DOB proposes to amend self-certification rules

Proposal would add grounds to suspend architects and engineers from program. Buildings proposed a series of amendments to its rules that would expand the grounds for suspending and permanently excluding an architect or engineer from the professional certification program and increase scrutiny of applications and plans submitted by those architects and engineers.

New grounds for suspension and exclusion would include knowing and failing to report that a project on which they worked in any capacity had a fraudulent or dishonest application filed with Buildings. Other grounds include permitting improper use of license numbers or professional stamps, failing to cooperate with Buildings investigations, misusing DOB-issued photo identification cards, altering or removing Buildings property, or attempting to bribe a public employee.

Additional provisions would allow Buildings to suspend an architect or engineer for performing work in connection with their profession that fails to comply with federal, state or local laws, and for misrepresenting the status of their Buildings applications to anyone not affiliated with Buildings.

Buildings also proposed amendments making it possible to exclude an architect or engineer for negligence or incompetence with respect to DOB rules, the zoning resolution or the building code, or for allowing their staff to falsify certificates or forms.

Under the proposal, the Commissioner of Buildings would have the power to immediately suspend an architect or engineer to prevent a serious public safety threat. Individuals whose privileges have been suspended would have 15 days to request a hearing or the Commissioner’s order would be final.

Buildings scheduled its public hearing on the proposed amendments for October 6, 2006.

City Record, Sept. 6, 2006, at 2938.

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