28 June 2017
In 2014, the BRegs Blog examined the cost of a proper independent building control inspectorate. In Ireland as there are “…the same number of dog wardens – 67 (46 full-time & 21 part time) as there are Building Control Officers (BCO)” the Blog was able to establish, with some accuracy, the cost of additional staff required to implement a fully independent system of local authority inspectors in accordance with international best practice. The following post is from August 2016:
There are about 67 building control officers in Ireland , many doubling up as fire officers (see post below).
We have not been able to extract out the current cost of building control as these are lumped in with planning and enforcement for Local Authority budgetary purposes. In earlier posts, based on the UK model, we estimated that 200 additional Local Authority staff were required to undertake a 100% nationwide inspection of all buildings .
Recently the Irish Times reported – “Dog wardens issued more fines last year than in past decade“. According to this article there are the same number of dog wardens – 67 (46 full-time & 21 part time) as there are Building Control Officers (BCO) at a nett cost €3.9m when income from fines is accounted for.* This is a cost per Local Authority staff member of €58,200.
Based on these recent figures, the cost of 200 additional BCO staff to achieve 100% Local Authority independent inspections nationwide would be €11.64m.
This cost for independent Local Authority inspections seems like very good value when compared to an estimated cost to the industry and consumer for S.I.9 of over €700m per annum and a cost to remediate pyrite of €780m (DECLG estimate of pre-2012 cases).
An annual cost to the taxpayer of a little over €11m to regulate a €10bn industry would give the consumer the benefit of a proper independent building control inspectorate, as opposed to continuing with our defective system of self-certification at vast cost to both taxpayer and consumer.
The bill for poor regulation at just one development, Priory Hall, is currently running at €30m. S.I.9 costs for one year alone would fund 100% Local Authority independent inspections for 60 years. Self building could resume and this would create 800 more houses this year. Consumers would be protected – no more Priory Halls. Pyrite would be policed at a taxpayer saving of over €780m.
Is the Department of the Environment being penny wise and pound foolish?
Notes: *Net cost less income from fines. We believe there are 5 staff separately employed now processing claims for pyrite remediation.
Other posts of interest:
Other posts in “Look-Back” series