Council amends DOB’s self-certification program

Council action affects suspensions and revocations. By a vote of 47-0, the City Council passed two amendments to the Department of Buildings’ self-certification program. The program allows registered architects and professional engineers to bypass Buildings’ review of their plans by self-certifying that the project complies with zoning laws and the building code.

The amendments eliminate the self-certification program for certain types of work, including all demolitions as well as changes to egress, use or occupancy for one-, two-, and three-family dwellings.

The amendments also allow Buildings’ Commissioner, after a hearing at OATH, to suspend or revoke engineers’ and architects’ self-certification privileges. Grounds for suspension or revocation include knowingly or negligently certifying plans that contain false information, as well as submission within a 12-month period of two sets of certified plans that Buildings later revokes or that demonstrate incompetence or lack of knowledge. Buildings may adopt rules adding additional grounds for suspension or revocation.

Engineers and architects whose certification privileges are revoked or suspended may apply to restore their privileges after one year. Before their privileges are fully returned they must go through a six-month probation period, during which if they certify a false application, their privileges will be permanently revoked.

The amendments also require Buildings to maintain a database of engineers and architects with lost or suspended privileges. The names must also be posted on Buildings’ website, along with all relevant information about the limitation.

The Council’s action came shortly after Buildings amended its rules in regard to the same program. 4 CityLand 12 (Feb. 15, 2007)

Int. No. 521, amending Admin Code § 27-143 (Feb. 1, 2007); Int. No.309-A, adding Admin Code § 27-143.2 (Feb. 1, 2007).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.