Part 1: Introduction

Inquiry into the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board: Follow-up report.

In this Part, we explain:

The Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board

The Board has existed in some form since 1912. The Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Act 2006 (the Act) controls how the Board operates.

The Act sets out the Board's functions, powers, and duties. We discussed most of these in Inquiry into the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board (our 2010 report). This reported on our inquiry into the Board and the way it carried out its functions during the period from 2008 to early 2010.

Why we carried out our follow-up work

Our 2010 report identified problems in the way that the Board carried out most of its functions. The problems differed for the various functions but included:

  • unclear or non-existent policies;
  • poor communication;
  • decisions and policies that were not clearly grounded in the legislation; and
  • little awareness of the need to embed basic administrative law disciplines into the Board's everyday work and decision-making.

In our 2010 report, we recognised that the Board had made some progress, but made 15 recommendations for action.

We carried out our follow-up work to check the Board's progress in addressing our recommendations. Since we published our 2010 report, there have been changes to gas certification law, which have affected two recommendations. We considered this change, and the Board's progress addressing the other 13 recommendations.

Scope of our follow-up work

Our follow-up work focused on the Board's actions between 2010 and 2013 to address our recommendations.

We did not repeat all the fieldwork we carried out for the 2010 report. For example, we did not audit files of individual tradespeople and we carried out the fieldwork over three months rather than more than a year. We did not hire industry experts to assess the Board's examination questions as we did in 2009.

Where appropriate, we use findings and opinions of other government bodies.

We carried out our follow-up work on two levels:

  • a high-level check of progress against all our recommendations; and
  • a more detailed review of a sample of matters, to ensure that the Board's decision-making now embeds basic administrative law disciplines.

In Part 2, we update our findings and recommendations on organisational matters (Parts 2 and 9 of our 2010 report).

In Parts 3 to 8, we report on progress against our other recommendations. Parts 3 to 8 follow the same order as our 2010 report, namely:

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