To find out what is a contract administrator in construction we need to review a few things first. First of all, let’s look at what constitutes a contract in the construction sector. In general, a Contract administrator in construction is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties.
In construction, this usually means between the main contractor and the subcontractor. A construction contract can also be between many other parties including the client and the main contractor, between a supplier and the contractor, or between a supplier and a subcontractor.
Normally, at the start of a construction project, the contract administrator will read through the contract to make sure they understand exactly what is required.
An experienced contract administrator is able to identify the advantages and disadvantages of the contract based on the scope of work it relates to.
Prior to the execution of the contract between the parties, the contract administrator’s role would be to review the contract and negotiate the most favourable terms possible for the parties they represent.
Virtually all construction contracts require negotiation because of the risk profile each clause is likely to carry.
The contract sets out the agreement between the parties. The clauses within the contract describe the agreement in detail to ensure that all parties are well aware of exactly what is expected of each of them at the various stages throughout the project.
For example, the contract may include a clause requiring a party to provide evidence of insurance documentation in order to access the site, stipulating that he must be done before any work can start.
These clauses comprise the set of rules the parties must adhere to if the contract is to run smoothly.
Different Types of Contract Administrator in Construction Project
Although the types of clauses a contract contains will vary from project to project, the following types are likely to appear in most construction contracts:
- Payment clauses – detailing when payment claims can be submitted, setting out the time allotted for the other party to assess the claims, and indicating when the payment is due;
- A variety of insurance-related clauses – the types of insurance and levels of cover that must be in place before any work can be carried out;
- Limited liability clauses – setting out which party shall be held responsible if anything goes wrong on the project;
- Dispute resolution clauses – if something does go wrong, what steps the parties must take in order to reach an agreement; and
- Many other causes.
Roles of Contract Administrators in a Construction Project
For each of these clauses, the contract lays down the exact procedure the parties must follow to ensure that the project runs smoothly. The contract administrator’s role is to see that these clauses are followed by the party they are representing in a timely and professional manner.
If the contract administrator in construction is dealing with payment matters. For example, they must follow the rules as set out in the contract. So that their parties will be paid the right amount on the due date.
In order to administer the contract correctly, the contract administrator in construction must first understand how the contract is put together. Basic and general knowledge of legal terminology is therefore essential.
An experienced contract administrator is able to see at a glance how the contract reflects both the scope of works. And the way the works have been programmed.
The contract administrator is responsible for notifying the other party of potential delays to the project.
In this respect, timely notification is absolutely crucial as the other party will need to take appropriate action to avoid it. Or at least minimize – the delay and avert any possibility of a dispute arising.
During the course of the project, a good contract administrator will take into careful account the contract program. The actual program on-site and the effects of delays.
What Does a Contract Administrator Do?
A contract administrator’s key responsibilities include:
- Assisting in the preparation of subcontract packages
- Assisting in drafting the scope of work and procurement schedules
- Issuing variations
- Managing time extensions
- Processing progress claims
- Overseeing detailed design and shop drawings
- Co-ordinating and attending site meetings and providing technical expertise if required.
Construction contract administrators can be found in the following construction sectors:
To Sum Up
A professional construction contract administrator should be result-oriented. Quality-focused and detail-driven with hands-on experience of working across a broad spectrum of projects.
If you need an experienced team of contract administration professionals working with you on your next project, feel free to get in touch with Measure Manage. Let’s discuss how we can serve your needs perfectly.
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