Certification: Roles and responsibilities

Building Officials, Certifiers, Approved Inspectors, Building Control Surveyors/Inspectors form one element of the development process with activities linked to plans assessment, site inspection, certification and enforcement.  They act on behalf of the relevant governments and authorities to sample work, and protect society and the public at large, through certification of buildings that comply with the relevant codes, regulations and standards.

Designers are responsible for creating compliant buildings, Contractors are responsible for constructing compliant buildings, Clients for their buildings from design concept through to use.

The Building Control function is held in high esteem and subject to regular audit, unfortunately there are instances where inappropriate action may have taken place – as reflected in a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald under the banner “Signatures for sale’ days are over, warns Sydney’s new building commissioner”

The state’s construction tsar has estimated up to 20 industry players are responsible for the vast majority of apartment buildings in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle that have serious defects.

A week before his new powers come into force, NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler has issued a blunt warning to certifiers of buildings that the days of a small group of them choosing to act as “signatures for sale” are over.

Mr Chandler will have the power from September 1 to enter and inspect building sites, prevent the issuing of occupation certificates, call for documents and order work to be stopped.

With his first 15 inspectors set to begin audits in a week, Mr Chandler said he believed up to 20 industry players − combinations of builders, developers and certifiers – were responsible for the vast majority of those buildings in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong with “many, many defects”.


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