Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1522)

Catherine Martin

Question:

1522. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when he will introduce a regulatory system for builders that is independent of the industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18556/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Government has committed to placing the Construction Industry Register Ireland, or CIRI, on a statutory footing. CIRI was established on a voluntary basis in 2014 and over 850 building and contracting entities are currently included on the register.

The Government approved the draft heads of a Bill to place the CIRI on a statutory footing and the Bill was referred to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government for pre-legislative scrutiny. The Committee’s report has since been received and my Department is currently working through the Committee’s recommendations.

It is proposed that the operation of CIRI will be vested in the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) in the same way that statutory registration of Architects was vested in the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), pursuant to the Building Control Act 2007. The independence and objectivity of the registration board will be critical to the success of CIRI and a number of provisions are included in the draft Bill to uphold the independence of the registration system.

The main objective of the legislation is to develop and promote a culture of competence, good practice and compliance with Building Regulations within the builder community of the construction sector. The establishment of a robust, mandatory, statutory register of builders and specialist contractors is an essential consumer protection measure giving those who engage a registered builder the assurance that they are dealing with a competent and compliant operator. In addition, it will complement the reforms made through the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 and contribute to the development of an enhanced culture of competence and compliance in the construction sector. My Department is working with the Attorney General's Office with a view to achieving publication of the Bill later this year.