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Special Inspection

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Although this is probably discussed in something I should have read,  I thought I'd ask anyways ...
What is the rational behind requiring special inspection based on Seismic Performance Category?  I understand the definition of "special inspection" to be inspection paid for by the owner, as opposed to inspection by the building department.
This seems to imply that if you are in an area with a low risk of earthquakes,  it doesn't matter that your concrete is cr*p and you have left out half of the reinforcing steel.
Also, insurance companies advise engineers never to use the word "inspect" in their reports.  How can you not do that, when the Code sections on special inspection uses the word about two dozen times?
Finally, the term "Deputy Inspector" seems to be a California thing.  How is it defined?  Did it come out of SEAOC literature?
Gail Kelley