Update on the Proposed Amendments to the Engineering Profession Act

The proposed amendments to the Engineering Profession Act (Cap. 321) remain a crucial issue for the Engineering Profession and the Chamber of Engineers continues following this process closely and in-depth.

The Chamber issued a press release in August 2020 about the adoption of the proposals to the act which effectively address the previously identified inadequacies. Following this communication, the consolidated amendments were reviewed by the Legislation Unit and were then delivered to the Commission (CION) for review and approval in view of the infringement procedures. The Ministry responsible for this legislation i.e. MTIP had informed the CoE that the draft amendments had passed the CION stage and then MTIP submitted these amendments (‘Bill’ known as ‘Abbozz ta’ Liġi’) to Cabinet for approval. Following such approval, the Chamber is now informed that the bill has reached Parliament awaiting 1st Reading where the bill’s title is read. During 2nd reading the bill starts being discussed also known as a committee stage. The CoE has already communicated with the Clerk of the House of Representatives to ensure we remain engaged throughout the entire process and participate actively in the committee stage scoping the bill’s discussion. The Chamber will keep voicing the interests of engineers throughout.

The original concerns were addressed thanks to the valued contribution of members which the Chamber ensured to entrench in the proposed amendments:

  • The definition of “Inginier” [“Inġinier” means any person who has obtained a warrant in terms of article 4 of the Act;”; and the words “engineer” and “engineers” shall be substituted by the words “inġinier” and “inġiniera” accordingly, wherever they occur in the principal Act;] will be replacing the current definition of ‘engineer’ [“Engineer” means a person who has obtained a degree in engineering from the University of Malta or from a foreign institution recognised as equivalent;]
  • “Engineering Services” will be defined by means of a direct transposition of the current legal notice (L.N 354 of 2012) i.e. “engineering services” means activities of design, specification, development, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of any mechanical, electrical, chemical process, information and related systems and such activities shall be carried out by or under the authorization and guidance of an engineer who is a warrant holder, competent in the field as recognized by the Board;
  • The title of Cap. 321 is proposed to change from Engineering Profession Act to ‘Inġiniera Act’ in line with point 1.
  • As part of the “reserved activities” stipulated in the bill, surrounding legislation must ensure that professionals are now engaged to certify installations or systems. The profession needs to consistently work on the surrounding legislation.

The Chamber is in parallel closely following the civil court case instituted against the Engineering Profession Board about this matter and which started on 19-Feb-2021. Through a Court Decree for a mandate of prohibitory injunction issued on 5-Nov-2020 on the same subject, the Chamber has taken clear note of the remarks of the Court which noted that the presence of the Chamber of Engineers as an interested party would have contributed to the court proceedings. With full respect to the Court and to the profession, the Chamber has submitted an application to intervene as an interested party in this civil court case.

The Chamber of Engineers will continue keeping engineers fully engaged on the subject, while keeping members updated and pursuing the best possible outcome for the profession.

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