Article #283 Enforcing Transparency, Accountability and Single Version of the Truth Reporting of Capital Construction Projects Execution During Times of Catastrophe

The unprecedented damage to Beirut city that was caused by the catastrophic explosion at the port, has made governments and entities across the globe pledge their financial and technical support for the rebuilding of the torn Lebanon’s capital. Nevertheless, the mistrust between the people of Lebanon and their government has raised the concern on how those pledged funds will be spent for their intended use and how to prevent misusing them. To help enforcing transparency, accountability and single version of the truth reporting on how those pledged funds will be used on the hundreds of capital construction projects needed to rebuild Beirut, an independent entity needs to be established to manage this massive rebuild program.

This newly established entity needs to be equipped with a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb to capture details of all assets that were damaged and projects needed to rebuild them. The solution needs to be 100% web-enabled to enable the team who will be assigned to manage those projects to access the solution anywhere, anytime using any device. A 100% web-enabled PMIS will also allow governments and entities who will be funding the rebuilding of Beirut to have the transparency, accountability and single version of the truth reporting they need to ensure that their pledged funds are being effectively spent and in accordance to what was agreed on.

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) that is specifically designed for managing the delivery of capital construction projects and programs like PMWeb, all processes for schedule, cost, contract, risk, site administration, quality, health and safety, asset management among others comes readily available out-the-box to allow rolling it out in matter of days not weeks or months.

The implementation of the PMIS needs to be done in phases. The first phase will include creating an investory of all projects needed for rebuilding Beirut. In addition, the first phase requires having details of the budgets needed for this rebuilding effort and details of funding sources available to fund those projects. The third requirement would be to have a process to capture all actual expenses incurred in the rebuilding effort. The first phase will aslo include the need to have a centralzied document management repository to upload and store all relevant projects documents. Finally, this first phase should provide the single version of truth reporting on the financial status of each project as well as the complete projects needed to rebuild Beirut to all stakeholders.

Achieving Requirement No. 1: Capturing the details of all Capital Assets Damaged by the Expolsion

PMWeb Asset Management module will be used to identify all locations, buildings, floors and apartments that were damaged by the explosion. Pictures to document the extent of damage, layouts of the buildings and other details will be uploaded to PMWeb documennt management repository and attached to those assets to provide the details of what needs to be done.

Achieving Requirement No. 2: Identify all Possible Projects Needed to Rebuild Beirut

The next step would be to use PMWeb Initiatives module to identify and provide details of all possible projects needed to rebuild Beirut. Each initiative wll be assocated with the location identified above along with the cost estimate and milestone schedule for the project. Each identidied initiative or possible project will be provide all nesscary details such as which program it belongs to such as residential, heathcare, education among others to review, approve and set the priority for executing the project. To ensure objectivity in reviewing and assessing those needed projects as well as ensuring that funding is available for those projects, a scoring matrix will be required to be completed before an initiative status can become as approved.

Achieving Requirement No. 3: Managing all Approved Programs and Projects to Rebuild Beirut

For those approved initiatives, a project manager will be assigned to each project for which other details will be provided including the exact GIS latitude and longitude coordinates for each project. Other details such as the rough order of magnitude budget and start and finish dates. In addition, name of the consultant and contractor, if any, assigned to the project will be added. This completes the first objective of having a comprehensive inventory of all projects approved for the rebuilding of Beirut.

Achieving Requirement No. 4: Defining the Project Budget and How it Will be Funded

PMWeb Budget module will be used to develop the project budget that will be aligned with the approved initial estimate. The budget will be detailed to the cost breakdown structure (CBS) levels that will be common to all other projects that will be part of the rebuilding program. For each budget line item, the source of funding will be assigned. In addition, projection for when the budget would need to be spent. This information, provides the entity who will be responsible for managing the rebuilding program as well as nations and entities who will be funding those projects with the needed information and transpacny on how the bledged funds will be allocated and spent.

Requirement No. 5: Capturing the Details of all Funding Sources

As stated earlier, the rebuilding of Beirut will depend on funding provided by government and entities across the globe. PMWeb funding sources module will be used to capture the details of all those funds including the entity providing the funding. Some of the provided funding sources could be specific to a certain project or programs of projects or could be available to any approved project. This is an important feature as some governments and entities might be interested in only funding certain programs and projects.

Requirement No. 6: Capturing Actual Expeditures

Actual expeditures against the approved budgets could be either captured using progress invoices against awarded commitment contracts to Contractors, Consultants, Suppliers among others or using miscellaneous invoices which are not associated with a specific contract. Again all supportive documents need to be attached to all those actual invoices to ensure the needed accountability.

Requirement No. 7: Single Repository for All Supportive Documents

All documents captured for each project needs to be uplaoded and stored in PMWeb document management repository. Folders and subfolders will be created to match the filing system needed to store all project documents to provide the auditabiliy and traceability needed for the rewquired transparency. Permission access rights will be assigned to those folders to restrict an authorized access to those uploaded documents. Uploaded documents can be viewed and marked up when needed.

Requirement No. 8: Achediving Real Time Singel Version of the Truth Financial Report

PMWeb Cost Worksheet module will provide a summary of each project financial performance status based on the informattion captured in the project budget, awarded contracts, actual expenses among others. There could be different cost worksheet layouts depending on what information and in what format to display this information. Nevertheles, regardless of the selected format, all information will have the same data source.This information will also become the basis for createing reports that will summarize the financial information across a program of projects or any other selection criteria such as location, government or entity providing the funding, among others.

Other Requiirements for Managing the Rebuilding Program

The above processes address only few of the needed transparency, accountability and single version of the truth reporting for managing the capital construction projects for rebuilding Beirut. Managing the project schedule, site management, quality, health and safety among many others will be also managed using PMWeb. Nevertheless, the implementation of those processes will be considered as phase two of the PMIS implementation.

About the Authorfounder

Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with 40-year service record providing project management, project controls services and project management information system to over than 200 projects with a total value in excess of US $100 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment, Hospitality 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 40 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 300 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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