Fix your portal now, architects tell PA
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Fix your portal now, architects tell PA

'Hardware issues' led to the delay

Updated 2.40pm with PA statement

Architects are being impeded from "successfully and confidently" submitting and accessing documentation to the Panning Authority because of serious problems to its new online application portal.

For the past week, architects and civil engineers have been unable to submit new applications, download information from ongoing or decided applications, to submit correspondence and drawings to the authority, and to generally provide their clients with services related to the eApplications portal.

The Chamber of Architects and Civil Engineers (KTP) raised its concerns about the launch of the new online application portal via a statement this morning. 

The Chamber wanted the PA to confirm when the system will be fully functional, and to inform public how it will be dealing with situations where deadlines, which are bound by legal time-frames, could not be met, as a result of the lack of functionality of the portal. Such a statement has not been forthcoming.

The situation being faced by the profession is now far from being a minor issue

Towards the end of 2016, the PA announced it would be launching an upgraded version of its online application portal, known as eApplications. The old system was shut down on December 23, and the authority said the new version would be online and functional as of January 2.

The KTP has communicated with the authority on a daily basis on this matter over the past week, and acknowledged that one would expect some minor teething problems with any new system. However, the situation being faced by the profession is now far from being a minor issue, and the lack of formal communication by the authority is unacceptable.

In accordance with legislation, planning applications are handled solely through the eApplications portal, and therefore the lack of functionality of such a system for the last two weeks is entirely unacceptable, as it is the sole means of communication with the authority in this regard.

Site expected to return to normal next week - PA

In a statement, the PA said the site was suffering from hardware issues which have set back the programming of some features of the new system.

Though architects and consultees were able to submit correspondence soon after launch, they were still experiencing limited functionality which is expected to return to normal by early next week.

The PA said its eApplications portal enables the authority’s clients and the public to view plans and details, submit and pay for planning applications online and also interact with the authority during the course of the application process.

This system has thoroughly enhanced the transparency and efficiency in the regulatory process and significantly reduced paper use by the authority.

The PA planned to use its legislative inactive period, over the Christmas shutdown, to switch off the old eApplications system and migrate over 5 million records to the new system.

Although the migration took considerable time the new system went live on the January 2, as planned, and users could use the portal to view documents at once.

The authority advised all clients who may experience problems due to the change-over to submit an e-mail to the authority on eapps@pa.org.mt.

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