Article #284 Managing, Monitoring, Evaluating the Cost of Rebuilding Beirut while Providing the Very Much Needed Transparency, Accountability and Governance

No one can doubt the urgent need to rebuild the damaged City of Beirut. Nevertheless, there’s a major issue of miss trust between the international and regional governments as well as agencies who are keen to fund the rebuilding effort and the Lebanese government due to the lack of needed transparency, accountability and governance when it comes to spending those rebuilding funds.

Therefore there will be a need to establish independent entities to oversight the rebuilding of Beirut and the spending of funds allocated for this effort. It is envisaged that the rebuilding effort of Beirut will be done in three phases, immediate, short-term and long-term. The immediate phase which needs to be completed before the end of October 2020 will focus on providing immediate shelter for families and residents of the damaged apartments and who have no other option to reside. In addition, it would include shops, restaurants and other businesses that Is needed to make those neighborhoods livable.

The short-term phase will focus on the rebuilding effort for buildings that although they were damaged by the explosion but they are stable and structurally safe. The short-term phase will also include urgent infrastructure services that need to be completed to support the living and business activities in those neighborhoods. The short-term phase should be completed by the end of April 2021. The third phase is the long-term phase which will include rebuilding completely damage buildings that need to be demolished because they are structurally unsafe. The long-term phase will also include major infrastructure and utilities projects that need to be undertaken to improve the living standard of all areas that were damaged or affected by the Beirut Explosion. The long term phase on site activities could commence after the completion of the short term phase to allow for the design and contracts procurement activities needed for those projects.

Ensuring transparency, accountability and governance for the immediate phase might be challenging as the rebuilding effort needs to be rushed and no one can afford to delay this effort. Therefore, work orders that will be based on time and material will be the procurement method to be used during the immediate phase. For the short-term phase, projects with remeasured contracts will be the proposed procurement method to cater for the absence of completed contract documents. On the other hand, projects for the long-term phase should be based on fixed lump sum price contracts.

Using a project management information systems (PMIS) like PMWeb, the programs, projects, contracts and work orders needed for the three phases of the rebuilding of Beirut can be managed in a transparent, accountable and governed format. It will also ensure providing stakeholders with real-time single version of truth monitoring, evaluating and reporting of every single financial transaction for program, project, contract and work orders. In addition and as detailed in the last article, PMWeb will be also used to capture, document and report on the damage caused to neighborhoods, buildings, floors, spaces and equipment assets in the shattered Beirut.

For the immediate phase, PMWeb work order module will be used to manage all rush fixing work that need to be completed. Nevertheless, before using this module and to reduce the risk of pricing manipulation, PMWeb items module will be used to identify and capture the detail of all building work items needed for the rebuilding effort for both immediate and short term phases. Those would include work items such as fixing glass, windows, doors, bathroom fixtures, electrical fittings among many others. The rate for those items will be based on all inclusive rate that covers material cost, delivery charges and installation workmanship charges. PMWeb allows importing those work items list using Microsoft XLS to expedite the process of having such a list.

PMWeb Work order module will be used to document all immediate phase rush rebuilding jobs. Work orders will be issued for each location, building, floor, space or equipment asset that need to be rectified. For each work order, details of the scope of work and other needed fields will be provided to have better clarity on what needs to be done. Each work order will include all work items which will be captured from the predefined work item list and for which it will become the basis for establishing the cost of each work order. The automatically calculated cost of each work order will become the basis for authorizing and making payment for completed and approved work. Each work order can be attached with upload pictures of the completed works as well as all supportive documents for the completed work.

For short and long-term phases, projects will be added to manage the rebuilding effort. Those projects will be associated with the locations and programs identified in the damage assessment phase. For each created project, details including scope of work, key stakeholders name, planned start and completion dates, estimated budget, GIS attributes among many others will be added.

Contacts that will be released during the short-term phase projects will be mainly based on remeasured unit price contacts. PMWeb commitment module will be used to capture the details of those contracts. Similar to work orders, those contracts will include work items that were already predefined in PMWeb items module. Those all inclusive rates will become the basis for authorizing and paying contractors for completed and approved works.

On weekly basis, PMWeb production module also known as joint measurement report module will be used to quantify the completed works within each week by the contractors. All supportive documents need to be attached and a workflow can be added to formalize the review and approval process of the joint measurement report.

The approved quantities in the joint measurement report will become the basis for issuing the monthly progress invoice and capture the details of the actual payment made against the approved progress invoice. The progress invoice will keep track of work completed and payment made at the end of each month.

For the long-term phase projects, lump sum price contracts will be used. Monthly progress invoices will be used by contractors to submit the details of completed works similar to the short term phase contracts. This will become the basis for making the payment for approved progress invoices for which the details also need to be captured. For lump sum contracts, there is also a need to manage all change orders, pending, approved and disputed. PMWeb change order module will be used to manage issuance, review, approve or reject process for those changes.

Details of all payments made against work orders, progress invoices, miscellaneous invoices, timesheets for the project management and other professional services team managing the rebuilding effort will be captured in PMWeb database. In addition, details of all awarded contracts and changes to those contracts will be also captured in PMWeb. This trust-worthy, editable and traceable data will become available to be reported on using PMWeb. The real-time single version of the truth reporting can be designed in the desired form and format.

Of course, there are also many other out-of-the-box ready to use reports and logs that provides detail of the different transactions executed for every project management process managed in PMWeb. Those could be list of work orders, list of awarded contracts, progress invoices, change orders, actual payments made among many other.


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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