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Is acting as Contract Administrator best use of an Architect’s time?
Strong Contract Administration is vital to project success and the Contract Administrator role is often carried out by the project Architect.
However, is it really the best use of the Architect’s time? Let’s consider exactly what the Contract Administrator role is and who is best placed to fulfil it.
Appointed by the Client, the Contract Administrator (CA) role generally includes:
- Managing, processing and reviewing the tender process
- Preparation of contract documents for execution
- Administering change control procedures
- Obtaining instructions from the Client in relation to the contract
- Issuing all instructions required under the adopted contract
- Chairing and minuting progress meetings
- Preparing and issuing progress reports
- Agreeing commissioning and testing procedures
- Agreeing defects procedures
- Issuing all certification required under the adopted contract, i.e. practical completion, certificate of making good defects
- Coordinating the schedule of defects
This list of CA duties is quite extensive and with some projects, can be very time consuming. As the title suggests, it is an ‘administrative’ function under the Contract. The duties have very little to do with either the design of the building or complying with the design that the project architect has spent considerable time putting together to meet the clients’ requirements and needs.
Essentially, a CA needs to ensure compliance with contractual obligations and good contract administration is absolutely critical to the effective functioning of any Contract. The importance of the role is often underestimated and given inadequate attention until something goes wrong on a project. At this point, all of the documentation and duties that have been carried out, or in some instances not carried out, form part of the tools used to assess and resolve claims or disputes. Ultimately, the quality of the contract administration can be the difference between a successful project and one which fails and results in disputes that drain time and money.
Evolution5 has extensive experience deliver CA services to projects on behalf of the Client or Architect. Following a set of tried and tested processes and procedures ensures that all duties are carried out in accordance with the contractual requirements from the outset.
When you appoint Evolution5 you will be allocated a dedicated CA whose sole focus is to administer the project in accordance with the contract and to minimise the Client’s exposure to risk. When changes occur (as they always do) the CA will co-ordinate the procedure to make sure that time and cost implications are ascertained and all instructions are issued within the contractual timescales.
The appointment of a dedicated Contract Administrator means that these administrative duties are performed independently freeing you, the Architect, to concentrate on compliance with the Client approved design and any associated design changes required during the construction phase.