in the industry," stated Zrinzo Azzopardi.

The minister expressed concerns about the ease with which individuals could claim to be contractors without meeting specific criteria.

He emphasized the urgent need to put an end to this practice, which has persisted for several years.

"The proposed reforms seek to establish a robust system where only qualified and competent professionals can operate as contractors," he added.

The minister acknowledged that even licensed individuals sometimes engage in unprofessional behavior.

To address this, a mechanism has been developed to allow for the suspension or withdrawal of licenses when necessary.

"By establishing the BCA and implementing a comprehensive licensing process, the government aims to enhance safety, quality, and professionalism within the sector," concluded Minister Zrinzo Azzopardi.