The Malta Independent 19 April 2024, Friday
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BCA says protection of third parties affected by construction of utmost importance

Tuesday, 2 April 2024, 09:17 Last update: about 16 days ago

The Building and Construction Authority said Tuesday that it was unexpected that on the same day of an important meeting aimed at enhancing dialogue and discussing the recommendations of the Sofia inquiry was held, the Chamber of Architects issued a directive, despite not being able to attend the meeting.

The authority was referring to a directive issued by the chamber after the BCA introduced two forms which the chamber said had not been discussed.

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The chamber’s council noted that two new forms were introduced by the Building and Construction Authorityin recent days. These are the “Declaration to the BCA regarding Third Party Property Condition Reports and Excavation Affected Complexes” and “Certificate of Insurance”, the chamber said

Members of the profession were informed that these two forms “were not discussed and agreed upon by the Kamra tal-Periti”. The BCA forms were a major sticking point back in 2019, and the repeal of directives by the Kamra was in part conditional to the review and agreement of such forms, the chamber said. Indeed, several circulars had been issued regarding the BCA forms at the time. The matter eventually also formed part of the Letter of Commitment signed by the minister and permanent secretary responsible for sector at the time.

The chamber said that S.L.623.06 does not specify the use of forms, and thus their imposition by the BCA of any form is ultra-vires at law. All BCA forms, besides the above two, are only in place because of the agreement reached with the Kamra in October 2019.

As a result of the BCA’s failure to consult with the Kamra tal-Periti on the two aforementioned forms, the Council is hereby directing all members of the profession not to file them, the chamber said.

In its reply, the BCA said it is committed to fostering ongoing constructive dialogue with all stakeholders in the sector, including the Chamber of Architects.

While the Authority remains open to providing clarification on its initiatives, it emphasizes that the measures introduced aim to enhance the protection of third parties affected by construction projects and streamline the insurance process by introducing a ‘Certificate of Insurance’ as a concise summary of lengthy insurance policy documents.

The authority said it looks forward to continuing discussions with the Chamber of Architects in the already scheduled meetings.

 

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