RIAI EGM: Open Letter to Members

by Bregs Blog admin team

Open Letter

The BRegs Blog received the open letter below with a request to assist in its circulation  to RIAI members among our readers. It relates to Tuesday’s EGM.

Dear Colleague,

This e-mail is to remind you of the EGM to be held at the Davenport Hotel at 6 p.m. on Tuesday 12th August. Those of you attending last years EGM will know a subsequent EGM was promised by the then President, Michelle Fagan, to debate the final form of SI.9 (previously SI.80) and vote to accept or reject the new law. This promise was re-iterated at the November 2013 Council elections EGM.

You will be aware of the RIAI Election campaign under the banner of the BRegs forum, which was hugely supported and managed to get some of the most respected and experienced names onto council.

The BRegs forum evolved into the Bregs Blog, now the go-to source for all information on BC(A)R.

Since the RIAI Council election 8 months ago there has been extensive debate and many differing viewpoints taken, but ultimately the position is that the roles of assigned and design certifier were introduced on 1st March 2014, and are now law. SI.9 must be implemented, for better or worse. We have no choice in the matter. However we can vigorously protest SI.9 and request it be revoked and replaced with a system that is better for the consumer, the profession and the industry.

The EGM essentially calls for the revocation of SI.9 but  crucially, also calls for its replacement with a better system of Building Control.

Six months after SI 9 became law, we have the chance to have our say. Our peers and our colleagues are people who have dealt with the problems thrown up by the system, people who have refused to have anything to do with it, people who are undertaking the roles and people whose livelihood is at risk because of it. The vast majority of RIAI members work in small private practice – this EGM is a fantastic chance to have a say on equal terms with everyone else in the room. Tell the RIAI Council and Executive what you think about what is happening. Give the RIAI Council their mandate from members.

The EGM is about adopting a policy to vigorously ask the Minister to revoke SI.9, a law that the vast majority of RIAI members believe to be defective. Signatories have been in discussions with members of Council, the Steering Group, Change Group and other representatives of the RIAI in the build-up to the EGM: all agree SI.9 is simply not fit-for-purpose.

  • It is about no additional consumer protection- owners still seeking redress through the courts for defects with no guarantee of success.
  • It is about the Minister for the Environment confirming, in writing, that Assigned Certifiers are now responsible for Pyrite in an industry where no policing of quarries is undertaken by Local Authorities.
  • It is about public bodies essentially forcing Architects to take on the roles as part of public project appointments or else they don’t get the job.
  • It is about the CIF telling their members that assigned certifiers are now taking responsibility for the work of contractors.
  • It is about all other construction professionals undergoing rigorous registration procedures when contractors still remain unregistered.

There have and continue to be differences of opinion within the membership over how best to tackle SI.9 and bring about change. The new regulations have created massive changes on the profession. Debate is good- every organisation needs open and informed discussion to allow all positions to be aired, examined and tested against others.

This is your chance to voice your opinion or listen to those of others, and see what is happening. Not everyone will have had to serve a new commencement notice yet, so may not be aware of the implications. Others may be in the thick of it, struggling for fees and burdened with liabilities. Others may think there is no problem.

We fully support and reiterate recent appeals by the RIAI President Robin Mandal for unity in the profession.

This EGM resolution will unify the profession into one voice asking the Minister to take immediate action. Our profession needs to make the Government understand exactly how serious the implications of SI.9 are and how alternative systems are viable and practical.

We have a new Minister; let’s make him hear our voice.

If you want your say, be there next Tuesday. If you can’t make it, get someone who is going to make your point/table your query.


Barry Kelly

Previous EGM Posts:

Link to: RIAI EGM: Future BC(A)R Policy

Link to: Architects are Revolting – Revoke S.I.9