Powers and Functions of the Commissioner
The Australian Building and Construction Commission is headed by the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (Commissioner). The Commissioner is given powers and functions under legislation in order to promote an improved workplace relations framework for building work to ensure that building work is carried out fairly, efficiently and productively. These functions include educative and advisory functions, investigative functions, and enforcement functions.
Educative and advisory functions
By providing education, assistance and advice to building industry participants, the Commissioner is promoting fair, efficient and productive building work and workplaces. This will aid building industry participants by providing a better understanding of the relevant building laws and enabling them to comply with these laws.
The Commissioner can investigate any act or conduct undertaken by a building industry participant that is suspected to be a contravention of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 (BCIIP Act), a designated building law, or the Building Code. The Commissioner also has the function of monitoring compliance in the building and construction industry.
The Commissioner can enforce the BCIIP Act or any designated building law in relation to the acts or conduct of building industry participants by commencing proceedings in court or making applications to the Fair Work Commission.
Power to intervene and make submissions in court proceedings
Disputes in the building and construction industry may sometimes result in court action between the parties. The Commissioner has a right to:
- intervene in court proceedings which arise under the BCIIP Act and certain other laws, and which involve a building industry participant or building work;
- intervene in or make submissions in proceedings before the Fair Work Commission which involve a building industry participant or building work.
The Commissioner will intervene in court proceedings where it is in the public interest to do so.
If a building industry participant wishes the Commissioner to make a submission to FWC or intervene in a case before a court they should contact the ABCC. The ABCC will then seek details of the case and the Commissioner will decide whether to intervene or not.
Under the BCIIP Act the Commissioner is also an Australian Building and Construction Inspector and may exercise the powers of an inspector.
Need more information?
For further information, advice or assistance please contact the ABCC at 1800 003 338 or enquiry [at] abcc.gov.au.