§ Mr. Latham
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress he is making towards a system of private certification for building control.
§ Mr. Stanley
In Cmnd. 8179—"The Future of Building Control in England and Wales", published in February 1981—the Government put forward outline proposals for private certification of buildings as an optional alternative to local authority enforcement of the building regulations. Private certification could offer considerable benefits in terms of flexibility and choice for property owners and developers and we have been developing these proposals in the light of the extensive response to the Command Paper. Today I am issuing a consultation paper, "Private Certification for Building Control", which explains how a certification system might operate and what a certifier's statutory obligations would be. Comments are being invited from professional bodies, the insurance industry and property owners on the criteria and procedures for approving certifiers and on the 603W requirements relating to insurance. The paper issued today forms part of the wider and far-reaching reform of the building control system that the Government have in mind.