To simplify its building bond management process, Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government has deployed software by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Pegasystems.
According to the NSW Government, digitising the Strata Building Bond and Inspections Scheme (SBBIS) with a website and mobile app is done to provide transparency and accountability for developers, inspectors, and building owners.
The NSW Government requires developers to submit a bond equal to 2% of the building contract price on all newly constructed multi-story strata developments. This provides protection for the owners of new multi-story buildings by mandating funds be set aside up-front to cover costs of fixing defective work.
However, the previous paper-based bond process system was said to be slow and inefficient. For example, applicants had to fill out repetitive information into up to 35 manual forms and rely on the manual monitoring of timelines and due dates.
By digitising its processes using the Pega Government Platform, the NSW Government seeks to eliminate its time-consuming, paper-based operations so it could improve the speed and efficiency of the entire building bond process.
Who stands to benefit
The SBBIS was digitised to provide online transparency into claims, reports, and inspections for all parties involved, while keeping everyone on track with real-time updates and deadline reminders. The system assists users on the front end by streamlining required data inputs and pre-filling known data, while also helping the state government on the back end with compliance support and improved cybersecurity.
Authorised NSW building inspectors will also benefit from the SSBIS app. Previously, inspectors would visit a site, take photos of defects (which can mean hundreds of images), and add them to a long manual report later. Now, building inspectors can capture all data and evidence on the spot.
The app supports offline working as well.
As part of the digitisation, the Strata Hub aims to help parties proceed through the financial agreements more quickly so building defects can be rectified, without having to go through expensive, complex, and lengthy legal claims. SBBIS currently holds more than $66.5 million AUD in building bonds to fix building defects in a timely manner.
Rose Webb, NSW Fair Trading Commissioner at NSW Customer Service, said the digitisation project is part of a broader digital transformation strategy underway to increase efficiencies and strengthen confidence in the construction industry. “By doing so, we will provide better protection for new apartment owners against defective building work.”