“The Engineer” in accordance with most Standard Forms of contract performs;
– the dual function of the “Agent” of the employer, and
– impartial expert professional who enjoys quasi-judicial powers in administering the Contract.
The ICTAD Condition of Contract in Sri Lanka identifies the Engineer’s powers, duties, and responsibilities as follows:
The Engineers shall carry out such duties in issuing decisions, certificates, and orders as specified in the contract subject to the limitation stated in the Particular Condition of Contract.
The Engineer is not a signatory or party to a Contract. But, the Engineer is named in the Contract and thereby given many duties and responsibilities requiring his expertise in technical design and management.
He can vary the method of construction of the works to achieve completion but under no circumstances is empowered to alter the contract made between the employer and the contractor. He can only implement it in accordance with the terms, which the parties thereto have agreed.
There can be several supplementary conditions imposed upon the Engineer by the Employer whereby he cannot exercise all of his duties without restraint.
The Employer may often wish to be a participant in decision-making, particularly in affairs affecting payments. In the event of the Engineer being required under the employer for the execution of any part of these duties, then such requirements which affect his responsibility will be set out in the conditions of contract and so be known to the contractor at the time of tender.
The Engineer is delegated certain duties and responsibilities which include the issuing of instructions, directions, orders, and the giving of information necessary for the construction of the Works to proceed. These responsibilities also require him to comment upon the Contractor’s proposals for carrying out the work and require him to ensure that the workmanship and materials are in accordance with specifications.
He determines the measurement and value of work performed by the Contractor and Nominated Sub-Contractor and, in his own right, issues a Certificate of Payment to the Employer stating any payment due to them on both an interim and final basis. It is not the Contractor’s application for payment which the Employer recognizes but only the Certificate of Payment as issued by the Engineer.
In order that the Engineer can carry out his duties, it is permissible for him to delegate in writing to the Engineer’s Representatives any of the powers and authority vested in him by the Employer.
It would be unacceptable for him to delegate all of his powers to an Engineer’s Representative because this would effectively remove from the Contract the expertise in technical design and management of the Engineer himself.
He is obliged to provide the Contractor and the Employer with a copy of all such written delegations of powers and authorities he gives to his Representatives.
It is required by the Conditions of Contract that the Engineer’s Representative is responsible to the Engineer only, notwithstanding that he could be an employee of the Employer and not the Engineer.
The duties of the Engineer’s Representative are to watch and supervise the work and to ensure that the standards of workmanship employed are in accordance with the specifications.
The Engineer’s Representative has no authority to relieve the Contractor of any of his duties or obligations under the Contract.
It is a customary practice that the Engineer will not delegate to the Engineer’s Representative any matters dealing with;
- Variation Orders
- Engineer’s Certificates
- Fixing of Rates
- Expenditure of Provisional Sums
- Approval of Nominated Sub-Contractors
- Extension of Time
The Engineer’s Post-Contract Administrative Functions
The Engineer’s post-contract administrative functions could be summarized as follows;
- Explaining ambiguities and discrepancies in Contract Documents issuing instruction thereon and certifying an additional cost to comply with such instructions.
- Supplying drawings and instructions.
- Certifying the Contractors additional cost, due to adverse physical conditions.
- Reviewing and approving the Contractor’s programme.
- Suspension of work and determining extra payments arising from such suspension.
- Determining extension of time for completion of work.
- Determining whether the work has been substantially completed and issuing the Certificate of Completion.
- Ordering variation, to the work and fixing rates and prices for such variations.
- Ascertaining and determining by measurement the value of work performed.
- Issuing the Maintenance Certificate.
- Setting in the first instance, any dispute in connection with or arising out of the Contract or execution of the works (Engineer’s obligation).
The Engineer is primarily responsible for post-contract administration duties. In large and complex works he is assisted by a team of other professionals and technical officers who attend to duties related to their respective disciplines.
The Engineer is the team Leader. He may delegate certain duties and functions to his representative. Other members of the team have specific duties to perform.
The Engineer (Under the Contract)
In addition to directing and coordinating the work of his team, he will be responsible among other things, for the following;
- The overall implementation of the Project in accordance with the Contract.
- The preparation of accurate documentation relating to interim payments.
- His duties will also include;
- Watch and Supervise the work
- Request that workmanship be tested
- Inspect and approve, or disapprove, work or materials
- Receive notices and information from the Contractor
- Check and approve setting out, without relieving the Contractor of any responsibility
- Inspect Contractors’ insurance policies and premium receipts.
- Issue instructions and requests to the Contractor
- Inspect and approve or disapprove temporary works
- Authorize additional working hours to meet completion dates
- Liaise with all relevant parties in all matters about the Contract
- Supervise the preparation of records and drawings of works executed
- Supervise the preparation of the following site records
- Progress Chart
- Records of all the materials tested
- Daily weather records and their effect on job progress
- Record of Inspection Requests and approvals
- Variation orders
- Monthly Valuations
- Weekly Progress Reports
- Agenda and minutes of all meetings
- Progress Photographs
- Record of any dewatering operations necessary due to presence of groundwater and their effect on contract progress
- Site Diary with daily entries recording all relevant information regarding site progress including
- Precise description, extent, and duration of work executed in various locations
- Summary of labor and plant utilized
- The effect of weather on the works
- Details of accidents, damage, and complaints
- Details of any verbal instructions
- Details of inspection, approvals, and disapproval
- Summary of material deliveries
- Summary of testing
- Details of site visits