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I have always done supply and services contracts and recently I switched to the construction contract arena. Can someone tell me where is the best place to get material to read on the construction contract. I know that I will be doing both Architect-Engineer and Constrtuction contracts.

Thanks,

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Are you or is your office willing to spend some money on reference books? Periodicals?

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Are you or is your office willing to spend some money on reference books? Periodicals?

My office may be willing to spend money on reference books but I have not approached them on this yet. What type of periodicals?

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If you are an 1102 and will be handling administration of construction contracts or claims, you really need to understand all of the construction contract clauses as well as contract interpretation issues, special situations like the suspension of work clause and Eichleay, defaults clause, etc. If you are with DoD, the DAU has a construction contracting course. I don't know how good it is.

If you do any military or civil works construction, the Army Corps of Engineers has several very good training classes for contract administration purposes, among many, these are "must attends": Construction Contract Administration, Estimating for Modifications and Claims (teaches pricing principles for changes, claims, various clauses, etc.) Design-Build Construction and others.

I personally feel that "Administration of Government Contracts" (4th Edition is now available) by Cibinic, Nash, and Nagle was the best book that I ever bought to learn the overall rules of construction contract administration, including contract interpretation rules. My latest edition is the 3rd Edition, before Prof. Cibinic passed in 2005. You can purchase the latest edition for about $105. I've seen that price for both hardcover and paperback editions via a GOOGLE search. I bought one once from our local college bookstore but they are available on-line. It is part of the George Washington University Government Contracts Program series. "Formation of Government Contracts" by is also a must have.

I also subscribed to "Construction Contract Claims Monthly" for 25 years. Business Publishers, Inc. publishes this periodical. A subscription is about $327 on-line. If you cant afford that, you can read court and board case decisions at various websites. The ASBCA Decisions are available on-line for free, as I imagine are the civilian board's decisions. I also get daily notices from the GAO concerning GAO Protest decisions. Fed Claims Court and others may also be found on-line.

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I personally feel that "Administration of Government Contracts" (4th Edition is now available) by Cibinic, Nash, and Nagle was the best book that I ever bought to learn the overall rules of construction contract administration, including contract interpretation rules. My latest edition is the 3rd Edition, before Prof. Cibinic passed in 2005. You can purchase the latest edition for about $105. I've seen that price for both hardcover and paperback editions via a GOOGLE search. I bought one once from our local college bookstore but they are available on-line. It is part of the George Washington University Government Contracts Program series. "Formation of Government Contracts" by is also a must have.

Hi Joel,

I'm looking for a reference guide that deals with administration of Cost Reimbursement Type contracts, closeout of such contracts, DCAA audits, CAS, etc. You mentioned the "Administration of Government Contracts" book as being very helpful when it comes to administering construction contracts. How would you rate the book's content when it comes to administering Cost Reimbursement Type contracts?

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If you are an 1102 and will be handling administration of construction contracts or claims, you really need to understand all of the construction contract clauses as well as contract interpretation issues, special situations like the suspension of work clause and Eichleay, defaults clause, etc. If you are with DoD, the DAU has a construction contracting course. I don't know how good it is.

If you do any military or civil works construction, the Army Corps of Engineers has several very good training classes for contract administration purposes, among many, these are "must attends": Construction Contract Administration, Estimating for Modifications and Claims (teaches pricing principles for changes, claims, various clauses, etc.) Design-Build Construction and others.

I personally feel that "Administration of Government Contracts" (4th Edition is now available) by Cibinic, Nash, and Nagle was the best book that I ever bought to learn the overall rules of construction contract administration, including contract interpretation rules. My latest edition is the 3rd Edition, before Prof. Cibinic passed in 2005. You can purchase the latest edition for about $105. I've seen that price for both hardcover and paperback editions via a GOOGLE search. I bought one once from our local college bookstore but they are available on-line. It is part of the George Washington University Government Contracts Program series. "Formation of Government Contracts" by is also a must have.

I also subscribed to "Construction Contract Claims Monthly" for 25 years. Business Publishers, Inc. publishes this periodical. A subscription is about $327 on-line. If you cant afford that, you can read court and board case decisions at various websites. The ASBCA Decisions are available on-line for free, as I imagine are the civilian board's decisions. I also get daily notices from the GAO concerning GAO Protest decisions. Fed Claims Court and others may also be found on-line.

Thanks Joel. I will look into some of these things. I appreciate your help.

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Hi Joel,

I'm looking for a reference guide that deals with administration of Cost Reimbursement Type contracts, closeout of such contracts, DCAA audits, CAS, etc. You mentioned the "Administration of Government Contracts" book as being very helpful when it comes to administering construction contracts. How would you rate the book's content when it comes to administering Cost Reimbursement Type contracts?

For that specific purpose, I would recommend Cibinic & Nash's Cost Reimbursement Contracting, 3d edition, 2005.

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I think I missed something. Seems like the question was both asked and answered in the same email, but its hard to tell on a Blackberry :)

I feel that N&C's "Cost Reimbursement Contracting" is good but is more legal and theory than dealing with many day to day management issues and techniques. Look for references on "earned value" (efficiency), "project controls" (cost and schedule management), "earned value management systems" (EVMS) and work breakdown structures (WBS).

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I've done Construction Contracting for years. The best I can recommend is that you sit down with FAR Chapter 36, and pay special attention to the referenced FAR 52 clauses. Print them out so you can see how they differ from services and product.

In addition, Management Concepts (among others) offers a one week class on Construction Contracting for about $950. You not only pick up some information, but some resources. The books they give you are pretty clear too. It also satisfies a CON or warrant education requirement.

Construction is DIFFERENT. And depending on your agency, there might be special rules for you. Check your agency sub-FAR.

Look through the OLD contracts. (FAR clauses are updated so you might need to re-visit the FAR to verify they are still accurate), BUT it will give you a good idea of how it works.

Bottom line: make sure the specification for the job is COMPLETE and CLEAR. If YOU can't understand it, pity the poor contractor who will probably add $100K on to the price just to decipher it. Communication with the engineer, the COR, and the contractor is key.

There is a list, I believe in FAR53, that shows EVERY clause required in solicitations and awards, according to the type and purpose. Print it out and mark it for the type and purpose of YOUR requirement.

GOOD LUCK!

p.s. one thing that has kept me out of trouble thru the years is to NEVER go to the job site without the COR. Divide and conquer is a game all kids (and contractors) play if they can. YOU make the decision, but let the COR relay it. That way everybody is clear as to what the intent is and there is no he said, she said.

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I've done Construction Contracting for years. The best I can recommend is that you sit down with FAR Chapter 36, and pay special attention to the referenced FAR 52 clauses. Print them out so you can see how they differ from services and product.

In addition, Management Concepts (among others) offers a one week class on Construction Contracting for about $950. You not only pick up some information, but some resources. The books they give you are pretty clear too. It also satisfies a CON or warrant education requirement.

Construction is DIFFERENT. And depending on your agency, there might be special rules for you. Check your agency sub-FAR.

Look through the OLD contracts. (FAR clauses are updated so you might need to re-visit the FAR to verify they are still accurate), BUT it will give you a good idea of how it works.

Bottom line: make sure the specification for the job is COMPLETE and CLEAR. If YOU can't understand it, pity the poor contractor who will probably add $100K on to the price just to decipher it. Communication with the engineer, the COR, and the contractor is key.

There is a list, I believe in FAR53, that shows EVERY clause required in solicitations and awards, according to the type and purpose. Print it out and mark it for the type and purpose of YOUR requirement.

GOOD LUCK!

p.s. one thing that has kept me out of trouble thru the years is to NEVER go to the job site without the COR. Divide and conquer is a game all kids (and contractors) play if they can. YOU make the decision, but let the COR relay it. That way everybody is clear as to what the intent is and there is no he said, she said.

Thanks Kodiak. I appreciate the help.

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I think I missed something. Seems like the question was both asked and answered in the same email, but its hard to tell on a Blackberry :)

I feel that N&C's "Cost Reimbursement Contracting" is good but is more legal and theory than dealing with many day to day management issues and techniques. Look for references on "earned value" (efficiency), "project controls" (cost and schedule management), "earned value management systems" (EVMS) and work breakdown structures (WBS).

Joel - agree, I think I missed the "administration" part of the poster's question when I recommended the book - reading too fast!

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I've done Construction Contracting for years. The best I can recommend is that you sit down with FAR Chapter 36, and pay special attention to the referenced FAR 52 clauses. Print them out so you can see how they differ from services and product.

In addition, Management Concepts (among others) offers a one week class on Construction Contracting for about $950. You not only pick up some information, but some resources. The books they give you are pretty clear too. It also satisfies a CON or warrant education requirement.

Construction is DIFFERENT. And depending on your agency, there might be special rules for you. Check your agency sub-FAR.

Look through the OLD contracts. (FAR clauses are updated so you might need to re-visit the FAR to verify they are still accurate), BUT it will give you a good idea of how it works.

Bottom line: make sure the specification for the job is COMPLETE and CLEAR. If YOU can't understand it, pity the poor contractor who will probably add $100K on to the price just to decipher it. Communication with the engineer, the COR, and the contractor is key.

There is a list, I believe in FAR53, that shows EVERY clause required in solicitations and awards, according to the type and purpose. Print it out and mark it for the type and purpose of YOUR requirement.

GOOD LUCK!

p.s. one thing that has kept me out of trouble thru the years is to NEVER go to the job site without the COR. Divide and conquer is a game all kids (and contractors) play if they can. YOU make the decision, but let the COR relay it. That way everybody is clear as to what the intent is and there is no he said, she said.

Kodiak - maybe I'm reading your post too literally, but in your p.s. your comment to have the CO make the decision but the COR "relay it" seems to be the very definition of "he said/she said," but you say doing so keeps that from happening. If there is some issue that requires the CO to make a decision, in my opinion they should be the one to communicate that decision to both the COR and the contractor. That is the way to ensure both the COR and contractor are getting the exact same information.

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Kodiak - maybe I'm reading your post too literally, but in your p.s. your comment to have the CO make the decision but the COR "relay it" seems to be the very definition of "he said/she said," but you say doing so keeps that from happening. If there is some issue that requires the CO to make a decision, in my opinion they should be the one to communicate that decision to both the COR and the contractor. That is the way to ensure both the COR and contractor are getting the exact same information.

Mike: Basic instructions need to come thru the COR. Problems need to be resolved by the CO, and relayed to the COR and contractor at the same time. Bottom line, what I was trying to say and apparently was unclear on, was that 'divide and conquer' is used by contractors all the time. Hope this clears it up.

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Guest carl r culham

"Basic instructions need to come thru the COR. Problems need to be resolved by the CO, and relayed to the COR and contractor at the same time."

Kodiak and Mike - I struggling with your discussion and the end statement of Kodiak noted above as I believe it has confused the relationship of COTR to CO. The COTR/COR is by definition the Contracting Officer (FAR 2.101) for those authorities that have been delegated to him/her. The contract provides the instructions, terms and conditions, etc. and the COTR and CO administer those instructions pursuant to their authority. To me it is "I" said communicated appropriately to the Contractor or their designated representative and documented for the contract file appropriately. It is the COTR's authority and responsibility to make decisions within their delegation, items outside their delegated authority are reserved for the Contracting Officer.

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