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Response to Select Committee Reports

Response to Select Committee Reports

Building Industry Authority chairman Barry Brown says the BIA has received the Government Administration Select Committee’s financial review of the BIA and its report on the weathertightness problem.

“The Committee has an important oversight role in terms of the Authority’s status as a crown agency. The findings of both reports will be fully considered,” Mr Brown said.

Inquiry into Weathertightness “The Weathertightness report provides an extensive set of recommendations. Clearly, the committee has put a significant amount of work and thought into the report.

“Some of the recommendations pertain directly to the BIA and its sphere of activity. We will assimilate them as quickly as possible and respond appropriately.

“As a result of the report there may be a number of additional projects or activities the BIA needs to take on and we will respond proactively and positively as we did to the Hunn recommendations.

“We note specifically the majority recommendation that the role of the BIA should be reviewed and we welcome that, as we would any measure that will contribute to a more effective building control system.”

Financial Review “While we find some of the comments contained in the financial review disappointing - in particular statements by the minority of the committee around a lack of confidence in the former chief executive and in our Statement of Intent - we certainly acknowledge the criticism.

“We also note that the majority of the committee acknowledges the Authority’s Statement of Intent as providing a way forward, within the confines of the existing legislation, to addressing the weathertightness issue fully and effectively.

“The Authority stresses that we have a significant work programme in place to arrest the weathertightness problem and we are making very good progress on a number of key initiatives. We are working very closely with other government agencies in order to do this, in particular the Ministry of Economic Development around the review of the Building Act.”

In response to the personal criticism of the former chief executive by the minority of the committee, Mr Brown said it should be noted that Dr Porteous played a key role in ensuring the Hunn Report was commissioned by the BIA.

“That report brought the weathertightness problem to a head and was the catalyst for the significant activity now underway in Government and the industry to resolve the problem. “Even though Dr Porteous has chosen to stand down as chief executive of the BIA, I am pleased he has agreed to take the role of chief policy adviser to the organisation. He has considerable technical expertise and knowledge that is important to retain.”

General Comment Mr Brown says the BIA has a substantial work programme implementing the Hunn Report recommendations and good progress has been made.

The BIA will, in the next few weeks, release proposed changes to deal with new timber treatment levels and the approved use of so-called “monolithic cladding” and other cladding systems.

“These are significant issues that have been identified as key factors in the weathertightness problem.”

“We will look closely at the pertinent select committee recommendations and integrate them with our existing work programme where necessary,” he said.

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