Statement of Basis and Purpose of Adopted Rule
The following rule is promulgated pursuant to the authority of the Commissioner of Buildings under Sections 643 and 1043 of the New York City Charter.
In promulgating this rule, the Commissioner is exercising the authority set forth in Section 28-416.3 of Article 416 of the New York City Administrative Code, which states, "The commissioner shall promulgate rules for the proper and efficient administration and enforcement of this article. Unless required by rule, a registered filing representative shall not be required to take an examination or to complete continuing education courses as a condition for renewal of the registration." This authority is being exercised at this time to meet the needs of the construction industry and the Department for qualified registered filing representatives.
The construction industry, including architects, engineers, contractors and owners, often use the services of registered filing representatives to present, submit, furnish and/or seek approval of applications or construction documents, and to remove documents from the possession of the Department of Buildings ("DOB"). These construction documents are then reviewed by DOB plan examiners and/or other DOB technical staff who may issue objections if the construction documents do not comply with the Construction Codes, zoning or other applicable laws, or other relevant rules or requirements. These objections should be addressed by persons with some threshold knowledge of the construction documents and the applicable procedures and requirements. Sometimes the person who presents, submits, or furnishes the documents is not qualified or prepared to address the objections issued by the plan examiner or other technical staff. In such instances, the approval process is delayed.
To eliminate this problem and ensure the efficient processing of construction documents, DOB is adopting a rule that creates training, education, filing experience and continuing education requirements for registered filing representatives. These requirements will create two classes of registered filing representative:
- Class 2 Registered Filing Representatives, who will be permitted to present, submit, furnish or seek approval of applications or construction documents, and remove documents from the possession of DOB, and who will be qualified to meet with plan examiners and other technical staff to address objections; and,
- Class 1 Registered Filing Representatives, who will be limited to presenting, submitting, furnishing or seeking approval of applications or construction documents, and removing documents from the possession of DOB.
By creating these two classes of registered filing representatives, the rule will:
- Assist the Department, the construction industry, and the public in identifying qualified individuals to support their filings; and
- Expedite the approval process by ensuring that only qualified registered filing representatives appear before plan examiners and other technical staff to address objections.
For those individuals who do not have the academic requirements to qualify for class 2 status, the rule provides a two-month window of opportunity (May 1- June 30, 2013) in which such individuals will be eligible to register as class 2 representatives based solely on their years as a registered filing representative with DOB and number of jobs filed with DOB.
The rule also restates the existing fee structure set forth in Section 28-401.15 of Article 401 of the New York City Administrative Code to align with the triennial filing representative registration term.
In addition, the rule amends Section 104-03 of the Rules of the City of New York to provide that, beginning July 1, 2014, the term of a filing representative's registration will be three years, beginning on the applicant’s birthday following the date of registration, and that the registration may be renewed for terms of three years. Section 104-03 is also being amended to clarify that the term of a general contractor registration is three years, beginning on the applicant's birthday following the date of registration, and that the term of a master electrician or special electrician license is one year, beginning on the applicant's birthday following the date of issuance.
A public hearing on this rule was held on October 4, 2012. In response to comments received, the Department has made the following changes and clarifications to the following provisions of the rule:
- Subdivision (a) of Section 104-24: added a reference to Section 28-416.2 of the New York City Administrative Code, which sets forth a list of persons exempt from filing representative registration.
- Subdivision (b)(3) of Section 104-24: added a definition of the term "Job."
- Subdivision (c) of Section 104-24: clarified who constitutes "department technical staff."
- Subdivision (d) of Section 104-24: added a requirement that beginning May 1, 2013, those seeking class 1 filing representative status must complete a department-approved, integrity training prior to registration.
- Subdivision (f) of Section 104-24: clarified when a class 2 representative can appear/attend appointments at the NYC Development Hub.
- Subdivision (g) of Section 104-24: eased the registration requirements for class 2 applicants and made changes to dates at which the new requirements will begin to apply:
- The final rule does not require the completion of a thirty-six hour training course until 2014. The proposed rule required completion of such course by 2013.
- The final rule imposes certain registration requirements beginning May 1, 2013, while the proposed rule imposed them beginning on April 1, 2013. This change was made to conform with Section 28-401.12 of the New York City Administrative Code, which states that applications for renewals of licenses shall be made no more than 60 calendar days prior to the expiration date of such license.
- Subdivision (g)(1 )(i)(B) & (g)(2)(i)(B) of Section 104-24: For applicants submitting proof of a four year degree other than in Architecture or Engineering, the final rule lessened the requirements from 4 years of filing experience with at least 100 jobs within 6 years of application for registration, to 2 years as a registered filing representative with at least 50 jobs within 4 years of application for class 2 filing representative status.
- Subdivision (g)(1 )(i)(C) of Section 104-24: During the two-month window for registration without submission of proof of academic degree, the final rule lessened requirements from 8 years of filing experience with at least 200 jobs within 10 years of application for registration, to 4 years as a registered filing representative with at least 125 jobs within 8 years of application for class 2 filing representative status. The time period for such registration was also changed from April 1 - June 1, 2013 to May 1- June 30, 2013.
- Subdivision (h) of Section 104-24: separated class 2 filing representative renewal requirements into 2 parts:
- Beginning July 1, 2014, during the one (1) year immediately prior to renewal, a class 2 registered filing representative must complete an integrity training and the thirty-six- (36) hour training course.
- Beginning July 1, 2017, during the three (3) years immediately prior to renewal, a class 2 registered filing representative must complete an integrity training and a sixteen- (16) hour, Department-approved, refresher course.
- Subdivision (h) of Section 104-03: lessened the fee for changing from a class 1 representative to a class 2 representative, from a $150 registration fee to a $50 reissuance fee.