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ACAI - Hackitt Review Fails to Live Up To Expectations Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors response to Independent Review of Building Regulation and Fire Safety – Final Report 18 May 2017 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Paul Wilkins, Chairman of the ACAI, said: During the period of its evidence gathering, The Hackitt Review appeared to be making substantial progress. However, whilst acknowledging the overall aims and spirit of the report, we are very disappointed that the final report has failed to live up to expectations. Despite being an active contributor to the process, many of these latest recommendations have come as a great surprise, particularly around the role of Approved Inspectors. The Approved Inspector system in its current form has been around for 22 years and has evolved into a highly competent, effectively resourced and externally audited system. There is no evidence to support the concerns raised in the report, but despite this and the fact that Approved Inspectors were not involved with Grenfell Tower, it appears we are being bypassed in favour of the under-resourced and unregulated Local Authority Building Control system. Whilst we acknowledge that the review was not about Grenfell Tower, concerns were raised by resident bodies during evidence gathering that the Local Authority carrying out the building control process on its own buildings showed a lack of independence. This concern has not been addressed in the review. We are seriously concerned that the Local Authority System does not have the capacity, competence or regulatory requirements to fulfill the role suggested in the report, particularly with the current pressures on public sector finance. We also believe that many of the recommendations will provide a barrier to development at a time when housebuilding is a priority. Despite these concerns, we do support the overall aims and spirit of the review and are pleased that the Government has announced a further consultation on the issue of combustible cladding and many of the other recommendations. We will be an active participant in these consultations.
ENDS NOTES TO EDITORS The Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors (ACAI) The ACAI represents professional, competent and accredited building control bodies, whose service is underwritten by insurance, and regulated by CICAIR over a fixed-term, five-year period. The ACAI represents 95% of all independent Building Control Bodies (BCBs) and aims to increase awareness and understanding of private sector building control as a professional service that is valued by industry, Government and wider society.