Chamber of Engineers offers technical assistance towards implementation of the Jean Paul Sofia Public Inquiry recommendations

The Jean Paul Sofia Public Inquiry report, published on 28th February 2024, has highlighted thirty-nine recommendations which the Government of Malta has committed itself to implement. An Interministerial Committee is tasked with the implementation of these recommendations.

The construction sector is a multi-disciplinary sector, and buildings can only be ensured as safe, habitable and reliability only through the expertise of the various professionals and the skills of contractors which are involved. Inġiniera, have a pivotal role in the technical oversight of all equipment used during construction phases and are essential professionals for the design of building services. The role of Inġiniera is becoming increasingly important with the increasing complexities and heights of buildings and ever-changing requirements during the building lifecycle. In fact, the Chamber has continuously highlighted the role of the Inġinier as a key professional for the sector and a likewise important stakeholder.

The CoE President, Inġ. Malcolm Zammit, has recently written to the Hon. Prime Minister, Dr Robert Abela, to offer the technical assistance of the Chamber of Engineers, and the expertise of its members, towards the implementation of the recommendations laid out by the Inquiry Board led by Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon.

As representatives of the engineering profession, the Chamber feels compelled to come forward and assist authorities in matters where public health & safety is paramount and where engineers can be effective. The Chamber is satisfied to remark that the Interministerial Committee has acknowledged the Chamber’s offer and meetings will be held where we will ensure that the advice of the engineering profession leads to a safer future.

On a complementary note, the Chamber of Engineers has proposed to Government to ensure that Inġiniera form part of the panel which will be providing professional assistance to third parties affected by construction projects. The Chamber notes with satisfaction that such proposal is being taken on board and a call will be issued to have Inġiniera join Periti and Lawyers, and collectively ensure a holistic service to the affected public.

The Chamber of Engineers believes that a multi-faceted and complex construction sector requires carefully designed solutions voiced by the key players in the sector, including those affected by development. Therefore, the Chamber re-iterates calls not to rush through the generation of these solutions. This problem-solving exercise will influence the life of future generations to come, and while the Chamber expects that the Government treats the matter with a sense of urgency, this should not come to the detriment of the thoroughness and effectiveness of the solutions.

The Chamber calls interested members with experience in the sector to reach out and contribute to this reform. Furthermore, the Chamber appeals for the necessary political will and bold decision-making which will restore the sector’s credibility and give people the peace of mind that a tragedy, such as the death of young Jean Paul Sofia, never repeats itself.

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