These rules are called administrative guidelines and should always be reduced to writing by the local jurisdictions and placed in an administrative manual and easily accessible to the staff of the department.
Problems occur when the building officials do not keep their staff up to date on new administrative decisions being adopted. The building department staff should meet at least twice a year to go over all administrative guidelines that have been adopted by the department.
As the guidelines are reduced to writing they should contain the reasoning of why it is the best policy and placed in the guidelines and made available to the public on request.
The public has a right to ask for any written documentation or guidelines that will back up a request for information made on their permitting application by agency staff. Not following these suggestions can cause public dissatisfaction and complaints.