Contract Administration /Employer’s Agent
Contract administration refers to executive duties defined by the building contract between the Client and/or Employer and the contractor. In some cases, the contract administrator may act as the agent of the Employer but they may also be required to make impartial decisions in other circumstances. This double-sided role can often lead to some difficult issues.
Taking into account the challenges of managing contracts such as the EEC and JCT suite of contracts, KEYS Consulting are highly proficient in dealing with building contract administration that may be asked of any construction project. That is why we are able to comfortably “wear both hats” so that all decision-making reflects the best interests of our Client when acting as a contract administrator or employer’s agent. When doing so, the following quality of services are applied;
- Being knowledgeable and understanding of the relevant contractual provisions with the ability to apply them where needed.
- Acting in an impartial and fair manner when making decisions.
- Maintaining an in-depth knowledge of inter-relation between trades and construction operations so that the changes and the impact of the changes can be traced.
- Setting up appropriate office procedures and record-keeping commensurate for the scale and nature of the building contract.
- Being cautious and conversant with the different types of critical path and project programming techniques.
The contract administrator does not technically commence until a building contract is in place between the Employer and the contractor; however, in practice, the responsibilities of the contract administrator will commence before the building contract exists. This will include activities such as the selection of the method of procurement, calculation of liquidated and ascertained damages (LAD), advising on the type of building contract etc.
The key contract administration tasks required under the standard forms of building contract will include:
- chairing meetings
- periodically inspecting the works giving instructions, variation or change orders
- determining any applications for extensions of time by the contractor
- authorising interim payments to the contractor
- certifying the date of completion
- settling the adjusted contract sum (final account)
Change Control Process
In practice the management of change control is one of the more challenging roles. As a result our change control process ensures any instructions given to the contractor are expressly approved by the Employer and designers. To facilitate this exercise an impact analysis of the change is shared with the Employer and designers, and must be approved or rejected prior to implementing the change.
The review of changes buy the team is an essential exercise of the change control process. The implementation of changes can be disruptive. Consequently learning from the changes will mitigate a repeat of similar changes.