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Re: Special inspection abuses, was (structuralobservation-history?)

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I would agree with the intent of the Special Inspector, and with what Mark said in the end of his e-mail which is that the SEOR has little control over what happens on the project. 
 
The building owners typically do not want to pay for the deputy inspection, they wouldn't if it was required by the building code (or local admendments) for various items (Continuous inspection for Masonry, Field Welding, epoxy placement, 3000 psi concrete and higher placement, etc).  The building owners see this as an added cost, not a benefit that someone is making sure that the contractor is doing his job correctly. The contractor has the ear of the building owner whom he tells that the deputy inspector is often slowing down the job (Possible added costs for job delays) and they need to find an inspector thats willing to work with the contractor, not necessarily make him build per plans and specifications.  Deputy inspectors are periodically removed from jobs at the building owners request as being unreasonsable.  As far as the owner is concerned, thats what the city inspector is suppose to do, verify that the building is being built per the plans. 
 
I can see the City of Santa Monica wanting to have more control over the Deputy inspection program.  As mentioned in recent e-mails on the list server, many of the deputy inspectors are not doing what they are suppose to, and are often scheduled by their company's to be at two jobs at the same time.  So the inspector is only on the job 1/2 the time when he/she is suppose to be providing continuous inspection. Since the SEOR is disconnected from many of the projects, its hard to tell if the plans are actually being followed.
 
Mike Cochran
 
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In a message dated 5/10/2004 9:05:03 PM Pacific Standard Time, MarkKGilligan(--nospam--at)compuserve.com writes:
I agree with Paul that the Special inspector is there to look after the
Owners interests and as part of that,he reports the findings to the
Building Official to allow the Owner to obtain a certificate of occupancy.
In support of this you only need to follow the money.  The Special
Inspector is hired and paid for by the Owner and as such he owes his
primary duty to the Owner.  This is well established in law.   Since
special inspection was set up as being provided by the Owner it is clear
that it was for the benifet of the Owner.

I believe that Paul's research will find that the special inspection
provisions were developed by a SEOC comittee, either the Seismology or
Building Code Committee, and then were submitted as a code change proposal.
  The trick is to find one of the people who helped develop the provisions
or to find from ICC who submitted the code change proposal to ICBO. 

A lot of people mistakenly have the impression that the SEOR is responsible
for the completed project and has contol to make it happen.  The reality is
that the SEOR is responsible for performing his work in accordance with the
normal standard of care and to act responsibly as the Owners agent to the
extent empowered by the Owner.  The SEOR's actual control over the project
can be quite minimal if he does not have the support from the Owner,
especially if he is a sub-consultant to an Architect.  Ultimately it is the
building owner that the Building Official needs to look to for code
compliance.  A lot of the QA code provisions were established as a way to
convince the Owner that he needs a design professional involved during
construction.

Mark Gilligan