The Department of Public Works of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has issued Imperial Pacific International (IPI) with a stop work notice for failure to submit complete construction documents.
According to the Saipan Tribune, the department said IPI is in violation of building safety code laws and has ordered the suspension of all ongoing works until certain conditions are fulfilled.
Those conditions include the approval by building safety officers of “shop drawings and revised plans” and of welding work to ensure they meet local building codes. Failure to comply “may result in fees, civil penalties or fines,” the DPW said.
“This order will remain in effect until the Building Safety Division issues an order rescinding it.”
The suspension of works follows criticism from Rep. Tina Sablan – a vocal opponent of IPI – who revealed the Commonwealth Casino Commission had been chasing permit drawings for at least a year.
“But it appears that IPI has lacked complete, accurate and certified drawings for much longer than that,” she said.
“If IPI doesn’t have permit drawings, how are they building to code? What are they building to? How are they getting inspections? And how long has DPW allowed this to happen?”
IPI told the Saipan Tribune that it had submitted hundreds of documents since the start of construction of Imperial Palace · Saipan and that “this is an issue where a few requested documents weren’t submitted by our third party engineers.
“IPI’s construction team is actively working with engineers of record (EORs) and inspectors,” it added. “The EORs are going to prepare and submit [the] documents to DPW for review soon.”