Article # 362 Documenting Obstacles to Handover Construction Sites to Contractors and the Responsibilities for Removing Them

Almost all construction contract agreements require the project owner to provide the contractor with access to the construction site that is clear of all obstacles that could hinder the contractor from commencing the onsite activities. This tend to be more challenging for project owners in the public sector where other public sector entities could have objects or services that could represent an obstacle for the contractor. The project owner entity cannot remove those obstacles on their own but rather need to coordinate with the entities responsible for those obstacles so they can be removed.

Therefore, there a should a formal process for documenting the current project’s construction site status listing all obstacles that could hinder the contractor from accessing the construction site as per the contract agreement requirements. The site handover process could include a committee representing the project owner entity, representative from the supervision consultant, representative from the project management consultant if available and the contractor. In most countries, the details of those obstacles need to be documented in the formal language of the country as those needs to be communicated with other public sector entities for which the country language is the language that is used for all formal communications. For example, in countries where the Arabic language is the country formal communication language, the form for the site handover should be in Arabic. To ease the communication on projects where the English language is also used between the contract entities, the site handover form could be done in both Arabic and English languages.

Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb where all project management processes will be managed, monitored and evaluated, the site handover form will be also managed. Using PMWeb visual form builder, a bi-lingual form for “Minutes of Inspecting Obstacles to Site Handover” or “محضر معاينة معوقات تسليم الموقع” will be created. Although the form headers will be in Arabic and English, nevertheless, all data will be added in Arabic. For the list obstacles, the form could include two tables for reporting obstacles where the first will be in Arabic while the second will be in English. The content of both tables should be identical and they will document the details of each reported obstacle, whether the obstacle is affecting the whole construction site or part of and the entity responsible for removing the obstacle.

The form will also include details on when the site handover committee was formed and the reference number of that decision. In addition, the form will include the date on when the site handover inspection was done along with the details of those where present during the inspection.

The site handover form will be usually accessed and completed using a smart mobile device like an iPad to allow capturing the details of all obstacles found on the construction site. In addition, this will enable the inspectors to take photos of all those obstacles and attach them to the form. For each taken photo, the note text field will be used to provide description of the photo and the location of the obstacle shown on the picture. Those pictures can be also uploaded and stored in their designated folder in PMWeb document management repository if needed.

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Since the handing of the construction site clear from all obstacles to the contractor is a contractual obligation on part of the project owner entity, it is highly recommended to add a workflow for this form to formally document the review and closure or approval of this process. PMWeb workflow can be designed to include all workflow tasks, their sequence as well as how the form will be returned when obstacles are reported and how it will be resubmitted when all those obstacles are removed.

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 400 projects with a total value in excess of US$ 400 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 400 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and South America. He has written more than 400 articles on project management and project management information systems that were featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He was 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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