Construction Contract Administration
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Contract administration involves the function of ensuring that any activities within the construction process are in compliance with contractual specifications including, but not limited to: quantity, quality, objectives and manner specified within the contract. The CA will be responsible for managing, negotiating and executing the contract process offering all the support required.
At ROCAMARTI we act as contract administrator / employer’s agent using a variety forms of contract such as JCT, NEC and FIDIC. Some of the services we can assist with are:
The Role of a Contracts Administrator
What is the Contracts Administrator?
Although, the role of contracts administrator has existed for a long period of time, it takes importance in 1980 when it was recognised and introduced in the JCT Contract. The term is defined as: the employer appoints the individual or company to act as a CA. The role will be to manage the contract between the two parties, the employer and the contractor, in an unbiased manner.
It is the Architect who, sometimes, is appointed by the employer to performe this role. However, we recommend the employer to appoint an external agent so the role is not purely confined to the project designer.
The CA starts on a project when the building contract is in place between the employer and the contractor and will be involved throughout the entire delivery.
So, when the contractor is selected by the employer to carry out the works, the CA will be appointed to administer the contract between both parties, essentially acting as an agent for the employer.
It’s crucial that the Contracts Administrator acts fair on all the decisions it takes and in fact this is an important requirement of the CA role, as the ability to make decicions in an impartial and reasonable way, to run projects smoothly.
What are the Key Responsibilities of a Contract Administrator?
- Chair meetings (agendas and preparing progress meeting reports)
- Preparing contract documentation
- Tocarry out inspection of site works (site progress reports)
- Preparing and issuing project instructions (variations)
- Preparing and issuing payment certificates (certify contractor interim payments)
- Preparing and issuing Practical Completion Certificates
What information does a Contracts Administrator need from a client during the Pre-construction Phase?
Since the CA is appointed, it starts constantly exchanging documentation with the client which will be processed efficiently in order to make the right decisions. It is important the CA receives all the information from the planning stage to mitigate any issues may occur when the construction stage begins.
Furthermore, it is very important the CA receives from the employer all the project details to make sure all is in good order. This will include, but no limited to the following:
- A copy of the contract signed by both parties client and contractor
- Planning permission detailing any conditions project related
- Building regs approval
- Schedule of works agreed
- A copy of Construction drawings included within the agreed contract
- Interior design finishes
- Party wall agreements
- Asbestos notice
- Details of utility services
- Construction management plan
- Traffic management and road closures
What information does a Contracts Administrator need from a client during the Construction Phase?
During the construction phase it would be ideal to have a document management system in place in order to have all the information saved in a central datebase. However, if this is not possible there are other ways to do it.
The CA recommends to the client keeping all details (i.e. instructions, reports, confirmations, etc) in writing and that any correspondence is filed in a way that shows the date when the information was received to avoid any future disputes and reseolve them rapidely in case any arise.
During this phase we would like to point out that transparency in key to run the project smoothly, hence we always ask the client to collaborate and make their intentions clear.
In conclusion, during the construction phase it is more important how we process documents rather than planning. The CA aims to stablish a good and transparent working platform with the client in order to make the right decisions quickly and efficiently, hence not jeopardising the construction programme.
What makes a successful Client/Contract Administrator Relationship?
The CA will build a good relationship with the client by acting with certain principles. It is key to set reasonable expectations from the outset. Furthermore, the CA must be clear and firm up the limits and scope in line with the client capabilities.
The CA must act with honesty an integrity being open and approaching the client using the right skills when informing about any issues that might not be expected.