Operations Policy And Procedure Notices #05/00



September 5, 2000


Establishment of the Central Complaint Center
(212) 227-7000 Starting Spring of 2003, please call 311.


Inspection Report Form IN-1B (Rev 7/00) Complaint Form ADM-55 (5/00)


July 17, 2000


OPPN #16/88, Issuance # 112, dated June 13, 1988


To establish a Central Complaint Center and Interactive Voice Response Phone System: (212) 227-7000 Starting Spring of 2003, please call 311.


The Central Complaint Center (CCC) shall be the central intake location for all property- related complaints received by the Department of Buildings (DOB). It is located at 60 Hudson Street, 5th Floor New York, N.Y. 10013.

The telephone number is (212) 227-7000 and it shall replace all the complaint numbers and hotlines previously used in the Department, with the exception of the Bureau of Electrical Control (BEC) complaint number (212-669-8353) and the Night Emergency Squad for after hour complaints (212-312-8298). The old complaint phone numbers shall be temporarily forwarded to a voicemail message that will instruct callers to call the new complaint number.

Complaint Process
There are three main components to the complaint process: Complaint Intake, Printing and Routing of Work Orders and Disposition.

Complaint Intake:
The CCC will process all complaints received from telephone calls, correspondence, and referrals from city agencies, community boards and DOB staff. If the complaint pertains to a matter under the jurisdiction of another city agency, the complainant shall be informed of the agency's phone number. Walk-ins to the operational divisions shall be asked to complete the Complaint Form (ADM-55). The borough/unit office staff shall deliver or fax the form to the CCC at (212) 312-8661. Complaints regarding licensees shall be referred to Investigations Audit and Disciplinary Unit (IAD), the Licensing Division, BEC or Cranes and Derricks as appropriate. All complaints about architects, engineers, expediters or agency employees shall also be referred to IAD. Complaints regarding bribery or corruption related matters should be referred to the Department of Investigation. If the complaint pertains to a property-related matter under DOB's jurisdiction, the CCC representative will check the Buildings Information System (BIS) to see if there are any similar complaints and will advise the complainant accordingly. (This is done to deter duplicate complaints.) If it is a duplicate complaint and the complainant wants it entered again, it should be entered. The complaint shall be entered into the BIS Complaint System and assigned a complaint category. Each complaint category has an associated priority (A, B, C, or D). If a category code priority "A" is assigned to a complaint, the CCC representative must call the appropriate operational division to notify them that the work order has been generated.
At the end of the intake process, the BIS screen will display the name and address of the complainant and give the option to print an acknowledgement letter. If it is not an anonymous complaint, the call center representative will print and mail the letter. This acknowledgement letter will indicate the complaint number and the telephone number of the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System should the complainant need to check the status of his or her complaint at any time of the day. The IVR will inform callers of the status of the complaint and the date of the last action taken on the complaint. When appropriate, the IVR will give the telephone number of the external agency to which the complaint has been referred.

Printing and The Routing of Work Orders
The work order generated by the complaint intake process will print automatically in the DOB operational division that is responsible for inspection and disposition of the complaint. The work orders will print on the back of the IN-1B form (rev 7/00). The operational divisions shall be responsible for monitoring the printer to ensure that there is always paper and that the printer is functional. All operational divisions should query their complaints periodically during each day through the menu option G on the BIS Complaints screen. This query will list all complaints entered and can be used to verify that all work orders printed. The operational division shall review each complaint. The chief or unit head can change the category or priority code of a complaint. Any changes must be entered in BIS. If the complaint was misdirected, the operational division can redirect the complaint to the appropriate unit by assigning the appropriate category or the complaint can be referred back to the call center by assigning the disposition code. A new work order with any added comments will print in the appropriate division.

Disposition refers to the process by which a DOB inspector assigns a disposition code to a complaint after reviewing the complaint or inspecting the premise. The inspector shall indicate the inspection results on the IN-1B form. The operational division support staff is responsible for entering the inspection dispositions in BIS. When there is more than one inspection result or category for a single complaint, the disposition clerk must enter a new complaint for each disposition or category. For example, if a complaint was entered for "use contrary to certificate of occupancy"(code 31), and the inspector could not gain access but wrote a violation for a structural condition, a second complaint must be entered for the structural condition and would be immediately dispositioned with the appropriate code. In that same scenario, the first or original complaint would be dispositioned with the C1 code. If the disposition is a referral within the agency, remote printing software will route new work orders to printers located within the appropriate operational division or the CCC if the inspector/disposition clerk is unsure of where it should be referred. Referrals to other agencies should be given the appropriate "F" or "G" disposition code. A referral letter, which contains the same information as the work order, will print in the CCC. The CCC representative shall mail the referral to the appropriate agency. After the disposition code is entered, a pop-up screen in BIS will display a disposition letter. If the complainant provided his or her name and address, the borough office or operational unit shall print the disposition letter and mail it to the complainant. If there are multiple complaints that are resolved by the same inspection, the disposition code must be entered separately for each complaint and disposition letters should be mailed to each complainant.

Night Emergency Squad/Special Projects Inspection Team (SPIT)
The Executive Chief's Office shall be responsible for entering the night logs into the complaint system, dispositioning the complaints and mailing the disposition letters as appropriate. If the Night Squad issued a violation and wants the borough office to follow up with another inspection or to issue a stop work order, the disposition code on the original complaint shall be A1 or A9 and a second complaint must be entered. The second complaint shall be dispositioned as a referral to the borough and shall indicate that the Night Squad issued a violation and the violation number.

The SPIT support staff shall be responsible for entering the special inspection complaints into BIS, dispositioning the complaints and mailing disposition letters as appropriate.

Cranes and Derricks
Work orders for the Cranes & Derricks (C&D) Division will print in the CCC and shall be hand delivered to the Division. After review or inspection, the C&D Division shall enter the appropriate disposition code and comments into BIS and mail the disposition letter to the complainant. In the event a violation is written to a contractor, the appropriate disposition for violation written/served shall be entered in BIS. In the comments field, it shall be recorded that the violation was against the contractor.

Bureau of Electrical Control (BEC)
Although the IVR System will instruct callers to call BEC directly to register an electrical complaint, the CCC representative will enter the complaint in BIS if the caller so desires. The work orders for BEC will print in the CCC and be faxed to BEC. BEC will re-enter the complaint in the Electrical Inspection Control System (EICS). After entering the inspection and disposition results in EICS, BEC shall enter the appropriate disposition code in BIS and mail the disposition letter to the complainant.