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Re: Contractor hired Deputy Inspectors

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At 11:48 AM 12/11/97 -0800, you wrote:
>1994 UBC Section 1701.1 says that special inspectors shall be employed by
>the owner or by the architect or engineer of record acting as the owner's
>agent.  Section 106.3.5 is similar, but goes further, specifically
>indicating the the inspector shall not be employed by the contractor or any
>other person responsible for the work.  It has been my experience,
>particularly on smaller projects, that the majority of owners, contractors
>and inspectors are unaware of or ignore these provisions.  Even in Los
>Angeles, where the prescribed daily report form for the deputies requires
>them to certify that they were not employed by the contractor, I routinely
>encounter inspection reports signed by inspectors who I know were selected
>and paid by builders.  I struggle with how big an issue to make of this.
>Does anyone have any relevant thoughs or suggestions.
>Drew A. Norman, S.E.
>Drew A. Norman and Associates

Another Reply:
Section 104.2.1 of the same code states, "The building official is hereby
authorized and directed to enforce all the provisions of this code." That
same person "shall have the power to render interpretations of this code..."

Calling the attention of the building official to something you believe to
be in his range of duties and that may be of interest to him would seem to
be all you can do.

How vigorously to do that depends on your own estimate of who you're dealing
with, and the nature of your stake in any project in question.

If you have no beneficial interest in the official performing his duty where
he hasn't been performing it at all, you may well have no legal "standing"
to do anything more. If the official is performing somewhat, then you are
probably out of luck regardless, because you cannot control the manner in
which an official exercises discretion in the performance of duties.

Where legal remedies aren't available, political remedies may exist. The
city council (or whatever) can always be urged to cause things under their
jurisdiction to be done better.

Back to those code provisions. If it's in the UBC then it was approved to be
there by voting building officials, although they may not have been the
proponents, or much cared. The provisions in question do look good on paper,
though. The State has done it about that way since 1933 for public school
construction, which many local officials want to regain authority over.  

Charles O. Greenlaw, SE     Sacramento CA