27 May / 2014

Auditor-General criticises handling of development applications

The ACT Auditor-General has released a significant report identifying flaws in the system of approval and certification of building development applications for single-unit dwellings – suburban houses. The report was undertaken following public controversy over the construction of a house on Gawler Crescent that had been wrongly assessed by a certifier as exempt from the need to lodge a Development Application.

Deakin Residents’ Association was one of the complainants, though the Auditor-General’s report was at the request of the house owner who sought to clear his name from allegations made on the RiotACT website, not by DRA.

The Canberra Times’ summarises the findings of the Auditor-General, with a raft of recommendations for improving accountability of developers and building certifiers. These findings are similar to recommendations DRA has made in submissions to the ACT Government, focussing on transparency.

The media release of the Auditor-General’s report is here, and here is the full report in a zip archive.

The Summary pages give a quick digest, and several case studies are examined, including the Gawler Crescent case in Deakin.

UPDATE: DRA Committee meeting on 5 June 2014 has agreed that DRA will write to Minister Corbell urging quick implementation of all recommendations.