The Malta Independent 19 April 2024, Friday
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‘BCA went for more forms and bureaucracy after Jean Paul Sofia inquiry,’ PN MP says

Tuesday, 2 April 2024, 18:34 Last update: about 16 days ago

PN MP Stanley Zammit said Tuesday that the implementation of the recommendations of the public inquiry into the death of the 20-year-old Jean Paul Sofia, "started off on the wrong foot," as the Building and Construction Authority increased forms and bureaucracy, instead of tackling the problems at their roots.

Zammit said that the BCA, after the inquiry, stated that "the sector had been left for years devoid of clear regulations, with conflicting legislation and authorities stumbling upon each other, resulting in those who continued doing as they pleased," it was "superficial" and went for more forms and bureaucracy.


"The Nationalist Party always emphasizes that this regulation should be well-planned, holistic, raise standards, improve governance, increase awareness among all involved in this industry, including third parties, and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy to lower costs," he said.

Zammit said that the government feels no need to consult, not even with the authority's board, before some authority introduces more forms and expenses to the many existing ones.

On insurance, Zammit said that the Nationalist Party was clear from the very first day and, after extensive dialogue and consultation, proposes a single mandatory insurance policy to cover all the contractor's work, along with insurance for workers, before they become licensed.

"The Government came up with every excuse not to implement this, even though constituted bodies and sector representatives agreed with the Nationalist Party's proposal. After further delays, and a few weeks after the discussion in Parliament, the government, under pressure, issued a Legal Notice to partially implement what the Nationalist Party proposed," Zammit said.

He said that although the condition report on affected neighbouring properties is obligatory, the Building and Construction Authority is requiring more documentation for the same purpose.

"This additional bureaucracy means that instead of the contractor having one insurance policy to cover all the work, they will have to take out and register a policy and carry out verification for each job piece, and repeatedly declare the affected third-party properties," he said, adding that there are significant shortcomings in clear definitions, such as in the case of minor works, where the process will be prolonged and expenses increased without adding any value.

Zammit said that the PN insists that the government needs to consult seriously with the construction sector, while coming out with a serious, acceptable, clear, and transparent plan.

"The Nationalist Party will continue to work for consistent and gradual reforms as part of a holistic plan," he said.

"With effective implementation, without delays, without surprises, and without additional bureaucracy, the construction industry should be modernized, the country's trust in the same industry restored, costs reduced, have peace of mind, a better environment, and quality of life," Zammit said.

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