Skip to content
You are here > Home > Your Ministry > Ontario Building Code > Appeals & Approvals > Building Materials Evaluation Commission > The Building Materials Evaluation Commission's Public Accountability Documents > Business Plan 2017-2020 > OVERVIEW OF KEY BMEC ACTIVITIES

Follow us

OVERVIEW OF KEY BMEC ACTIVITIES

Email this page

OVERVIEW OF KEY BMEC ACTIVITIES

Staff supporting the Commission is responsible for application management and customer service to persons wishing to apply to the Commission for an authorization. Upon receipt of an application, the Commission’s Secretary ensures that the prescribed information and documentation has been submitted. The Secretary asks the Canadian Construction Materials Centre whether they have examined, or expressed an interest in examining, a product. If the Canadian Construction Materials Centre has examined, or expressed an interest in examining a product, the Commission may lack the jurisdiction to carry out an evaluation, pursuant to subsection 29(8) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

The Coordinator of Building Innovation is the senior Ministry staff person assigned to support the Commission, and is responsible for overall administration and policy development as directed by the Commission. This involves working with the Minister’s Office regarding the appointments process, issues management, business planning, performance measurement, monitoring of expenditures, and ensuring compliance with agency sector requirements and Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet directives.

The Commission, as a whole, is required to make decisions on applications, but subcommittees are usually established to carry out detailed evaluations. These subcommittees consist of Commission members who are familiar with, and/or expert in, the field of technology associated with the application. The Commission may request comments from Ministry technical staff.

The number of evaluations conducted, and subsequent authorizations issued, are determined based on the volume of applications received. Typically, the Commission holds one general meeting each month, with approximately five to seven subcommittee meetings in the same period. The issuance of decisions by the Commission usually takes three to four months, depending on the complexity of the application and the additional information required of the applicants and the timeliness of their response.

The chart below provides a summary of the Commission’s caseload over the last five years:


  Fiscal
  Year

Applications  
Received  

Authorizations  
Issued  
Authorizations  
Amended or  
Revised  

Authorizations  
Revoked  
2012-2013 4   3   36   57  
2013-2014 14   6   4   7  
2014-2015 6   5   2   21  
2015-2016 4   2   1   4  
2016-2017* 3   1   3   10  

 

*The actuals for 2016-2017 do not reflect the entire fiscal period. The numbers are interim actuals that cover the period from April 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

The rate of applications to the Commission has had some fluctuations during the past five fiscal years. A marked increase is noted for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, this may in part be the result of the 2012 Building Code coming into force on January 1, 2014. The Commission notes that the decrease in the number of applications received for the current fiscal year may be the result of the increase in the application fee.

In addition to the new applications noted above, the Commission also considers requests for amendments to existing authorizations and also reviews its authorizations for possible revocation. Applications for amendment are processed in much the same manner as a new application. The Commission reviews and evaluates the details of the proposed amendment as innovative products, systems and designs are modified and updated. The process for review and revocation adds to the work load of the Commission and its staff.

The Commission has noticed that both the technical and procedural complexity of the applications has increased, which results in lengthier reviews. The work required to communicate between the Commission and applicants for authorizations has increased, in that the correspondence prepared to provide the reasoning behind the denial of an authorization or the denial of part of an authorization has become much more detailed in recent years. Further, the number of occasions where the Commission has had to undertake a significant jurisdictional review of an application has increased. All of these factors have an impact on the number of subcommittee meetings required to fully evaluate new and innovative products.

Achievements

Several steps have been taken to enhance the Commission’s performance and accountability over the past several years, including continued monitoring of Commission-specific performance measures. The Commission identifies the following achievements:

  • Continued to provide a cost effective and expeditious mechanism for evaluation of new and innovative materials, systems and building designs.
  • Continued its practice of surveying clients after the close of the fiscal year (i.e. after March 31, 2016 for this business plan).
  • Survey results of clients that used Commission services in the 2015-2016 fiscal year indicated that:
    • 100% felt that the processes and procedures were clear and understandable.
    • 100% felt that members demonstrated an appropriate level of expertise regarding the matter under consideration.
    • 100% felt that they were treated with courtesy throughout the application process and 100% felt they were treated with courtesy during the evaluation process.
    • 100% were satisfied with the overall level of service provided by the Commission.
  • The Commission continued to maintain its compliance with the Management Board of Cabinet’s Agencies and Appointments Directive:
    • Its three year Business Plan was prepared, finalized and submitted within the specified time frame;
    • Its Annual Report for 2015-2016 fiscal year was completed and submitted within the specified time frame.