CIR 02/10 | Tariff K and VAT

Reference is made to previous circulars and directives regarding the application of the schedule of fees as defined in Tariff K and the inclusion of VAT, as part of the Cost of Construction.

We wish to draw your attention that a recent Court of Appeal judgement has ruled that the amount of VAT is not part of the Cost of Construction and that it should not be included in the computation of the fees due to the perit squashing a previous court judgment delivered by the First Hall of the Civil Court which had decided in favour of the inclusion of the amount of VAT as part of the Cost of Construction.

The Kamra tal-Periti, whilst taking note of the decision reached by the Court of Appeal, does not agree with this decision. We hereby inform you that KTP is already in the process of seeking legal advice on the matter and will vigorously challenge this interpretation of the term “cost of construction” with legitimate means and in the appropriate quarters.

Furthermore, as we have informed you earlier, a Legal Notice dated 29th December 2009 determined that fees are no longer mandatory and may be established by written agreement between the client and the perit. In the absence of such agreement, the fees described in Tariff K are to stand. Also in this instance we are not in agreement with this unilateral decision taken by government and we are also here seeking redress through the appropriate channels.

CIR 02/09 | Procedure for when a Perit discontinues a commission and/or when another Perit is engaged to take over

The Kamra tal-Periti would like to draw the attention of all Warrant Holders to the correct procedure to be adopted by Periti in cases when a commission undertaken on behalf of a Client is discontinued for any reason and/or when a Perit assumes responsibility for a commission originally undertaken by another Perit.

Warrant Holders are to note that these procedures apply equally to all cases across the board irrespective of whether the Client has decided not to retain the services of his original Perit any further or whether the Perit has decided to withdraw from the work for his own reasons. Moreover, the procedure also applies irrespective of whether there remain any outstanding issues between the original Perit and the Client or whether the Client decides to retain the services of another Perit or not.

Upon being informed by the Client that his services are no longer required or upon deciding not to pursue the commission any further, the Perit shall furnish the Client with a formal letter notifying his withdrawal and stating that he is no longer acting on behalf of said Client on the commission in question. A copy of the covering letter is also to be sent to the appropriate authorities (where applicable), and any stakeholders involved.

All Periti are to note that the withholding of the ‘Change of Architect’ form in such cases is considered to be a breach of Professional Conduct as is the resulting (or any other form of) obstruction of assumption of the work by any other Perit that the Client may subsequently wish to engage. Any pending issues such as outstanding fees or similar, that may exist between the Client and the original Perit are to be dealt with separately and do not constitute an acceptable reason for with holding the necessary documentation or for obstructing another Perit from resuming the work.

In cases where a Perit accepts a commission originally commenced by another Perit, correct procedures are also to be followed. Upon being engaged by the Client, the second Perit shall contact the first Perit and inform him formally in writing that he has been engaged by the Client to continue the works and shall also forward an endorsed ‘Change of Architect’ form (where applicable) unless this has already been furnished.

It is to be noted that the failure to inform a colleague of the intention to assume a commission originally commenced by the said colleague or the obstruction of the continuation of a commission by a colleague when on e discontinues the said commission or is no longer retained by the client, are considered to be a breach of professional conduct. The Kamra tal-Periti will take a serious view of any such incidents and any such cases brought to its attention will be dealt with accordingly.