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Lax oversight of school construction raises doubts about earthquake safety (US)

Integrity of information, Records management non-compliance, Systemic failure

This article in California Watch delivers background to an emerging story set to cause a huge public outcry. Major feature: sloppy incomplete recordkeeping.

State regulators have routinely failed to enforce California’s landmark earthquake safety law for public schools, allowing children and teachers to occupy buildings with structural flaws and potential safety hazards reported during construction.

…California law requires the state architect’s office to enforce the Field Act – seismic regulations enacted nearly 80 years ago. The law is considered a gold standard of school construction. It requires state oversight to assure professional engineering and quality control from the early design phase to the first day of classes.

…Officials at the state architect’s office cited sloppy record keeping among local school administrators and a lack of communication with state regulators as the central reason so many projects have failed to receive Field Act certification.

Read more: California Watch April 7, 2011

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