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What's Wrong With the Department of Licenses and Inspections?

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Today, the City Council's fourth hearing of a Special Investigations Committee took place. The topic of today's investigations was the role that L&I played in the building collapse at 22nd and Market in May. After two more serious collapses (one at Temple and one in South Philly) in the last three months, it's clear that something about Philly's building codes or the way they're enforced needs to be changed.

In a word? Sloth. Two former L&I commissioners testified at the hearing. One of them, Bennett Levin, who headed the department for three years in the nineties, felt that the failures of L&I were due to a lack of accountability and a surplus of laziness.

Additionally, Levin had some more concrete suggestions. One of these was requiring general and demolition contractors to have some sort of experience or certification. Though specialty contractors are required to provide proof of experience, general contractors do not.

It's worth noting that Levin had a long career of alleging corruption and sloth throughout the city, and left L&I because of a scandal wherein his aides were accused of corruption.
· Former L&I commissioners detail problems in the department [Naked City]