The Building Commission is enabling better building control in Victoria through enhanced complaints management, investigations and enforcement processes.

According to Building Commissioner Tony Arnel, the Commission is now implementing the updated programs and policies to improve its efficiencies and effectiveness.

This year has seen extensive enhancement of policies and procedures in the areas of complaints management, investigations and audits, which Mr Arnel believes will lead to a more finely tuned approach to the operational side of monitoring and enforcing industry compliance, resulting in more improved building control.

Mr Arnel says that the compliance, investigations and enforcement initiatives all use best practice and a risk based approach in line with the objectives of the Building Act 1993.

The risk based approach will help better identify and manage potential problems earlier, which will ensure greater compliance by building practitioners, greater consumer safeguards and a safe, habitable and amenable built environment.

Explaining the recent revision to complaints management, Mr Arnel said the Commission had undertaken a major strategic review of its consumer complaints management system, the findings of which have been incorporated into an organisational system with procedures that deliver even greater efficiencies.  

Mr Arnel adds that complaints are better triaged according to the risk they pose, and captured in a business-wide system, following which these projects are mapped with other projects to avoid overlaps.  

The complaints initiatives are also directed by an overarching policy manual, which was recently revised with input from other leading agencies.  

Key projects include an audit program and procedures initiative launched at the AIBS conference in October 2011, which sees a targeted program rolled out to councils to ensure the audit of their building surveyors in a two-year cycle.  

The projects also include improvements to monitoring and enforcing the performance of building surveyors and the building permit system with outcomes including possible legislative amendments.