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Last edited 04 Mar 2020
Joint Competent Authority
On 28 July 2017, following the Grenfell Tower fire, the then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced an independent review of the building regulations and fire safety. On 16 May 2018, Building a Safer Future, Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report, was published, setting out more than 50 recommendations for the government to deliver a more robust regulatory system.
One of the key recommendations was the creation of a new Joint Competent Authority (JCA) comprising Local Authority Building Standards, fire and rescue authorities and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to oversee management of safety risks in higher risk residential buildings (HRRB) across their entire life cycle. Some coordination planning will be required to create this JCA, as the three regulators involved are currently overseen by different government departments.
The review suggests that the responsibilities of the JCA should include:
- Creating and maintaining a database of all HRRBs and dutyholders for those buildings.
- Ensuring dutyholders focus on mitigating building safety risks during the design and construction phase.
- Ensuring dutyholders focus on reducing ongoing building safety risks during the occupation and maintenance phase, through periodic safety case reviews.
- Handling and assessing building safety concerns made about specific HRRBs by others through the mandatory reporting of safety concerns by dutyholders.
- Requesting testing of construction products that are critical to HRRB building safety on a reactive basis when concerns arise.
- Requesting annual reports from product testing houses providing details of the types of tests carried out and the numbers of passes and fails.
- Helping validate and assure the guidance produced by industry to meet the outcomes-based goals of the Building Regulations.
On 6 June 2019 the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) published Building a safer future: proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system, seeking views on a new building and fire safety system following the recommendations of the Hackitt Review. This included prosals for new building safety regulator to provide oversight of the regime.
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