Clause 89 - Provision of information etc to the regulator, residents and other persons

Building Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 19th October 2021.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Conservative, Basingstoke

With this it will be convenient to discuss clause 90 stand part.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

Clause 89 creates a power to make regulations to ensure that the information in the golden thread is shared with those who need it. This will help ensure that all buildings in scope of the more stringent regime are safe. It enables the Secretary of State to make regulations to require the people responsible for these buildings—the accountable persons—to share information with prescribed persons. Prescribed persons include the Building Safety Regulator, residents, other accountable persons in the building and owners of residential units within the building, among others.

Clause 89 enables the Secretary of State to make regulations to set out what information must be shared, when and how it must be shared and in what format. We know that it is currently difficult to access information about buildings in scope of the new, more stringent safety regime. Clause 89 will ensure that the appropriate information from the golden thread is shared with the people who need it. Having easily accessible information is critical to manage buildings safely, for residents to feel safe in their homes, for people to understand their responsibilities in keeping their home safe and for the Building Safety Regulator to be able to regulate effectively.

The independent review recommended that information on buildings should be available and that this would drive greater accountability throughout the system, which would support safer buildings. We agree with this recommendation, recognising that it is critical that information is available on buildings in scope of the more stringent regulatory regime. Clause 89 is vital to ensuring that information is available on these buildings.

Clause 90 requires the golden thread to be handed over whenever the person responsible for the building—the accountable person—changes. This applies to all occupied buildings in scope of the more stringent regime. The golden thread is the information that allows someone to understand a building and keep it safe, and the information management needed to ensure the information is accurate, easily understandable and up to date.

Clause 90 enables the Secretary of State to make regulations to set out what information is handed over, when and how the information is handed over, and in what format it needs to be. We know that currently there is a lack of information. This lack of information makes it difficult to manage and maintain buildings. The clause will ensure that the information is handed over and is not lost when the accountable person leaves their role. Regulations under this clause will ensure that the information is handed over in a timely and appropriate manner. The independent review recommended that a golden thread is put in place for all buildings in scope of the regime and that there are requirements to ensure the golden thread is handed over throughout the life cycle of the building. We agree with that recommendation, recognising that this is critical to ensuring that buildings are safe.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 89 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 90 ordered to stand part of the Bill.