BCMS | Our questions answered
by Bregs Blog admin team
On 7th August 2014 the BRegs Blog posed a series of 37 questions via an Open letter to the Building Control Management System (BCMS) on behalf of our readers (Link:). These were an edited compilation of questions that we received from our readers. The idea was that it would make for an efficient use of the BCMS resources if they replied to us in one email and we shared the information with our readers and followers through Social Media.
We are delighted to inform you that we had a swift and very comprehensive response from the BCMS Project Manager on 13th August 2014 and we are very grateful to her to be able to publish the answers received on behalf of the BCMS. As they are so detailed we have decided to group them into a series of posts linked by the subject matter of the questions to ensure maximum exposure.
The groups will be published next week as follows:
Monday 18th August: BCMS – General Questions
Wednesday 20th August: BCMS – I.T. Technical questions
Friday 22nd August: BCMS – Process Questions
The BCMS Project Manager has undertaken to provide ongoing support so if you have any further questions or require clarification on the responses given please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have set out below the covering letter received from the BCMS as an introduction to establish the context in which the answers have been given to our questions.
Based on the success of this initiative the BRegs Blog have decided to instigate a similar collated questionnaire for some of the other stakeholder groups involved with the BC(A)R. We intend to write next to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI). If you have any questions that you would like us to ask the SCSI on your behalf please submit them to: email@example.com on or before Friday 22nd August 2014.
Covering Letter from BCMS:
Please find attached answers to your questions, please do not hesitate to contact me if you require anything further or need to look at the system etc.
It is important from the outset to state that the Building Control Management System (BCMS) is just that – a system for the management of the administration of Building Control as a means whereby the information necessary to demonstrate compliance with Building Regulation throughout design and construction is placed on the public record as the favoured means to ensure that the buildings in question are so compliant. The office that supports the delivery of the BCMS provides both technical support for the software that delivers the system and advice and guidance primarily in support of the work of Building Control Authorities (BCAs).
The primary responsibility for compliance rests with Building Owners, Builders – the two classes that are identified for the purposes of pursuing enforcement action by BCAs – and with the Designers and the Assigned Certifier who assemble the proposed building design and have it realised to completion.
The discretion in every case, regarding interpretation of Regulations and associated procedures, lies solely with individual BCAs. The BCMS, through its support for BCAs collectively and the fact that the information supporting submissions on compliance is held nationally on one database, being constituted as a Shared Service for local authorities is constituted with a structure whereby it can and does gather data and can and does exercise oversight in the interests of consistency of interpretation and the most efficient delivery of the services designated by Legislation and Regulation to the BCAs. In support of that function the recently-published “Framework for Building Control Authorities” encompasses the activities of BCAs under SI 9 of 2014 but also for a variety of other related functions of BCAs.
Regarding the discretion of BCAs in the matter of interpretation of Regulation the action consequent on their perception of any matter that it perceives to be non-compliant will proceed through a series of steps rising through the initiation of enforcement proceedings, each in turn providing an opportunity for the issue to be addressed – except in the case of an instance where, for example, public safety is at risk requiring immediate redemptive action. As is the case with Planning it would be very exceptional to find the Courts making judgement on technical interpretation confining themselves generally instead to examination of due process.
BCMS Project Manager