(Washington, DC) – Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) Director Linda K. Argo announced today that proceedings have begun to remove 18 Residential Inspectors from their positions permanently after failing to gain mandatory certification.
DCRA inspectors were given more than 14 months to receive certification from the International Code Council (ICC) – recognized as the industry standard in more than 28 states including California, Texas, New Jersey, Florida and Pennsylvania. The effort aimed to professionalize the critical and often criticized division.
The agency spent tens of thousands of dollars for on-the-job training including ICC-led workshops, study materials and vouchers for inspectors to take the certification test. Eleven of DCRA’s current 34 inspectors received the certification and five were exempt. The remaining 18 were given an “Intent to Remove” letter this morning for “inexcusable neglect of duty.”
“From day one of my tenure, my goal was to professionalize our inspections division through streamlining operations and increased training,” Argo said. “This was not the outcome we had hoped for, but the goal remains the same and we must keep moving forward.”
The employees have 15-days to appeal the decision.
DCRA has a plan to minimize disruptions to the inspections unit – which performs more than 40,000 inspections annually. The agency will launch an intensive recruitment campaign beginning October 1, 2008 to fill the positions.
The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs protects the health, safety, economic interests, and quality of life of residents, businesses, and visitors in the District of Columbia by issuing licenses and permits, conducting inspections, enforcing building, housing, and safety codes, regulating land use and development, and providing consumer education and advocacy services.