Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Understanding the New CCC

Understanding the New CCC (Certificate of Completion and Compliance
By: Y P Cheong

CCC stands for the certificate of completion and compliance and is a new term introduced by the Street, Drainage and Building (Amendment) Act 2007 (Amendment Act), which came into force on April 12, 2007. The CCC is meant to replace the certificate of fitness for occupation (CFO).

Under the former system, the CFO was issued by the local authority (LA) under the Uniform By-Laws of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 (Act 133).

The former system was overly cumbersome, time-consuming and subject to abuse. It was not unusual for inordinate delays to occur due to many factors including: non-compliance by the developer for the submission of Form E and its enclosure to the LA, additional conditions imposed by the LA at the time of application of CFO, the involvement of many technical agencies and the lack of technical officers to process the CFO.

Purchasers of properties encounter numerous problems whenever vacant possession is delivered to them by developers and the purchasers could not occupy or renovated their properties because the CFO was not issued.

New System of CCC

The new CCC, based on self regulation, is issued by the private sector. The responsibility is transferred from the LA’s to professionals (architects, engineers and building draftsman) of the project. It seeks to provide better protection for house buyers, cut red tape or bureaucracy in local government and create a more efficient public delivery system. The CCC applies to new projects while those currently under construction will still be issued with CFOs.

Principal Submitting Person

The CCC will be issued by a principal submitting person (PSP), which is a radical chance indeed. The PSP is a professional architect, engineer or building draftsman who submits building plans to the LA for approval. He must be registered under the relevant law relating to registration thereof, e.g Architects Act 1967 or Registration of Engineers Act 1967 (Revised 1974).

The PSP’s responsibilities include submitting building plans for approval by the LA, supervising the erection and completion of the building in conformity with the approved plans and the requirements of the provisions of Acts or by-laws, ensuring all technical conditions imposed by the LA have been duly complied with and ensuring that the building is safe and fit for occupation.

Six Essential Services for Issuance of CCC

There are six essential services for the issuance of CCC:

>>Confirmation of electrical supply (TNB)
>>Confirmation of water supply (water authorities)
>>Confirmation of connection to sewerage treatment plant or mains (JPP)
>>Clearance form lifts and machinery department, if applicable (JKKP)
>>Clearance for active fire fighting systems except for residential building not more than 18m high (Bomba)
>>Roads & Drainage

Rectification by LA

The LA may inspect the building site at any time on its own initiative or due to complaints. In the event of failure to comply with the approved plans, the Act or by-laws in the erection and construction of the building, the LA may issue to the PSP:

(a) A written notice requiring compliance within a period specified in the notice, as the Local Authority thinks fit, in order that the non-compliance be rectified; and

(b) A directive in writing to withhold the issuance of CCC until such non-compliance has been rectified.

The LA may itself cause any work to be executed or any measure to be taken if it considers such work or measure is necessary to rectify the non-compliance of its directive and the costs shall be borne by the owner of the building. The costs shall not be subject to any appeal or review in any court.

The LA is also responsible for approving permission of planning application and building plans: pressing charges against the PSP and professionals and reporting to the relevant professional board; inspection of old buildings and continuing to issue CFO’s for projects approved before the CCC’s date of enforcement.

Offences Under The New System

The Amendment Act has introduced the following new offences and penalties:

>>Not a PSP but issues a CCC;
>>Issues CCC without forms (relevant forms under by laws);
>>Issues CCC despite direction to withhold – in contravention to direction of LA to withhold issuance;
>>False/fraudulent declaration:
Knowingly makes/producers/causes to be made any false or fraudulent declaration, certificate, application or any form under by-laws knowing it/they have been forged, altered or counterfeited;
>>Use knowingly: Uses the above form knowing it/they have been forged, altered or counterfeited:
>>Occupation without CCC; Occupies or permits to be occupied any building or part thereof without a CCC (This has a wide-ranging effect as it can cover purchasers, tenants, occupiers, owners, trustees, etc):
>>Liable on conviction to fine not more than RM250,000 or imprisonment not more than 10 years or both: and
>>Increased general penalty; The penalty for the offence of not abiding by the orders of the LA is increased and includes imprisonment for term not exceeding three years and a fine of up to RM10,000

Offences by Architects

False and negligent certification of the CCC by an architects is an offence under the Architect (Amendment) Act 2007 and is grounds for disciplinary action. An enhanced penalty may be imposed by the Disciplinary Committee. The fine is increased form RM10,000 to RM50,000 and the period of suspension of registration is increased form one, to two years.

Offences by Engineers
The Registration of Engineers (Amendment) Act 2007 established a disciplinary committee that is empowered to conduct a hearing of any misconduct or complaint made against any registered Engineer referred to it by an Investigating Committee. In the case of false or negligent certification of the CCC, the fine is increased to RM50,000 and the period of suspension is increased to two years.

Offences Under the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966

In a related matter, section 22F(1) of the 1966 Act provides that any architect or engineer, as the case may be, who issues a progress certification knowing that the works therein referred to have not been completed in accordance with the provisions of the sale and purchase agreement shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to fine which shall not be less that RM 10,000 but which shall not exceed RM 100,000 or to improvement for a term not exceeding five years or to both.

Sub-section 22F(2) also provides that any person who knowingly and willfully aids, abets, counsels, procures or commands the commission of an offence under subsection 22F(1) shall be liable to the punishment provided for the offence.

Saving Provisions

The former system of issuance of CFO continue to apply where:

>>Work of erection has not commenced within 12 months from date on which plans and specifications of building were approved; if work commenced on or after April 12, 2007 (Commencement Date), (without prejudice to any penalty):
>>Work of erection commenced immediately before commencement date;
>>Work suspended immediately before coming into operation of Act and is to resume on after Commencement Date; and
>>Erection of building without approval of plans and specifications by the LA under the Act immediately before Commencement Date provided that an application for approval is made to the LA on or after Commencement Date and the application is approved.

The writer is a member of the Conveyancing Practice Committee, Bar Council, Malaysia www.malaysianbar.org.my

Note: This column is brought to you by the Malaysian bar Council for your information only. It does not constitute legal advice. You should therefore seek professional legal advice for your specific needs. Neither the Malaysian Bar nor the Sun Media Corp Sdn Bhd shall be liable to any reader who suffers losses as a result of relying on this column.

Source: TheSun, September 1, Friday, 2007
Related Blog: Interior Design Blog

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