Sign-off Consent: Quality Assurance


Before a resource consent is signed-off by a council and issued to the applicant, it is good practice to carry out checks to ensure each step of the consent process has been completed correctly and that the file is complete.

It is helpful to have a list of the quality assurance matters to be completed.  This list could include checking that:

 

  • the applicant's contact details are correct
  • if the applicant is a company, evidence that the Companies Office Register was checked to ensure the company is registered
  • the property data is correct
  • the details of the consent are correct (i.e. the proposal, activity status, relevant rules)
  • the approved plans are stamped/marked 'approved ' to distinguish them from other versions of the plans
  • any outdated plans on file have been stamped/marked as 'superseded '
  • all relevant information is logged into the council database
  • appropriate delegations have been used
  • the statutory timeframes are recorded:
    • date lodged and that it matches date stamp on application
    • date of any s91 (deferral pending application for additional consents) and s92 (further information) requests, their responses and a note as to whether the processing 'clock' was stopped
    • date notified
    • date of any request by the applicant under section 91A and the date that the processing of the application is recommenced under 91B or returned under 91C
    • date any request for direct referral received and the subsequent steps in the process
    • date consent granted/declined, commencement date, and lapse date
  • statutory procedures have been followed:
    • written approvals - all necessary approvals obtained correctly
    • notification decision made correctly (and s95A to 95F report on file)
    • notification undertaken correctly
    • direct referral processes - including decision on a request for direct referral and the preparation of a report for the Environment Court
    • pre-hearing meetings recorded and circulated
    • mediation meetings recorded
    • submissions receipted
    • evidence provided before the hearing within correct timeframes
    • s37 time extensions recorded correctly, including details of the special circumstances leading to the extension, and/or the agreement of the applicant in writing under ss37A(4) or 37A(5)
  • decision information recorded
  • compliance monitoring:
    • inspection requirements set up
    • monitoring officer assigned
    • self-monitoring requirements set up if appropriate.

It is good practice to prepare a checklist that lists the quality assurance matters to be covered off when issuing the resource consent, which can be included in the file.

It is also good practice to prepare a standard notice of decision template to provide consistency and minimise the risk of errors.