The Importance of Contracts for Project Quality Assurance (QA)

As previously mentioned, there are different types of contracts between the owner and the contractor as well as between the owner and the engineering office, and "bugs" in the contracts can cause problems that may be difficult to resolve, expending valuable time and affecting the project’s final cost. To meet this contingency pro-actively, periodic specific reviews provide an important means for maintaining a successful contract that renders every aspect fully and consciously.

In addition to drawings and specifications, including quantity and price, for the materials, labor, and tools; specification of onsite working conditions; and definitions of working relationships to be maintained between the owner, the contractor, supervisory person­nel and the engineering facility, there are some other basic items that are frequently overlooked when contracts are being drawn up. Requirements of health, safety and the environment (HSE) to be fol­lowed, measures to ensure the security of personnel, how contingent expenses that may arise from injuries or disease at the site are to be managed, the amounts to be reserved to cover tax and other govern­ment fees, legal and-or judicial procedures to be followed if a dis­agreement between contracting parties cannot be settled by mutual consent,, and other administrative items are no less important than those items already mentioned as part of the engineering work details.

One example of a stable regime for international contracts is the instrument known as FIDIC, which incorporates specific forms cov­ering these and other such items. FIDIC is the reference standard for international contracts and is used in major international projects.