KOMO sets up Objections CommitteeJune 7, 2021
KOMO, like no other brand in the building industry, stands for objectivity and reliability. The KOMO Foundation works in collaboration with certification bodies and scheme managers and confirms the quality of the products and processes with the KOMO quality mark. Independent committees ensure that this is carried out in an orderly manner. A new committee has now been added, the KOMO Objections Committee.
The independent Objections Committee has been created to allow a scheme manager or certifying body to object to decisions of the KOMO Quality and Review Committee (hereinafter the KKTC, see further in this article). The Objections Committee is tasked with assessing whether decisions have been taken on the correct grounds. The committee deals with objections to decisions taken by the KKTC regarding the acceptance process of KOMO assessment guidelines.
The Objections Committee is composed of independent members from various backgrounds.
- Jan Pieter van Dalen, quality and risk manager.
- Erik Hoven, sector management consultant at MiSa Advies.
- Robert-Jan Kwaak (chair), building law lawyer, partner of Construct Advocaten.
- Gert-Jan van Leeuwen, former director of the Building Control Association Netherlands and Building Regulations teacher (facilities coordinator at the Building Quality Institute).
- Harry Nieman, chair of the Policy Committee Environmental Performance Netherlands within the NMB. (Also facilities coordinator Building Quality Assurance Act).
Erik-Jan de Bont, KOMO operational manager, acts as secretary.
We asked Robert-Jan Kwaak, building law lawyer at Construct Advocaten, about his role as chair of the committee.
Robert-Jan Kwaak explains: “My role within the Objections Committee is to ensure that the complaints procedure is carried out carefully and according to the rules. This means, for example, that each party can have its say, and that adversarial procedure is applied. At the end of the procedure, each party must have the idea that it has been heard and that it has been able to put forward what it thought was important. The committee then issues a clearly reasoned opinion. A correctly performed procedure helps where it concerns acceptance of that judgement, also even if it is not in favour of a party involved.
Having 20 years of experience in building law is a great asset in my Objections Committee role. Of course, lawyers are less at home in technical discussions. The committee will undoubtedly have to deal with this. Then again, this does not apply to building law lawyers who have vast experience with technical discussions. Therefore, I have a keen interest in technology. This explains why I opted for building law. However, the real technical knowledge is obviously found among the other committee members.
As a building lawyer, I in turn understand (unlike technicians) how legal procedures work. It is also helpful that I was an arbitrator at KIVI (Royal Institute of Engineers, Netherlands, ed.) for a long time, and that I also worked for two years as a corporate lawyer at the Grontmij consultancy and engineering firm, now known as Sweco. These elements allow me to combine the best of both worlds in this position.”
The independent KKTC checks the KOMO assessment guidelines and associated model certificates, both substantively and procedurally, against the KOMO quality standard and the agreements with the licensees. This way, the KKTC guarantees that KOMO meets one of its core objectives: which is that everything bearing the KOMO quality mark also complies with all laws and regulations relating to both building materials and activities. The KKTC was given important additional tasks in the past year: monitoring the KiK-tool (such as KiK risk assessment) and valuing the certification schemes for use in the KiK tool.
The applicant can object to a KKTC decision within 30 calendar days after the date that decision was made. The notice of objection must be sent by letter, whether or not registered, to the chair of the Objections Committee (p/a Stichting KOMO).