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Thread: Regulatory agency rant

  1. #1
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    Default Regulatory agency rant

    (NOTE: This is just blowing off steam; no solutions are being requested here.)

    So I have a commercial fishing boat builder client who needs to have a recently-built boat inspected by our federal transportation agency to acquire the all-important certificate of compliance before it can go fishing. The 'issue-du-jour' is the main deck hatch, a 48" x 60" aluminum flush cargo hold hatch. The fed regional senior hull inspector informed the builder that the hatch had to meet structural criteria of some recognized Classification Society, preferably the one that they are most familiar with, whom I will refer to here as "Agency A". So the client comes to me for help. I calculate the structural strength of the hatch to Agency A's rules, and it passes the requirements, and my report is duly forwarded to the inspector. The inspector calls the client and says that the report is all good for what it is, but a paper test does not ensure that the hatch is watertight; a watertightness test must be performed and pass criteria promulgated by a classification agency's criteria. The client comes back to me for help. I do my due diligence and investigate the Agency A rules and find out that Agency A does not have any criteria for watertightness testing. I speak with the fed guy who is writing the updated rules for small commercial fishing craft in Canada (the horse's mouth, so to say) to find out what is the appropriate criteria for watertightness testing and am informed that the fed agency is accepting the watertightness criteria promulgated by Agency B. So I buy the Agency B rules for hatches & doors ($750 for a 70-page PDF) and I write a letter for the client to pass on to the fed hull inspector that says we will test the hatch to Agency B's watertightness testing criteria. The fed hull guy calls me and tells me that the test won't cut it because he won't accept Agency B test results to a hatch designed to Agency A structural requirements. He says that design criteria and test criteria must be from the same agency. I point out that a hatch design done to Agency A rules is actually stronger than one done to Agency B rules, and besides, a watertightenss test is to test watertightness, not structural strength so should be valid regardless of the design criteria. No dice - erase the foregoing, start from scratch, do over, bill the client twice for the same job and smile on the way to the bank to cash the cheque. Doesn't matter that his actions are making me actually be the money-sucking parasite that many commercial builders believe naval architects to be. Meanwhile, the lobster season started last week and some guy's three-quarter-million dollar boat is sitting on the hard while some pompous bureaucrat is refusing to apply logic to his application of rules and regs.

    Some days I wish I was still taking wedding photos for a living...
    Last edited by mmd; 06-12-2019 at 11:31 AM.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    It's people like him wot cause unrest.

    What are you doing about it?




  3. #3
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    We have seen people like that here on the west coast as well. We have on occasions referred to them as the "Department of No" ...Seemingly just looking for ways to stop or hold up something, rather than working on a solution. I know the frustration.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    Damn! Bureaucrats of whatever nationality can be incredibly frustrating.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    Perhaps the miserable wretch is just bored.

    There would seem to be myriad ways to cure his ill.

    Rattling the teacups.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    . . . the hatch had to meet structural criteria of some recognized Classification Society . . .
    That was a red flag: Warning, weaseling ahead.
    Trust me to defend the Constitution just as soon as I'm sure you're going to vote for me again.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    Funny in that "just doing my job mentality" kind of way. We spent many hours consulting with the local authority who had told us we need to fit a new septic tank on our property, but could not tell us what spec it had to be. The final straw for me when asked after forwarding the specification for the latest in separation systems, if it was good enough, i was told to buy it first and then the inspector will decide..........some people.......

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    i used to have those problems with inspectors. now when they ask for the numbers... they get ALL OF THEM. this newer software i have keeps up with every last detail and when you make the file of calculations it can be hundreds of pages long. send that to joe inspector and they just file it without looking.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    hopefully, mmd, you have learned to respect his authoritay!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    I wish, Alan, - when I built my candy / flower shop ( 35 75 feet ), I had to consult with the state food inspector, who had me install a triple sink, sinks for employee hand wash, and sinks in the floral area. After I had plumbed and installed 8 sinks, he came in and demanded yet another !! Michael, I can fully understand your frustration . . ,

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    LOL, you think NA's are perceived as money sucking parasites!! We put a bit of electrical switchgear onto offshore rigs and ships, and some clients want either a RINA or LLOYDS inspection plate. The inspection consists of the dude walking around the switchgear cabinet for ten minutes, looking wise. It proceeds to whipping out a letter punch set and putting an inspection number on a small aluminum plate, which is then pop riveted to the door. There are no measurements, tests or rectifications required, ever. We never "fail".
    Lloyds generally have a guy in Auckland or Australia, so it is doable in a day if he gets the redeye. The closest RINA inspector is Singapore, which is a ten hour flight each way, a nice hotel for a couple of nights, and the customary hefty "inspection" fee - thousands of dollars for a worthless inspection and a small alloy plate. These "standards" bureaucrats are the real parasites. And don't get me started on test laboratories - they take it to a whole nuther level again.

    Pete
    Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!

  12. #12
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    Default

    Brides can be awful difficult though.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    One notes that when God created the world in six days, He did not have to obtain permits, or file environmental impact statements

  14. #14
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    Default Regulatory agency rant

    Sorry man.

    What I hate is the lack of consistency. Can't speak to your slug's situation, but many's the inspector I've dealt with who approves A in one case but not in another, identical case.

    I hate dealing with the freaking government.

    Kevin


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    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    It seems the problem can only be solved at a political level. Who does the inspector answer to?
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    When we bought a half built house, did due diligence, and finished it the building inspector on final told us the foundations were not adequate and he wouldn't pass them. We said they'd already been passed, he asked "By whom", we produced the documentation and said "By you".
    I might add the foundations we bought did not pass my standards and were considerably strengthened.

    And I heard a tale, possibly apocryphal, about a very prominent Queens Counsellor (barrister) who built a boat in his spare time over 20 years and was refused registration by a bureaucrat demanding receipts. QC returned later and handed him an envelope and his card. Not receipts, he'd been served. Not the department, him. Registration was swiftly forthcoming.

  17. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    When we bought a half built house, did due diligence, and finished it the building inspector on final told us the foundations were not adequate and he wouldn't pass them. We said they'd already been passed, he asked "By whom", we produced the documentation and said "By you".
    I might add the foundations we bought did not pass my standards and were considerably strengthened.

    And I heard a tale, possibly apocryphal, about a very prominent Queens Counsellor (barrister) who built a boat in his spare time over 20 years and was refused registration by a bureaucrat demanding receipts. QC returned later and handed him an envelope and his card. Not receipts, he'd been served. Not the department, him. Registration was swiftly forthcoming.


    This is it, Sku. It's like one is required to engage a lawyer for any government interaction. Shouldn't be that way.

    Kevib


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    When we bought a half built house, did due diligence, and finished it the building inspector on final told us the foundations were not adequate and he wouldn't pass them. We said they'd already been passed, he asked "By whom", we produced the documentation and said "By you".
    I might add the foundations we bought did not pass my standards and were considerably strengthened.

    And I heard a tale, possibly apocryphal, about a very prominent Queens Counsellor (barrister) who built a boat in his spare time over 20 years and was refused registration by a bureaucrat demanding receipts. QC returned later and handed him an envelope and his card. Not receipts, he'd been served. Not the department, him. Registration was swiftly forthcoming.
    I wired a garage in a town that had inspection. The inspector came, looked at it, said it looked great, and asked for the name of the electrician who did it. "You're looking at him." "Well then I can't sign off on it because you're not licensed." I then said c'mon inside the house & we went into the basement. I pointed out an extra box in a feed to a room at the end of the house & showed him a before picture - the ground had never been connected, just snipped off. I told him I'd added the box so as to be able to hook up a ground & that a floating ground for a whole room wasn't a good thing. He agreed & I showed him the master electricain's bill for it (from before I was involved) & the inspector report that he'd signed.

    He looked at the paperwork for a minute, handed it back to me, pulled out the report for the garage, signed it & handed it to me. "You got me fair & square. I trusted this electrician - but I won't again."
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    I'm licensed by and under the jurisdiction of two federal regulatory agencies, USDA and the FDA. I receive regularly scheduled and surprise audit inspections two to three times per year. I'm required to submit applications for pending research and protocol changes, and also must submit multiple reports to these agencies per year on the research activities that we engage in.

    I have no horror stories, none. My contacts at each agency, over the course of thirty years, have been entirely professional and supportive of the work that I do. Further, when I've approached them for something they've been very helpful in providing me whatever knowledge or expertise that they had on the subject
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    Bureaucrats really like to see papers and proof. The city changed its property tax scheme several years ago. Some mistakes were made while switching over to the new system. My tax assessment doubled. I went to the courthouse to get it fixed. No dice. The next day I took all of my survey papers, tax receipts and other stuff from back when I bought the house. They fixed the tax issue in about 10 minutes.
    Will

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Regulatory agency rant

    Quote Originally Posted by David W Pratt View Post
    One notes that when God created the world in six days, He did not have to obtain permits, or file environmental impact statements
    How do you know?

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