BPB kills off B1 & B2 - depaNews July 2009

Shock horror: BPB kills off B1 and B2

It wasn't us, but apparently sufficient people complained to the BPB about there being different letters of the alphabet to denote accreditation levels for private certifiers and council employees, for them to do something about it in version 2 currently being canvassed in the industry. The BPB had proposed B1, B2 and B3 as designations for local government employees doing "certifying" while private certifiers operate as A1, A2 and A3.

So, B1 and B2 are dead.

Clearly we underestimated how offensive you all found the BPB. We thought the idea that you should be accredited at all sufficiently offensive and didn't really worry about the letter of the alphabet that preceded the level. We too are chastened.

The BPB has been through a process of consultation with some fairly hand-selected representatives in the industry. Members of the Department of Planning’s Local Government Planning Directors Group nominated some employees who were doing "certifying" and this group met with the BPB on 18 June. Other groups (like EDAP) were invited to consult too and depa was invited to meet with BPB Chair Sue Holiday and CEO Neil Cocks on 9 July.

The depa Committee of Management considered version 2 when it met on 3 July. Committee Member Jim Boyce from Taree had been invited to the consultation group earlier and Jim was able to take the Committee through the detail of the proposal.

What can you say? If you are going to be beaten up, then you hope that those attacking you cause the least damage. And this latest proposal is a pretty soft way of doing it.

The Committee carried a unanimous resolution identifying our historic and continuing opposition to privatising development control in principle and our opposition to the accreditation of council employees because we believe sufficient checks and balances (and importantly, no conflict of interest) exist in local government to make this all under necessary.

The resolution can be found here.

This resolution has now been forwarded to the BPB as our official response.

Version 2 is so inoffensive (in the context of those things we have asked them to reconsider) that you wonder why they would bother. It's hard to see how it provides any value at all other than achieving the policy objective of some sort of accreditation regime. And while the welcome steps to dilute the original requirements of the scheme will be welcomed by local government, the private certifiers’ lobby groups like the AIBS and the AAC (or whatever Craig Hardy's group is called) won't like it at all

Isn't it funny to watch how Government develops public policy?

We expect to meet again with the BPB after they have considered a variety of things we've asked them to think about in the Committee of Management resolution.

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