Canadian Consulting Engineer

Problems with limitation clauses arise in West

The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies - Canada (ACEC) has issued an advisory to its member firms with concerns about how the federal government is handling contracts in the Pacific region.

August 12, 2013   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada (ACEC) has issued an advisory to its member firms with concerns about how the federal government is handling contracts in the Pacific region.

PWGSC’s Pacific Region recently issued a statement saying: “… PWGSC will no longer be in a position to accept any reports that have incorporated in them any Statements of Limitations (or equivalent). The only relevant limitations clauses are those specifically written into the contract.”

The new restriction is apparently based on advice from the Department of Justice.

ACEC disagrees with the position of PWGSC, saying that the use of a Statement of Limitations in an engineering report is common practice and “provides necessary contextual background for the work undertaken by the consultant, and provides guidance as to the circumstances in which it should be read.”

Together with ACEC-BC, the association is meeting with government representatives to discuss the issue. In the meantime it is recommending that firms be careful when pursuing PWGSC projects in order to mitigate the risks.

According to ACEC, examples of statements of limitations that PWGSC has rejected include:

“Site conditions described in this report are based on information obtained during the assessment conducted and are based solely on the condition of the property at the time of the Site assessment.”

“This report was prepared, based in part, on information obtained from historic information sources. In evaluating the site, XXXX has relied in good faith on information provided.”

“The findings and conclusions documented in this report have been prepared for the specific application to this project, and have been developed in a manner consistent with that level of care normally exercised by professionals currently practicing under similar conditions in the jurisdiction.”

“Regulatory statutes are subject to interpretation. These interpretations may change over time and should be reviewed.”

“If new information is discovered during future work, the conclusion of this report should be re-evaluated and the report amended, as required, prior to any reliance upon the information presented herein.”

For more information, contact ACEC at 613-236-0569, www.acec.ca


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