Article #279 How to Ensure Having an Auditable and Traceable Recommendation to Award a Construction Contract Agreement on Capital Projects

The award of the construction contract agreements on capital construction projects represents one of the major milestones of the project life cycle as it entails major financial commitment on part of the project owner. The construction cost of a capital project could usually represent 90% of the total investment needed to build the project’s assets. A cost that is considered as a sunk cost that cannot be recovered once paid. Further, those funds will be usually spent in a relatively short period of 2 to 3 years for which the additional cost of project finance will be incurred. The critical decision to award or not to award a contract agreement will depend on the recommendations made by the project’s procurement team which needs to be aligned with the different processes performed to qualify, invite and select the successful tenderer or bidder. To enable having an auditable and traceable recommendation to award report, the content of the report should be designed to automatically extract the needed trust-worthy information captured in the different relevant processes.

Usually, the recommendation to award construction contract report will include six sections. The first section will provide general details of the project, contract agreement under consideration, selected tenderer, contract amount, planned commencement date, duration, project owner among others. The second section will provide a snapshot of the prequalification process phases. The third section will include details of the tenderers invited and their tender submission date. The fourth section will provide a confirmation if the value of submitted bid proposals are in line with the contract’s approved baseline budget and if any action is needed to bring the budget in compliance. The fifth section will provide a summary of the tenderers technical and financial submissions including their final and best bid price. The last section will capture the details of the recommendation approval and whether there is any issue that could postpone the formal award of the construction contract. For some clients, the report might require also to include details on bid queries received and answered, contract addendums issued among others.

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb can generate the that an auditable and traceable recommendation to award construction contract report using the out-of-the-box procurement and online bid modules. Additional user defined fields will be added to capture the additional data fields that are not available by default in those two modules. For the section that details the prequalification history, the details can be extracted from the schedule module unless there is a need to capture more data from PMWeb default contractors’ prequalification module.

Similar to other project management processes managed in PMWeb, supportive documents can be either attached directly to the process or uploaded into PMWeb document management repository and then attached to the relevant tender process. The latter is the recommended approach. In addition, links to other PMWeb records such as the approved baseline budget as well as imported MS Outlook emails can be added to each process.

In addition, the procurement module form will have a workflow to formalize the taken actions on the process, a workflow will be assigned to map the submit, review, approve or reject steps. The workflow will define the duration and sequence of tasks to be performed by the different project team members as well as review actions permitted at each workflow step. The workflow could also include conditions to ensure that the approval authority levels are adhered to. In addition, the workflow could define alerts level for delayed workflow steps.

Of course, PMWeb also provides the option to create a unique form to capture the details of the recommendation to award a construction contract. This will be needed when the project owner might be required to use their own manual processes or third-party applications for contractors’ prequalification and procurement of contracts. In this case, PMWeb visual custom form builder will be used to create the needed sections that will include needed user defined fields and user defined tables. Documents can be uploaded and attached to form as well as links to other PMWeb records and imported MS Outlook emails can be added. In addition, a workflow can be assigned to the user defined form to map the review and approval steps and the sequence to be performed. The data captured in this form will be used to generate the Recommendation to Award a Construct Contract report. In summary, regardless which option is used, there should be no sacrifice on the fact that only trust-worthy, auditable and traceable data should be used in producing this report or any other report when it comes to delivering capital construction projects.

About the Authorfounder

Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value in excess of US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, Telecommunication and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training and business development.

Bassam is a frequent speaker in topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP) and Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) and Green Project Management (GPM).

Bassam holds a Masters in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – Kuwait University, Kuwait and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA and London Business School, London, UK.


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