BCA continues to work towards construction industry reform

Scrutiny on method statements intensified, building and construction inspectors set to double, new freephone to report irregularities launched


The Building and Construction Agency (BCA) continues to work towards reforming the construction industry in the Maltese islands. With the agency now only weeks away from becoming an Authority, a number of reforms are being made in the building and construction sector. These were announced by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning, Hon. Aaron Farrugia and Parliamentary Secretary for Construction, Hon. Chris Agius, during a visit to a construction site.

A new freephone number has been set up for the public to report any irregularities during construction site works. The aim of this new number is to address the concerns of the public and ensure that everyone feels safe in his or her own home. If one is concerned about any irregularities, he or she may now call on 8004 9000 to request assistance. The BCA’s efforts to regulate the industry have also been boosted with the recruitment of a number of new Building Inspectors over the past months. Seven new inspectors have recently joined the Agency, bringing the total up to ten. The BCA continues to work towards a sustainable construction industry in the Maltese islands. A key factor here is to focus on improving compliance and enforcement, and as such, the number of building inspectors is also expected to double by the end of this year.

These Building Inspectors are tasked with regularly monitoring construction sites as deemed necessary to ensure that they are in-line with administrative procedures, as well as current laws and regulations. They investigate all reports of alleged irregularities and ensure they follow-up in case any breach is detected. This is done by regularly visiting sites and recommending appropriate action, maintaining all case files and keeping the enforcement information system up-to-date.

“During the past months, the Agency worked to introduce new administrative systems, including a system for licensing for builders, worked on amendments to laws, opened a Gozo branch and strengthened its presence in all localities, and although our policy is to educate the sector, action still needed to be taken by the enforcement unit. In fact, during the past year, BCA issued 38 fines, sealed four construction sites, opened three complaints with the Police, and issued 48 enforcement notices. During the same year, 4077 inspections were performed in Malta, and 437 in Gozo, and processed 2,595 complaints” Parliamentary Secretary, Hon. Chris Agius said.

Condition Reports and Method Statement of contiguous properties are vital in such circumstances, as provided by the Avoidance of Damage to Third Party Property Regulations. The BCA ensures that anyone planning on carrying out any construction works must present all necessary documentation prior to commencement of works. It is important to note that owners of neighbouring property may object by submitting a report drawn up by an architect highlighting the relevant issues. A new pool of experts will now also be conducting checks on construction method statements. The BCA intends to receive expressions of interest for the provision of professional services of periti to assess construction method statements covering demolition, excavation and construction works submitted by architects responsible for the projects.

The BCA has also recently implemented a new system for the issuance of masons’ licences and these are now in the process of being renewed after a number of years. Masons must always keep their licence with them on site, due to inspections that may be carried out at any time. A register of all valid licensed masons is available on www.bca.org.mt/masons-list.

“In the coming weeks the government will be announcing further reforms, schemes and measures hand-in-hand with all stakeholders in order to achieve the results we are after. This reform will modernise, safeguard and strengthen the industry while improving quality of life and providing peace of mind to all families in Malta and Gozo,” Minister, Hon. Farrugia said.

The Building and Construction Agency (BCA) envisions a self-regulating building and construction sector. The goal of such measures is to continue to provide peace of mind to families and ensure the industry is more secure and sustainable.

“Our mission is to create stability and accountability in the building and construction sector that fosters a better environment for all” said Ivor Robinich, CEO of BCA.

One may contact the BCA by sending an email on [email protected]. For more information, please visit www.bca.org.mt.

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