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Depriving architects of copyright threatens security during construction - Union of Architects

KYIV. July 26 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Depriving architects of proprietary copyrights to construction projects, provided for by bill No. 5655, threatens the safety of buildings and structures, Anna Kyrii, the deputy chairperson of the Architectural Chamber of the National Union of Architects of Ukraine, said in Kyiv.

"Bill No. 5655 deprives an architect of authorship and property rights even before he starts to design anything. This deprives the construction of security guarantees," she said at a press conference on the topic "How bill No. 5655 can destroy Ukraine's architecture, architects as profession" at Interfax-Ukraine.

At the same time, according to the document, only the architect who performs the work at the expense of budget funds is deprived of authorship of the construction site. All rights to intellectual property and project documentation are received by the customer.

Kyrii said the representatives of the architectural community of Ukraine did not participate in writing the text of the bill, their comments were not reflected in the adoption of the document, which currently contains at least 100 points that discriminate against architects in favor of other participants in the construction industry.

According to the expert, this bill could create grounds for corruption in the use of budget funds.

"The customer may wish to save money on the replacement of materials, transitions of building structures. When the general contractor closes the acts of work performed on the originally approved estimate, and not on the actual one, taking into account such savings, we believe that by doing so the bill will legitimize corruption schemes," she said.

President of the National Union of Architects of Ukraine Oleksandr Chyzhevsky, said, in turn, that the creation of an urban planning chamber under the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development as a separate body with broad powers in terms of control and certification of architects "is unsafe, since it can level self-regulation in the architectural environment and lead to an imbalance of the entire urban planning system."

"The state thereby takes away the powers of the Architectural Chamber for self-regulation, which it itself endowed it with in 2016," Oleh Pikuschenko, the chairman of the Architectural Chamber in Chernivtsi, said.

As reported, on July 1, the Verkhovna Rada registered bills No. 5655 and No. 5656 in terms of reforming urban planning. The documents provide for the digitalization of documentation and the separation of powers between central, local authorities and legal entities.