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New audit program cracking down on crooked certifiers

Published: 3 May 2021
Released by: Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation

The NSW Government has launched a data-led audit regime to target the state’s high
risk building certifiers and triple the number of buildings to come under scrutiny by the
building regulator.

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said through the NSW Government’s
building reforms, the regulator is now equipped with powerful digital tools that can
analyse more than 170 million lines of data to determine the worst performing certifiers
and the residential apartment buildings they are working on.

“This data-led approach, combined with our new legislated powers, allows us to zero
in on the worst players in the industry and audit the projects they are working on,” Mr
Anderson said.

“If an audit identifies potentially defective or non-compliant building work we will step
in immediately to issue rectification or stop work orders to protect consumers before
they move in.”

This new initiative will complement the occupation certificate audits and inspections
already being undertaken on residential apartment buildings under construction and
is expected to more than triple the number of buildings that receive an audit from the
regulator.

“The pre-Occupational Certificate audit regime already in place is targeting around 50
site-based audits every six months,” Mr Anderson said.

“Through these new audits we expect to be able to audit an additional 100 to 150
buildings every six months, more than tripling the regulator’s compliance and
enforcement efforts on residential apartment buildings.

“This new approach is a big step in our commitment to cleaning up the industry. My
message to those who have been breaching the rules is that the days of hiding in the
shadows, cutting corners and taking consumers for a ride are ending.

“We will find and investigate every building these high risk certifiers touch and put
every decision they make under the microscope.”

The approach signals the next phase of the NSW Government’s landmark building reforms, shifting the focus from investigating problems in existing buildings to identifying and eliminating them before they go to market.

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