Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (226)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

226. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the status of the construction industry register; the status of legislation to place the register on a statutory footing; the time frame for the introduction of the legislation at second stage in Dáil Éireann; if a report on the voluntary register will be provided including the number of persons and organisations registered; the number of complaints received annually since the register was established; and the number of complaints in which the finding was against the construction professional or organisation in each year. [2717/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Government is committed to placing the Construction Industry Register Ireland, or CIRI, on a statutory footing. CIRI was established on a voluntary basis in 2014 and 798 building and contracting entities are currently included on the register. The voluntary register can be viewed online at the following link: https://www.ciri.ie/register/

Government approved the General Scheme of a Bill to place the CIRI on a statutory footing on 30 May 2017 which 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. The General Scheme, which was published in 2017, is available on my Department's website at the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/3e711-building-control/

The main objective of the proposed 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.

The Bill will also allow for complaints against registered builders to be made on a number of grounds and provides for a range of proportionate sanctions to be imposed after investigation. The General Scheme of the Bill also provides that when the register is operating on a statutory basis, that the Admissions and Appeals Board shall publish information in relation to sanctions of registered members as it thinks fit and that CIRI shall also prepare an annual report of its proceedings under the Act. As the register is currently a voluntary register the publication of reports at this time is a matter for CIRI.

When established on a statutory basis 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. My Department is working with the Attorney General's Office with a view to achieving publication of the Bill in Q1 of this year, following which it will be introduced in the Oireachtas.