Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1520)

Catherine Martin

Question:

1520. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he receives reports from an organisation (details supplied) on complaints regarding poor performance by architects; if there is oversight of architects outside of their representative body; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18554/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Building Control Act 2007 provides for the registration of persons entitled to use the professional title of architect. Neither I nor my Department has any direct role in the operation of this register, nor do I or my Department receive reports in relation to complaints regarding poor performance by architects. This is a matter for the professional body designated as the relevant competent registration authority for the purposes of European and National law, namely the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) in respect of the architectural profession.

A person wishing to make a complaint about the professional performance of a registered architect may make a complaint to the Professional Conduct Committee of the RIAI. The complaints procedure is set out in the Rules of the Professional Conduct Committee, which are available on the RIAI website at the following link: www.riai.ie/uploads/files/Rules_of_the_PCC_20_Dec_2018.pdf and are also set out at Part 6 of the Building Control Act 2007.

Section 73 of Building Control Act 2007 provides that the registration body shall prepare an annual report on proceedings under the Act. Each year, the RIAI publishes an Annual Report, which includes information about the previous year’s activity. Included in that Annual Report is a Registration Report, which gives information about the activity of the four statutory boards/committees: the Professional Conduct Committee, the Admissions Board, the Technical Assessment Board and the Appeals Board. Statistics about the number of complaints and the outcomes of those complaints is included in the information about the Professional Conduct Committee. These Annual Reports are available to view or download on the website of the RIAI at www.riai.ie/about/riai_annual_reports/.

Separately, under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014, Building Control Authorities have strong powers of inspection, enforcement and prosecution. Powers in relation to enforcement include the serving of enforcement notices, orders of the courts, and the powers of prosecution. A person found guilty of an offence under the Act may be liable for fines (up to €50,000) and/or imprisonment (up to 2 years) and be disqualified from signing and submitting certificates of compliance.