“No other industry is as unregulated as ours”; Kamra tal-Periti reiterates its request to meet PM Abela

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Kamra tal-Periti has written to Prime Minister Robert Abela to remind the Prime Minister about a letter the government presented to them in which the government committed himself to bring significant changes to the construction industry.

In a statement issued on Monday, four months after the tragic death of Miriam Pace on the 2nd March 2020, the Kamra tal-Periti explained that one year has gone by since the issuance of the letter, yet none of the commitments mentioned have been implemented.

The Kamra tal-Periti mentioned how the government’s commitments were accompanied by established timelines, including the presentation to Parliament of the legislation setting up the new Building and Construction Authority by October 2019, the issuance of building and construction regulations within 24 months, and the presentation in Parliament of the long-awaited amendments to the Periti Act by October 2019.

The government’s letter was sent on the 2nd of August 2019.

It was also mentioned how various news portals reported that PM Abela was “angry and hurt” by the tragedy that had struck the Pace family, and that “progress cannot be achieved at this price, at the cost of human life.”

The Kamra tal-Periti said that the anger the Prime Minister felt that day is the anger that they experience on a daily basis;

  • The complete lack of regulation of contractors
  • The vacuum of a proper building and construction regulatory framework
  • The fragmentation of regulatory bodies that continues to fuel confusion and lack of consistency

“All too often we observe issues of site safety, the problem of unregulated workforces including the exploitation of foreign nationals, and an overall sense of slackness which forces us to operate in an industry which is grossly underregulated, with a severe lack of appropriately qualified operatives on sites, and one which is far from being comparable to our European counterparts that it is, to say the least, embarrassing.” – said the Kamra tal-Periti which has been calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the industry since as far back as 2007.

It again made reference to its draft proposals for A Modern Building and Construction Regulation Framework, published in May last year.

The proposals were also presented to the European Commission and the Opposition, as well as to Government which, through a Letter of Commitment issued in August 2019 recognised the need for a comprehensive reform of the building and construction industry, and committed itself to implement the Kamra’s proposals.

After consulting with industry stakeholders, the Kamra tal-Periti published the final version of its proposals on the 6th June 2020.

The President of the Kamra tal-Periti Simone Vella Lenicker said that she had written to the Prime Minister requesting a meeting to present proposals on the 12th June 2020 but the Office of the Prime Minister did not even acknowledge the request.

The laissez-faire attitude is not only destroying our cultural identity and our environment but is resulting in loss of life and the social upheaval of local communities. No other industry is as neglected and unregulated as ours, to the point of posing severe danger to those who operate within it, said Vella Lenicker.

The Kamra tal-Periti has also accused the government’s efforts as weak and sporadic and with lack of vision and incompetence.

On behalf of the Council the Kamra tal-Periti reiterated its request for an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Robert Abela.