NYC to track inspectors with GPS

Associated Press / August 29, 2009

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NEW YORK - New York City will track its hundreds of building inspectors with GPS technology to make sure they are actually doing the inspections they report, the Department of Buildings said yesterday.

The new scrutiny comes after an inspector was charged last year with faking a report that he had inspected a crane days before it collapsed and killed seven people.

Electrical, construction, elevator, crane, and other inspectors will now have GPS tracking on their mobile phones so that department heads can follow their movements in real time through a Web-based program.

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said the system will “ensure inspectors reach their assigned locations and are held accountable for their important work.’’

Last year city crane inspector Edward Marquette was indicted on criminal charges of tampering with public records. According to the indictment, he indicated on a Department of Buildings inspection sheet that he had inspected a construction site on East 51st Street on March 4, 2008, when in fact he had not.

The crane collapsed 11 days later.