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As we wrap up the calendar year, I want to again thank everyone who has attended meetings over the last year, both Inspector Committee meetings and Commission meetings. Your insights are important and always appreciated.  We have had a busy year, in which we addressed consumer protections issues, weighed in on areas where the duties of an inspector overlap with other regulated occupations (such as plumbers and engineers), begun evaluating where the Standards of Practice may need updating, and  started looking at ways to make education less burdensome and more meaningful.   The Full Committee met for the last time this year on December 3rd. The Education Subcommittee is scheduled to meet by teleconference on Tuesday, December 18th at 9 AM.

As most of you know, TREC has completed the audit portion of the Sunset process. The final recommendations have been voted on and the final decision report from Sunset will be published sometime in the next couple of weeks. While there are areas of Agency improvement that must wait for legislative actions, the areas related to inspector regulations, particularly those concerning inspector education, are administrative and allow the Committee to begin addressing them immediately. I encourage all of you to read the report and come to future meetings to provide input.

We had several items up for discussion and action at the November Commission meeting.  Three education-related rules (535.212, 535.213, 535.218) were up for adoption to remove redundancies, address some quality concerns regarding the number of ride-along students, and authorize continuing education credit for inspectors that have another occupational license in Texas. Unfortunately, a drafting error was discovered that required the Commission to resubmit those rules for proposal. Those corrected rules will be up for adoption at the February Commission meeting.  In addition, the recommendations from the Committee regarding the Insurance issues went forward as proposed by the Committee, with the exception of the contractual limitations of liability issues.  At its December meeting, the Committee agreed not to pursue any action regarding contractual limitation of liability any earlier than June 2019, to see if the legislature takes any action on some or all of the statutory financial responsibility affecting inspectors.

The next meeting of the full Inspector Committee is at 10 am on February 4th.  As always, the agenda and materials for that meeting will be available on the TREC Website as that date gets closer.  The Inspector Committee will be electing its officers for the upcoming year at that meeting. If that is not incentive enough to attend, any inspector who attends that meeting will be eligible to receive up to 2 hours of CE credit.

Also in February, the Chair of the Commission will fill vacancies for both inspector and public members on the Committee.  The Agency is currently accepting applications. Persons interested in serving on the Committee in either capacity should send a resume and letter of interest to Tony Slagle, Deputy Executive Director, at Inspector applicants must also provide 2 inspection reports with the names and address of the properties inspected removed. Public member vacancies are always difficult to fill, so if know someone who would like to serve, be sure to ask them.  The deadline for submitting these materials is December 31st, 2018.

Again, thank you all for your continued interest and support. I hope all of you have a joyful holiday season and a very happy New Year.