Canadian Consulting Engineer

Contracts should recognize that engaging professionals is not same as purchasing commodities

In its August/September newsletter the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies-BC issued advice on good procurement practices for clients and engineers.

September 9, 2014   Canadian Consulting Engineer

In its August/September newsletter the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies-BC issued advice on good procurement practices for clients and engineers.

In his article the association’s president Keith Sashaw writes:

“When it comes to contracts, ACEC-BC believes that the Association’s members and their clients have a number of mutual goals whenever consulting engineers are engaged to undertake studies and design assignments.”

At the same time, he says “a good procurement system will exhibit the following important characteristics:

– Uses short lists whenever possible. Proposals are expensive to prepare and time consuming to review.

– Recognizes the difference between engaging professional service firms and purchasing commodities.

– Evaluates proponents on the basis of what distinguishes them.

– Rewards proposals that add value to the process.

– Considers project life-cycle costs.

– Focuses on the best value, and not just the lowest price.”

Sashaw also says that a good contract will fairly and appropriately share and distribute the risks and rewards. It should also “not hold the consultant responsible for events and actions outside their control.”

Both clients and their engineers must be careful to select the right team for the work, he says, and must have “the proper qualifications and experience to undertake the work.”

They should also be setting realistic schedules and have a properly defined scope of work.

For more information, click here.

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