Calls to revoke SI.9 have come from County Councils, the Dáil, Seanad, along with Oireachtas Committees.
A Motion proposed by Senator Mark Daly and seconded by Senator Darragh O’Brien was debated on Thursday, 10th April 2014. The debate was directed at the the making of better construction regulations in response to the Priory Hall and Pyrites scandals. The motion was “That Seanad Eireann resolves that Statutory Instrument No 105 of 2014. Building Control (amendment) regulations 2014 be annulled.”
It turned out to be a robust Seanad debate on the new regulation, which resulted in numerous senators adding to the calls to revoke SI.9. Many will remember the debate where there were exchanges between Senators and the former Minister about the fitness for purpose of the new regulations.
Numerous senators voiced opposition to the new regulations and called on former Minister Hogan to revoke SI.9. Here are some extracts:
Senator David Norris: “If the government introduces regulation and then exempts some of its own operations from those regulations there is something very fishy going on…
The certificate does not contemplate fraud, concealment…set up an artificial paper trail … self certification does not work…no requirement for the building control to check design or the work…the architect used to be able to rely on the advise of consultants, now the architect is solely responsible. We’re actually going to criminalise architects.
…an honest architect can be trapped by dishonesty and he can still become a criminal…500 to 8 voted that this was a dangerous proposal”
…ancillary certificates cannot be relied upon, so offer no protection for the architect…the certificates do not have let out clauses for fraud, dishonesty or concealment…I am very very worried about what the impact of the introduction of these regulations will be.
…this won’t protect the consumer”
Minister Hogan: “professional bodies making outlandish quotations…not allow any body to think this will be an easy way to financial extortion, make easy money…There is a not a majority of architects against these proposals, the majority are in favour of these proposals… in fact the former president of the RIAI, Michelle Fagan is on the oversight group that is monitoring all of these regulations and has come out in support of these regulations.
…in the past…professionals, particularly architects.. signed off on buildings without even seeing them…people should be able to do this for a modest amount of money.. an average of €3000 in rural areas”
On 16th April after the Seanad Debate Senator Paschal Mooney wrote to former Minister Phil Hogan on behalf of the Irish Association of Self Builders (IAOSB). The IAOSB separately had written a letter of complaint to the Minister and have requested a formal investigation into statements made in the Seanad (see post here). Senator Money concluded by requesting the Minister to instigate an immediate review of SI.9 taking account of the issues relating to the self build sector. Read post here: Senator Paschal Mooney, Minister Hogan and Seanad debate
At recent EGM and AGM held by the representative body for architects (RIAI) it was suggested that asking the Minister to revoke SI.9 was inappropriate and that members would not be listened to by the Department and the Minister. Architects would ‘loose their seat at the table’.
Members of the RIAI should click on the Senate Debate link to hear plenty of passionate and reasoned debate on the matter in the Seanad, where it appears a consensus exists that SI.9 is defective and should be revoked.
Senators like David Norris and Mark Daly would agree that the table is not a place to be seated and say nothing- rather it is a place to give voice to your opinion. And the opinions of the people they represent. The people they should look after- the consumer.
Other posts of interest: