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The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor London Breed Announces Patrick O’riordan to Serve as Director of the Department of Building Inspection

O’Riordan will permanently lead the Department after serving as the Interim Director since March 2020

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and the Building Inspection Commission (BIC) today announced the appointment of Patrick O’Riordan to serve as the Director of the Department of Building Inspection (DBI). O’Riordan has held the position of Interim Director of DBI since March 2020 and served as Chief Building Inspector at DBI prior to that.

O’Riordan brings nearly 35 years of relevant experience to the job, having started in construction in 1985. He has hands-on field experience from working as a carpenter and foreman, and eventually started his own small business as a general contractor from 1992 to 2000. He joined DBI in 2000 as a field inspector and moved up to senior inspector and then chief building inspector in 2013. As DBI's chief building inspector for seven years, O’Riordan focused on ensuring that the approximately 5,000 building inspections DBI performed monthly were conducted in a timely, courteous, and professional manner.

“I want to thank Patrick O’Riordan for serving as Interim Director for the past two years, and I look forward to continuing working with him as we build on the progress we have made to further advance departmental reforms,” said Mayor Breed. “The Department of Building Inspection is critical for the residents, businesses, and property owners who rely on their services every day. We must ensure that this Department and all other City departments operate with the highest level of integrity and transparency. I know that Patrick will continue to lead and work with the City to restore public trust in our institutions.”

“I want to thank Mayor Breed and the Building Inspection Commission for their confidence in my work and the new direction I’ve set at the Department of Building Inspection,” said Director O’Riordan. “I truly look forward to the work that’s before us, and I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead this Department forward and build a valuable organization that San Francisco can be proud of.”

Last week, the City Attorney released a comprehensive report addressing questions around alleged favoritism within leadership at DBI. The report found no wrongdoing by O’Riordan, and it was made abundantly clear that he has acted appropriately and professionally throughout his time in the Department, including pushing forward reforms over the past two years. 

In May, 2021, O’Riordan launched a comprehensive reforms package to address past public integrity issues and improve training, oversight, and transparency across the Department. The reforms touch upon every aspect of DBI’s business from hiring practices to customer service to enhancing inspections oversight, reducing permit review times, and conducting quality control audits.

Already, O’Riordan’s reforms have begun to show results with expanded digital services, including Electronic Plan Review for more types of projects, offering more permits online, and working with the Permit Center to fully implement a remote queueing system to save customers’ time. As a result of these and other efforts, in the final three months of 2021, 60% of all Over-the-Counter permit applications were processed in just two days.

The Department of Building Inspection oversees the enforcement of the City and County of San Francisco’s building, housing, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and disability access codes for San Francisco’s more than 200,000 buildings.