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Well I'm going to put my 2 cents worth in on this inspeciton issue.
1.  I find most OSHPD and DSA field inspectors to be excellent.  They are 
very thorough, don't take any crap from Contractors (or the Design Engineer 
for that matter), know the Code, and properly enforce it.  I wish all 
projects had inpsectors like these on them.

2.  I find most Deputy or Special Inspectors to be competent.  They are 
genrally not as thorough as DSA or OSHPD Inspectors, but for the most part, 
they get pretty good marks from me.

3.  City and County Inspectors are a hit and miss prospect.  Some are pretty 
good, and some quite frankly are a joke.  I have no confidence in City or 
County Inspectors, unless they are people I know and have proven themselves 
to be good inspectors.

4. When our office signs a Contract for Structural Engineering Services, we 
also write in a provision for field observation before we start any work.  If 
the client refuses to sign a contract that includes construction observation, 
we generally do not do the project.  I will also add, that very few clients 
balk at signing a construction observation contract ahead of time.  When they 
do question it, they generally agree after you explain to them how it will 
benefit and protect them (the Owner that is).  We do project from Los Angeles 
to San Luis Obispo County, and virtually all of our Contracts include 
Construction observation.

I would vote to raise the standards of the City and County Inspectors to be 
the same quality of DSA, OSHPD, and Deputy Inspectors.  That would mean 
higher pay, more testing, and more education for the Inspectors.  I would 
also strongly encourage Structural Engineers to simply ask for contract for 
field observation at the time the design contract is signed.  I think most 
would be surprised how easy it is to get such a contract.