The Master Builders Association of NSW seeks to maintain its reputation as the leading building and construction industry association across the State.
Accordingly members of the Master Builder’s Strata Inspection Panel are expected to meet performance standards and conduct themselves in accordance with the Master Builder’s Code of Ethics and Fair Business Practice and the SIP Code of Conduct and to comply with the Terms and Conditions of membership.
When a dispute arises with a member/building inspector on the Master Builder’s Strata Inspection Panel all attempts, wherever possible, should be made to resolve complaints directly with the member/building inspector in question.
If a complaint cannot be resolved directly, then a complaint can be lodged with the Master Builders Association of NSW.
HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT
The complaints process cannot be initiated until a fully completed signed complaints form is submitted via email. Copies of any relevant documentation supporting the complaint should also be provided.
HOW THE COMPLAINT WILL BE HANDLED
Upon receipt of a fully completed complaints form:
(a) The MBA Legal Department will promptly acknowledge the complaint by email.
(b) The complaint will be escalated to the General Counsel, MBA Legal Department.
(c) A copy of the complaint and the documentation received will be provided to the member/building inspector in question.
(d) The member/building inspector in question will be provided with the opportunity to respond or comment on the complaint and to provide any relevant documentation.
(e) On receiving the complaint and the member/building inspector’s response, the General Counsel will assess the seriousness of the complaint and decide:
- whether the complaint can be resolved informally in less serious cases. Informal options can include for instance mediation/conciliation or a warning; or
- that an investigation is required where the complainant makes allegations which are more serious in nature.
(f) If it is decided that an investigation is required, the General Counsel will appoint suitable qualified person/s who will:
- conduct an investigation; and
- provide the General Counsel with their findings and a recommendation.
The investigation may involve:
- interviewing the complainant, the member/building inspector in question and other parties involved with the matter,
- requesting further documentation from any of the parties.
The purpose of the investigation is not to determine contractual disputes and technical issues but to determine whether the member/building inspector in question has breached the Code of Ethics and Fair Business Practice, or the SIP Code of Conduct or the Terms and Conditions.
If during the investigation further new and relevant information comes to light, the member/building inspector will have the opportunity to respond to that evidence.
(e) The General Counsel will be responsible for making the final decision with respect to the outcome of a complaint.
(f) The complainant can enquire as to the status of the complaint by contacting the Legal Assistant of the MBA.
(g) Both the complainant and the member/building inspector in question will be notified in writing of the decision.
(h) If it is found, as a result of an investigation, that the member/building inspector in question has failed to adequately abide by the Code of Ethics and Fair Business Practice, or the SIP Code of Conduct or the Terms and Conditions:
- the matter will be referred to the SIP Disciplinary Committee, and
- the General Counsel will notify the Secretary, NSW Fair Trading of the complaint made against a member of the Strata Inspector Panel.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A DECISION IS MADE IN RESPECT OF A COMPLAINT
If a decision has been made that a member has breached the Associations Code of Ethics and Fair Business Practice, or the SIP Code of Conduct or failed to comply with the Terms and Conditions of membership, the next step will be to consider appropriate disciplinary action or sanctions.
This will be done by the Disciplinary Committee.
The members of the Disciplinary Committee will consist of:
- the General Counsel, MBA Legal Department,
- the Chairman of the Master Builders Consultant Group and
- the Convenor of the Strata Inspection Panel Workshop, or
- their suitable qualified nominees.
Disciplinary actions or sanctions that may be imposed on a member of the Strata Inspection Panel can include:
- requiring the member to undertake additional training or education,
- limiting the types of inspections that the member may carry out and record such limitations on the register of members of the Strata Inspection Panel,
- suspend their inclusion on the Strata Inspector Panel,
- cancel their inclusion on the Strata Inspector Panel.
Decisions in respect of disciplinary actions or sanctions will not be finalised unless reasonable steps have been taken to:
(a) inform the member of:
(i) the sanction or sanctions that are under consideration, and
(ii) the factors that are under consideration in determining any sanction to be imposed, and
(b) give the member a reasonable opportunity to make a statement in relation to sanctions under consideration.
The Disciplinary Committee will consider the members comments before finalising its decision on disciplinary actions or sanctions.
The General Counsel will notify the Secretary, NSW Fair Trading of disciplinary actions taken and/or sanctions imposed on a member of the Strata Inspector Panel.
FURTHER INTERNAL REVIEW
Further internal review can be sought by:
A complainant or the member/building inspector in question who is dissatisfied with the decision in respect of a complaint.
A member who is dissatisfied with the decision in respect of any disciplinary action or sanctions taken against the member.
An application seeking a review of the decision:
- can be made by email or in writing to the General Counsel,
- must be made within 14 business days of receiving the decision, and
- must provide reasons as to why they consider the decision is not satisfactory.
The request for review will be referred to the Master Builder Associations Council who will consider the application.
The Master Builder Association Council may, at their discretion, appoint an appropriate qualified person/s to conduct an independent review to provide a recommendation to the Master Builder Associations Council.
The Master Builder Associations Council will make the final decision in respect of the application and will notify:
a. both the complainant and the member/building inspector in question of the decision in writing where the application for review concerns a decision in respect of a complaint, or.
b. the member in writing of the decision where the application for review concerns a decision in respect of any disciplinary action or sanctions.
The Master Builder Association Council’s decision is final.