The ongoing building and construction reform will ensure a stronger and more sustainable industry, which will improve the quality of life and provide peace of mind to all families, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia said.
The Minister was speaking during a visit to a construction site together with Parliamentary Secretary for Construction Chris Agius and Building and Construction Authority CEO Karl Azzopardi.
Minister Farrugia said that, in preparation for the licensing of contractors, a registration process has been launched. He added that the licensing of contractors is one of the foundations of the government's commitment to regulating this industry and implementing the promised reform. This is being launched first and foremost to take stock of existing operations through the registration process.
Minister Farrugia also announced that the authority has now been officially established, as the transition was completed in recent days. The Minister highlighted the main scopes of the authority for the coming years, including the implementation of the first ever National Building Codes. He explained that, since the authority was announced earlier this year, its executive and board have been working on the strategy and action plan that will lead towards the sustainable transformation of the industry in the coming years.
“The establishment of the authority is one part of the ongoing reform in the construction sector. This was one of the main points in the Quintano report. This reform will continue to modernise, safeguard and strengthen the industry, while improving quality of life and providing peace of mind to all families in Malta and Gozo," the minister reiterated, mentioning a number of measures announced earlier this year, such as the intensification of scrutiny on method statements, increase in building and construction inspectors, as well as a new freephone for reporting irregularities.
Parliamentary Secretary for Construction Chris Agius said that we are witnessing the fulfilment of another promise in the electoral manifesto. The Parliamentary Secretary stressed that, in line with this promise, those entities working in the building and construction industry will be incorporated under one authority. “Today, we can say that the Office for the Regulation of Buildings, the board for the issuance of builders' licenses and the board that regulates buildings are functioning within the Building and Construction Authority. The ultimate goal has always been to gradually and in an organised manner make the necessary transformation for this industry to experience changes which will lead anyone who operates in it to realise that things always need to be done professionally and responsibly," the Parliamentary Secretary said. He added that it is for this purpose that the government has worked to give recognition to the skills of workers, without whom the industry would not exist.
“Since the authority was launched, the executive arm did not lose time and hence embarked on designing the authority's identity, its vision, and strategy towards the transformation of the sector. Complementing the strategy is an ambitious action plan which aims to deliver on multiple fronts in a structured and staggered process. The strategy is predominately based on the raising of the standards gradually through a combination of new and updated regulations and educational initiatives, especially those related to vocational subjects. The authority's remits shall ultimately focus on the building itself, including its performance, within the overarching context of sustainability, the environment and climate change. Ultimately, the authority aims to be the catalyst to the transformation of the sector, with industry itself becoming the driver to steer the change and take up the opportunities that lay ahead and that, essentially, shall lead towards better performing buildings and an improved quality of life," BCA CEO Karl Azzopardi said.
All players in the industry are encouraged to log onto BCA's website https://bca.org.mt/registration-for-licensing and register accordingly.