May 6, 2003
Professional Certification of Applications and Plans
|Operations Policy and Procedure Notice # 5/02 dated June 18, 2002.|
To clarify the New York City Department of Buildings' implementation of the optional plan review procedures, which allow a Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) to certify compliance with applicable laws and codes on applications filed by him/her as applicant.
|Since 1995, the Department of Buildings ("DoB") has had and will continue to provide a mechanism for PEs/RAs to certify compliance with all applicable laws and codes on applications filed with the Department ("professional certification"). Participation in these procedures calls for the display of appropriate standards of professional competence and integrity by the licensed professional. This Policy and Procedure Notice sets forth the procedures for preparing, submitting, approving and auditing these applications, as well as the procedures for suspension or exclusion of professionals from professional certification.|
A. The applicant must submit a complete set of plans and documents required for the work type(s) filed. This submission must be complete, coordinated and in accordance with code, zoning, and all applicable laws. At a minimum, the submission shall meet the requirements set forth in Administrative Code Sections 27-156 and 27-157 for new buildings and Sections 27-161 and 27-162 for alterations.
The submission must include:
1. Completed form PW-1, including the following in Section 16:
Board of Standards and Appeals ("BSA")
c. Fax number and email address for the applicant, the owner, and the filing representative.
2. A certification by the applicant either on the PW-1 form, Section 16, or on an AI-1 form stating the following:
"I hereby state that I have exercised a professional standard of care in representing that the filed application is complete and in accordance with applicable laws, including the rules of the Department of Buildings, as of this date. I am aware the Commissioner will rely upon the truth and accuracy of this statement. I have notified the owner that this application has been professionally certified. If an audit or other exam discloses non-compliance, I agree to notify the owner of the remedial measures that must be taken to meet legal requirements. I further realize that any misrepresentation or falsification of facts made knowingly, recklessly or negligently by me, my agents or employees, or any knowing or reckless disregard on my part of any misrepresentation or falsification of facts made by others, will render me liable for legal and disciplinary action by the Department of Buildings and other appropriate authorities, including termination of participation in the professional certification procedures at the Department of Buildings."
In addition, the same PW-1 form, Section 16, or AI-1 form shall bear the following statement with the signature of the owner:
"I have read and am fully aware of the applicant's above statement that this job will be professionally certified, and agree to bring into compliance any construction which is found not to comply with all applicable laws and regulations."
3. Completed form PC-1, "Required Items Checklist," with separate lists of items required for approval, permit, final sign-off or Certificate of Occupancy, as well as required controlled inspections. For each item on the list the applicant must make a notation of Yes ("Y") or No ("N") to indicate whether the item is required. Each list must be signed and sealed by the applicant. The application will be rejected if any information is missing, incomplete or not provided as required.
b. BSA variance: For a job requiring a variance from BSA, in addition to the above process, the applicant must pay the cashier and then schedule an appointment with an Auditor and provide documentation, including drawing(s), clearly demonstrating every issue for which a BSA variance is required. The Auditor will issue preliminary objection(s) to the applicant based upon the submission, and the applicant must then go before BSA. Upon issuance of the variance by BSA, the applicant shall return the folder to DEAR for data entry as above.
If the applicant is using disk filing ("PC filing"), a certification will be added to the application automatically by selecting the "apply" button on the appropriate screen during the PC filing program. Following the certification, the applicant must add the owner's statement as set forth above, and also indicate that s/he is opting for professional certification pursuant to this Policy and Procedure Notice (including the certification set forth above) in the "Considerations" section. All pages of the signed and sealed hard copies must bear the same date and time of printing.
C. For any professionally certified job, all work types filed under that job number must be professionally certified. In instances where multiple work types are filed simultaneously by multiple applicants, under one job number, only one list of items required for approval, permit, final sign-off or Certificate of Occupancy, as well as required controlled inspections, shall be submitted.
E. Related submissions
F. Applicants who file under the professional certification option may not subsequently request plan examination review or approval. To obtain an examination and approval by the Department, the applicant must apply, in writing, to withdraw the application and then file a new application, with fees, for assignment to a plan examiner.
2. Borough Office Procedures:
The pre-filing unit will review the documents for completeness and verify that a PW-1 and any supplementary AI-1s containing the signed and sealed statements listed above are included. The pre-filer will stamp the application and plans "Professional Certification." If the application is not complete because of missing or insufficient data, the application will not be accepted.
In addition to entering required pre-filing data, the pre-filer will indicate "Y" next to the question "Professional Certification by Applicant of Job?" on the "Initial Pre-filing - Additional Considerations" screen to indicate that the application is being professionally certified. Fees will be calculated based on the work type(s) filed.
If the application requires approval by other agencies, except BSA, the pre-filer will give the folder to the applicant with a job number.
The cashier will accept the fee. If the application requires data entry, the package will be forwarded to the DEAR unit. If the application is going to be filed using the disk filing ("PC Filing") program, the package will be forwarded to the PC Filing clerk.
If BSA approval is required, the cashier will return the folder to the applicant.
c. PC Filing Clerk:
If the applicant intends to file the application using the PC Filing program, the PC Filing clerk will up-load the data from the PC Filing disk. Disks that cannot be processed because of missing or incorrect information will be returned to the applicant to be revised and resubmitted.
The DEAR unit will review the documents, including the PC Filing full report, for clerical completeness prior to data entry. If the package does not contain all documents and information required for approval as stated on the "Required Items Checklist," a form letter shall be placed in the self-addressed stamped envelopes included in the package and mailed to the applicant and owner. The status of the application will be listed in BIS as "Suspend" if items are missing or "Disapprove" if documents are incorrect.
The application must not be rejected if the only missing documentation is the self-addressed stamped envelopes. If other documents are also missing which cause the application to be rejected, the Department is otherwise under no obligation to notify the applicant by mail.
All data entry and processing of rejection letters must be completed within 10 business days.
The DEAR unit will data-enter the plan examination information and approval, and then stamp the application and plans "Approved by Applicant's Professional Certification. "
Once the application is approved by the applicant's professional certification, the permit section will receive from the permit applicant the appropriate documents and fees, and issue the permit.
3. Audit Procedures:
1. All professionally certified subdivision applications will be audited.
2. Approximately 20% of all other professionally certified applications will be audited within 10 business days of permit. A representative sample of application types will be randomly selected for review. Should a selected application be part of a cluster filing, the Auditor will audit the site plan and the lead folder(s) for the cluster.
3. All applications are subject to audit.
b. Post-approval amendments:
1. All PAAs on professionally certified jobs will be reviewed by an auditor or plan examiner for fees and scope of work.
2. Within 10 business days of post-permit PAAs on professionally certified applications, approximately 20% will be audited based upon random selection.
c. Audit focus
1. Applications selected for audit will be assigned to an auditor from the Technical Compliance Unit ("TCU") located in the Borough Office. The review will focus on, but not necessarily be limited to, the following five areas:
i. zoning regulations and accuracy of calculations,
d. Audit process:
1. Business Day 10 +/- following permit:
Note: Information relating to zoning, life safety and/or accessibility which is required by law to be included in the drawings and which is missing will be cause to issue a 10-Day Revocation Notice.
2. The applicant will have 10 business days to make the corrections and meet with the Auditor.
3. Day 20 +/- following permit:
b. If at the end of 10 business days the applicant meets with the Auditor but has not resolved all the objections, then the Auditor will enter, or continue, a status of "10-Day Revocation Notice" in BIS, and will fax or email the Notice to the owner and the filing representative. The applicant may either schedule one more appointment with the Auditor to resolve all outstanding objections or appeal to the Executive Director of TCU or the Borough Commissioner for a reconsideration of specific remaining issue(s).
c. If the applicant fails to appear at the appointed meeting time or to reschedule the meeting within the 10-day period, or if the Department determines that the permit was issued in error, the Auditor will recommend to the Executive Director of TCU and to the Borough Commissioner that the Borough Commissioner revoke the permit. Upon review and concurrence by either official, the Borough Commissioner will revoke the permit and send an inspector to the jobsite.
4. The applicant should amend the documents as required to resolve all other objections, and to prepare the Reconsideration AI-1 form and documents.
5. Day 30 +/- following permit:
a. If the applicant requests reconsideration from the Executive Director of TCU or the Borough Commissioner and it is granted, then the Executive Director or Borough Commissioner will sign the AI-1 form and return the submitted documentation to the Auditor. The Auditor will verify that all objections have been resolved and, if so, fax or email an Audit Notice notifying the applicant, owner and filing representative of same, and enter a status of "Accepted" in BIS.
If not all objections have been resolved, then the status will remain as "10-Day Revocation Notice" and the Auditor will recommend revocation to the Executive Director of TCU and the Borough Commissioner. Upon review and concurrence by either official, the Borough Commissioner will revoke the permit.
b. If the applicant requests reconsideration from the Executive Director of TCU or the Borough Commissioner and the Executive Director or Borough Commissioner conditions his/her acceptance on certain changes to which the applicant agrees, then s/he will note same on the AI-1 form, sign it and send the marked form and other documentation to the Auditor. The BIS status will remain "10-Day Revocation Notice".
c. If the applicant requests reconsideration from the Executive Director of TCU or the Borough Commissioner and the Executive Director or Borough Commissioner denies same, then the Borough Commissioner will revoke the permit and issue a stop-work order. The denied AI-1 form and all other documentation will be delivered to the Auditor who will enter a status of "Failed: Permit Revoked" in BIS. The Borough Commissioner will assign the application to a plan examiner for any further action requested by the applicant.
d. If the applicant does not request a reconsideration and meets with the Auditor with all objections resolved, then the Auditor will enter a status of "Accepted" in BIS. If all objections are not resolved, the Auditor will recommend revocation to the Executive Director of TCU and the Borough Commissioner. If either overrides the Auditor's objection(s), then the Auditor will enter an "Accepted" status in BIS. If the Executive Director or the Borough Commissioner concurs with the Auditor, then the Borough Commissioner will revoke the permit and issue a stop-work order. The Borough Commissioner will assign the application to a plan examiner.
6. Following a meeting with the Executive Director of TCU or the Borough Commissioner, if corrections or additions are required, the applicant will make the appropriate changes and arrange a final meeting with the Auditor.
7. Day 40 +/-:
a. If all objections are resolved and conditions of reconsideration are met, then the Auditor will enter a status of "Accepted" in BIS.
b. If all objections are not resolved as required, then the Auditor will recommend revocation to the Executive Director and the Borough Commissioner similarly to the process on Day 30 above. Upon review and concurrence by either official, the Borough Commissioner will revoke the permit. The application will be assigned to a plan examiner.
8. Upon revocation of the permit, copies will be sent to the Deputy Commissioner for Technical Affairs and the Office of Investigation and Discipline.
e. All audits and results will be recorded in the BIS system and reported monthly to the Deputy Commissioners for Technical Affairs and Operations.
f. At the discretion of the Borough Commissioner or upon the recommendation of the Executive Director of the Technical Compliance Unit, any application and/or permit may be suspended immediately pursuant to Section 27-197 of the New York City Administrative Code, provided that there is an imminent peril to life or property. The applicant and owner shall be notified of such action, with a copy of such notification forwarded to the Department's Office of Investigations and Discipline (IAD).
4. Suspension or Exclusion from the Professional Certification Procedures:
In addition to taking action on particular permit applications, Borough Commissioners and the Executive Director of the Technical Compliance Unit shall forward to the Deputy Commissioner for Technical Affairs the names of, and supporting documentation with respect to, those PEs and RAs whose participation in the professional certification procedures evidences grounds for suspension or exclusion pursuant to 1 RCNY §21-02. The Deputy Commissioner for Technical Affairs shall review the evidence and make a recommendation to the Commissioner as to appropriate action. The Commissioner may suspend or exclude a PE/RA in accordance with 1 RCNY §21-02. Additionally, if this recommendation includes disciplinary action, including but not limited to exclusion or suspension of the PE/RA from professional certification, a copy shall be forwarded immediately to IAD.