The first thing that struck me was that in some places the Facility Manager was called the “Condominium”. I kept getting confused as to if they were talking the building or the Facility Manager.
Aside from that, we experience the same challenges, albeit that ours are on a greater scale. The similarities included:
- The lengthy time it takes to get third party contractors on site
- Prioritisation of regulatory compliance responsibilities and seeing which regulations are the ‘flavour of the year’ with the respective regulators
- Getting third party contractors to comply with work health and safety protocols
- Ability to readily access qualified and experienced Facilities Managers that demonstrate a genuine commitment to the property
- Unrealistic expectations from tenants
- Owners that do not appreciate the long-term benefits of proactive and preventative maintenance
- Trying to keep outgoings low
- Traffic and getting trades around
- Managing time and resources
- There isn’t a structured and specific Facilities Management education pathway and like Australia most people fall into the profession by consequence.
The differences included:
- Malta very few “high rise” buildings and the nature of their CBD commercial properties are not as complex as ours
- Whilst similar in many ways, the systems and standards with are smaller in scale
- Malta’s regulatory authorities are more discretionary and apply a more flexible ‘common sense’ approach to regulatory compliance rather than a more prescriptive approach as in Australia.
All in all, the wages and cost of living in Malta is lower than in Australia with the main driver being the cost of rent and house prices.
The Maltese Facilities Managers demonstrate dedication, knowledge, innovation and a strong work ethic. I’m confident that they could capably apply their skills in most parts of the world and I would greatly welcome the opportunity to collaborate with them on the international stage.
I would like to thank the following organisations and people for their time in meetings with me to discuss facilities management:
- Forward Architects – Mr Chris Micallef (no relation)
- Nidum – Mr Alberto Micel-Farrugia
- Vievndo Group – Mr Chris Gauchi
- The Point Tinge – Mr Karl Attard
- Dragonara Business Centre – Mr Daniel Farrugia