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L.N. 192 of 2019 – The Building and Construction Agency

by Dr Mary Rose Micallef – Junior Associate

Image from Shutterstock (c)

The building and construction sector have always been a cornerstone in the development of our country. Throughout the years, legislative bodies enacted several laws in order to regulate the said fundamental sector, however these laws have now become a widespread.

The management of the built environment “have been fragmented into a myriad of entities along the years”. Naturally such state of affairs has rendered ‘an organic and somewhat uncoordinated development of the sector.’

The White Paper setting up the Building and Construction Regulator embraced a number of challenges that needed to be addressed in forthcoming legislations. The said paper listed, the lack of enforcement upon construction sites and also the wide dispersion of legislation, outdated legislation as, predominant issues.

Legal Notice 192 of 2019 brought about the Building and Construction Agency (Establishment) Order, 2019. This legal enactment was set up with the scope of unifying the scattered legislation and administrative bodies in relation to the said construction and building section.

Such unification procedure is being entrusted to the Building and Construction Agency – an administrative body as enacted by the aforementioned Legal Notice.

This agency is entrusted with the creation, design, implementation and dissemination of policies together with the consolidation and review of laws and regulations, in the form of a national building code.

The forthcoming policies shall serve as guidelines to stakeholders, developers, contractors and architects and to the public at large. One of the Agency’s task would be to analyse current legislation in connection with building and construction which will also address the necessary legislative upgrades in this respect.

Essentially, the main motive is to establish a better management of the building and the construction sectors on the Islands. In this way the Agency would be cementing the pediments of the Building and Construction Authority. The ultimate desired goal is the establishment of one national building code.

Currently there are various bodies that relate to the construction and building management – amongst others, the Building Regulations Office (the ‘BRO’) the Masons Board and the Building Regulation Board (the ‘BRB’) and the Building Consultative Council. Indeed, such a multi-body system has been criticised as being too bureaucratic.

Hence the legislator opted to absorb the above-mentioned bodies into the Agency’s Board – to provide for its scope: unity, collaboration and harmonisation of the present scattered framework.

The Agency shall be responsible for all processes related to the change in management required in the enforcement of national building code. The Agency is also empowered to collaborate with other agencies, corporations, government and non-government entities.

It may also establish measures with public bodies such as local councils in attempt to attain a better fulfilment of its assumed obligations.

In essence, this Agency would be serving as a steppingstone to the forthcoming Building and Construction Authority. The Authority would then take over all functions of this temporarily Agency – the Agency is a mere ‘vehicle’ intended to ease the setting up of the prospective Authority.

Disclaimer: This article is not to be considered as legal advice, and is not to be acted on as such. Should you require further information or legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Mary Rose Micallef on maryrose@abalegal.eu.