Focus on New Policies: Local Authority to Inspect Public Buildings

The proposed policy seeks a better working relationship between local building officials and the Department of Labor and Industry.
(Published Oct 28, 2013)

Cities across the state have contacted the League with concerns over lost authority to inspect hospitals, schools, and other buildings in their communities. The LMC Improving Service Delivery Policy Committee is recommending the adoption of a new policy that addresses these concerns and calls for changes in the way that the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) delegates authority to local building officials to inspect state-licensed facilities and public buildings.

Local building officials must be licensed by DLI and meet continuing education requirements to maintain their licensure. Current law grants DLI authority of state-licensed facilities and public buildings, but states that DLI must delegate that authority to local licensed building officials if DLI determines that the city has enough sufficiently trained staff to perform the inspections. How DLI makes this determination and ultimately grants or denies a request for delegated authority is a point of contention between the agency and an increasing number of cities.

League staff has been gathering information from cities across the state and has spoken with dozens of building officials, administrators, and local elected officials about this issue. The League has also had preliminary discussions with representatives of DLI to determine how both sides can work to improve the working relationship between state and local building officials to ensure that this important public service will continue to be provided in a fair and efficient manner.

The Draft 2014 City Policies (pdf) are posted on the League website, and you can find this policy on page 68 (SD—NEW A). If your city has comments or concerns about loss of inspection delegation authority, please send your comments on the policy to policycomments@lmc.org by Nov. 1. The League’s Board of Directors will review all member comments in early November and conduct the final adoption of the 2014 City Policies at the Nov. 21 Board meeting.

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