While the Departmental staff recorded high (13 out of 33 or 39%) “Other” causes of delay during this phase, both funding recipients and Departmental staff recorded significant delays (seven out of 32 and four out of 11 respectively) caused by “Late building approvals (BAs).”
From supplementary project information it is clear that there has been a relationship between the causes of delay during the most frequently delayed phase of development, the Development Approval or DA phase, and the BA phase. This is almost always due to the now common practice of Councils “carrying over” conditions of approval from DAs into BAs by imposing numerous “prior to commencement of construction” conditions in the DA Notices of Consent. As noted in section 5.3.2 of this report, conditions attached to the DA Notices of Consent for these projects now routinely run to thirty to fifty pages. Under these circumstances, private building certifiers responsible for issuing the BAs are obliged to enforce these conditions on the project on behalf of the Council.
Of the five projects identified by either the funding recipients or Departmental staff as having been delayed by tender results that were over budget, multiple tenders were received in four out of five cases. Bills of Quantities were provided to the tenderers in 4 out of 5 cases, and full design documentation was provided to them in four out of five cases. This suggests strongly that the project designs were over budget even before they were issued for tender and that all the processes normally employed to ensure competitive tender results did not overcome poor design management during documentation. It also suggests that the quantity surveyors, in preparing tender Bills of Quantities, did no more than measure the causes of the budget over-runs. These resources might have been better assigned to or supplemented by cost planning and cost control services.