Unisys to build ‘leaky homes’ builder registration system

Licensing for all classes of builders will be compulsory by the end of 2011

Unisys has won a $1.5 million-plus contract to build a software system for the Department of Building and Housing’s Licensed Building Practitioner Scheme.

The scheme, under which all licensed building practitioners will be listed on an electronic register, will consist of 13 licence classes.

One of the main aims of the register is to ensure there is not another leaky homes scandal.

Licensing for certain classes will start in November, when the system is set to go live, and will initially be voluntary. Mandatory licensing for some classes of builders will be introduced in late 2009. Registration for all classes will be compulsory by the end of 2011, when it is estimated some 28,000 building practitioners will have their details registered on the system.

The year-long contract is to design and develop the software for the builders’ scheme and is worth between $1.5 and $1.75 million.

Tender documents state “the main purpose of the register is to enable members of the public and building consent authorities to locate a licensed building practitioner and determine the status and history of the practitioner’s licence.

“The public must therefore be able to conduct a search of the register via the internet or by calling an 0800 number, by various criteria such as name, location [and] licence class, and view details of the practitioner’s record.”

The Department of Building and Housing was formed in 2004, out of the old Housing Ministry, Weathertight Homes Resolution Service, Building Industry Authority and part of the Ministry of Economic Development. Its main job is to put into practice the provisions of the Building Act 2004. Both the act and the creation of the new department were, in part, a response to the leaky buildings scandal.

Again according to the tender for the Building Practitioner Licensing Scheme, the scheme will “be the first system ... [which will eventually] form part of a department-wide customer management platform”.

The document notes that, “Longer term, the licensing system could form the basis of most, if not all, the department’s customer-facing operational systems [such as] content management, document management, finance et cetera.”

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