IAPMO Expresses Shock at ICC Joint Venture Reversal
Cooperative Spirit of Negotiations Takes an Unexpected Turn
Ontario, CA (August 31, 2006) Executives and board members of the International Association of
Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) were stunned this week after receiving a memo from the
International Code Council (ICC) that effectively terminated Joint Venture negotiations.
"Both parties were in agreement on key matters and a successful conclusion seemed only weeks
away," said IAPMO Executive Director GP Russ Chaney. "At this point, I'm almost at a loss for words."
The ICC's memo discards agreements made to-date and lays out a series of non-negotiable,
major ultimatums that IAPMO must meet for talks to resume. The ultimatums cover every critical area of
the Joint Venture: process, committee balance, base documents and ownership. "We hope there is still a
way to save the talks, but these 11th hour demands are totally unreasonable," stated IAPMO President
A year ago, IAPMO and ICC opened talks on the development of one plumbing code and one
mechanical code, through a cooperative effort. The goal of negotiations was to find a mutually agreed-
upon method of code development while the two organizations would remain wholly independent entities.
A single plumbing code and single mechanical code would put an end to "code wars," ensure consistency
and allow IAPMO and ICC to redirect time, energy and money to service and growth. Most importantly,
the best interests of the industry and the health of the nation would be served.
By its own account, ICC admits that agreement had been reached on nearly all key issues at the
point it announced its effective withdrawal from the table. A history of negotiations, available on both
parties' websites, dramatically illustrates this point. As was stated by ICC leadership at its July 15, 2006
"National Town Hall Meeting," and again just recently on its website, "I am most impressed by the ability
of both organizations to recognize and understand the fundamental goals of each other, and to craft the
new venture so as to incorporate all of those goals ... After much hard work, we have reached preliminary
agreement on the basic code development processes that could enable us to jointly provide one plumbing
code and one mechanical code for the country beginning in 2009."
It appears that a very vocal group of ICC members have come forward and affected the decisions
of the ICC negotiating team. Inaccurate and inflammatory claims are circulating that ICC is sacrificing
more than IAPMO in the Joint Venture. "In all business negotiations, each party sends those to the table
who are authorized to speak and decide on behalf of those they represent," said Chaney. "I am
disappointed that this did not happen with the ICC."
IAPMO rejects the published claims of the protesters, including statements that its code process
gives power to special interest groups. On the contrary, the democratic nature of IAPMO's open
consensus process allows everyone in the industry a voice "” protection against any one group gaining
an advantage. In fact, a "hybrid" approach to code development was a feature of the Joint Venture,
combining the best features of each organization's methods.
Regardless of the current situation, IAPMO remains available to resume talks in the spirit of good
faith it has consistently demonstrated. Says Salazar, "IAPMO is ready and willing to make a formal
commitment, and the Board of Directors of IAPMO have empowered me to sign the Joint Venture as
negotiated and mutually agreed."
Even without a positive outcome, the organization will move ahead with its current growth mode,
continuing to serve the public good and providing value to its loyal membership.
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Sponsor of the Uniform codes, IAPMO "” The International Association of Plumbing and
Mechanical Officials "” works in concert with government and industry for safe, sanitary
plumbing and mechanical systems. This year, IAPMO is celebrating its 80th anniversary.
Learn more about IAPMO at www.iapmo.org