5 Keys Areas of Focus for Superior Construction Contract Administrators

Performing the role of a contracts administrator is a critical one in the construction process. A minor failure by a person in this role can result in substantial cost penalties for the head contractor… or worse. In this article we look at five (5) key areas in which contracts administrators must be absolutely thorough to avoid costly mistakes.
Key Area #1: Confirm the contract terms and contents
Construction contract administration is all about precisely managing the rights and obligations of each party to a contract. This task is, of course, impossible if the contracts administrator does not have all the terms of the contract.
Therefore, the very first step that a contracts administrator must take is to obtain a complete copy of the building contract (or preferably the executed hard copy original contract from which they will make their own working copy). This includes all the general conditions, any special conditions, the specifications (including technical and preliminaries), drawings, reports, construction programs, and more. It cannot be stressed enough – obtaining all of the documents to the contract is critical to ensure proper contract administration on all construction projects.
Key Area #2: Create a “project commencement” checklist
All construction contracts detail the obligations of each of the owner and builder (or contractor and subcontractor) prior to the commencement of work on the site. These obligations are critical obligations that, if not complied with, will prevent the builder from obtaining access to the site.
For example, these obligations may include:
• provision of all necessary insurances
• provision of all work methodology, safety and other work method statements/plans
• requirement to induct all staff who will operate on site
• submission of all security bonds as per the contract… and more
Failure to create a ‘project commencement’ checklist may result in an obligation under the Civil Engineering Companies Near Me contract being overlooked and the builder being prevented from accessing the site to commence work. This is problematic where there is no entitlement to an extension of time under the contract. In essence, a simple failure at the commencement of the project could put the builder well behind schedule before any physical construction has actually commenced.
Key Area #3: Create a “critical notices” checklist
It is not uncommon for modern day construction contracts to be littered with time bar clauses that prevent builders from making claims against the owner (for any variations, delay claims or extensions of time) unless they provide contractually required notices within a set period of time.
For example, if extra work (or a change in the scope of work) is requested by the owner, most construction contracts will require the builder to notify any claims it may have against the owner for extra money or time within say 7, 14 or 21 days of the event first occurring. If the builder fails to submit that notice within the agreed time frame, the builder will usually lose their entitlement to such claims.
As you can well imagine, a builder …