Audits and complaints about councils and private certifiers

Assessment applications for development plan consent and building rules consent, as well as the professional conduct to which relevant authorities must comply, are covered in the Development Act 1993 and Development Regulations 2008.

Audits of development plan and building rules assessments

  • An audit is required for building rules consents granted by local councils and private certifiers (from 1 July 2012).
  • An audit is also required for residential code development plan consents (from 1 July 2013).

The audits are to make sure that assessment processes related to building rules consents and residential code development plan consents are carried out as required by legislation.

The audits are performed by an independent auditor nominated by the minister responsible for planning. Councils and private certifiers are contacted by the auditor advising of the audit and to agree on the timing.

Audit process

The audit approach is risk-based and focuses on the risk areas related to the assessment process.

This fact sheet (349.9 KB PDF) provides more details about the auditing process.

This summary of findings (699.8 KB PDF) describes the issues identified and provides suggestions for councils and private certifiers for managing key risks in the building rules assessment process.

The audit process, explanation of the relevant provisions in the legislation and what councils and private certifiers can expect in an audit are shown in this video (link to YouTube).

The Minister's Guide to Auditing for Building Surveyors (430.7 KB PDF) clarifies the purpose of the audit, the audit process, the conduct of technical checks, potential outcomes and other information associated with an audit.

Complaints about a private certifier or council

Private certifiers and councils must comply with the Development Act 1993 and Development Regulations 2008.

All private certifiers registered in South Australia must also abide by the standards of professional conduct set out in the Code of Practice (71.7 KB PDF).

If you feel that your private certifier or council has failed to comply with or violated the Act, Regulations or the Code of Practice then you may lodge a complaint with the Minister for Planning.

A complaint must:

  • be in writing
  • contain particulars of the allegations the complaint is based on
  • be verified by statutory declaration (11.2 KB PDF), which means that the statement of claim must be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace.

Information regarding lodging a complaint about a private certifier can be found on the SA Planning Portal.

Reporting rights and obligations under ICAC Act

Council employees and private certifiers are designated as public officers under the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 (ICAC Act).

Third Party Audit Services auditors, council employees and private certifiers must make a report to the Office for Public Integrity regarding any public officer conduct that is reasonably suspected to be corruption, and serious or systemic misconduct or maladministration.

Related information

On this site


For an alternative version of a document on this page contact Building policy services.

Building policy services

For enquiries about building codes and standards, registration of private certifiers and swimming pool and spa safety.

Phone: 1800 752 664

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Page last updated 18 August 2020

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Attorney-General's Department - PLUS
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