Government statement: BC(A)R SI.9 “the end of self-certification”?

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In the recent government publication “Programme for Government: Annual Report 2014” the recent Building Control (Amendment) Regulation (SI.9) was mentioned on page 5o. Quote in italics- (text in bold for emphasis by Breg Blog Admin):

Housing                                  

Legislate for Tougher Building Controls

Strict new measures for the control of building projects came into force on 1 March 2014 to prevent the future reoccurrence of poorly constructed dwellings, pyrite damage and structures breaching fire regulations left as a legacy of a poorly regulated housing boom. Under the new regulations ending the system of self-certification, building works will be inspected at key stages of construction by assigned certifiers such as registered architects, engineers or building surveyors.

Link to: Programme_for_Government_Annual_Report_2014

http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/Work_Of_The_Department/Programme_for_Government/Programme_for_Government_Annual_Report_20141.pdf

This is an extraordinary statement and is a complete contradiction to industry interpretation and Minister Hogan’s own description of BC(A)R SI.9. The lack of any reasonable level of independent government oversight of the construction industry in SI.9 has been the subject of much criticism by numerous industry stakeholders and observers. Both representative bodies for architects and chartered surveyors (RIAI and SCSI respectively) have been critical of the lack of resources made available to local authorities to implement the new regulations. Commentators  such as Frank McDonald have suggested that BC(A)R SI.9 reinforces the government system of “light touch” self-regulation that created construction scandals such as Priory Hall and the pyrite scandal.

Here is an extract off a recent letter to members from the president of the architects representative body (RIAI) Robin Mandal from 28th February 2014.

“While the building regulations themselves have not changed, the way in which compliance with the regulations is controlled will change.  This new system extends the level of self-certification involved in the building process. Building owners must now engage a registered architect, a registered building surveyor or a chartered engineer to act as an assigned certifier on most building projects. The building owner is also obliged to appoint a competent builder…The RIAI estimates that these new roles will increase the time involvement of the professionals by 30-50 percent, depending on the nature of the project.”

Listen to Robin Mandal, RIAI President on RTÉ Radio 1: News At One Media Player:

http://www.rte.ie/news/news1pm/player.html?20140228,20535683,20535683,flash,232

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