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Construction Completion Phase

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Finally, as the project nears completion, a number of special activities must take place before the contractor’s responsibilities can be considered complete. There are the various testing and startup tasks, the final cleanup, various inspections and remedial work that may result from them and the process of closing the construction office and terminating the staff’s employment. In addition, massive amounts of paperwork is required, including approvals and certifications that allow the contractor to receive final payment, a set of as-built drawings that include all changes made to the original design, operating manuals, warranties and a final report. The contractor will also be responsible for transferring and archiving project records and will conduct some sort of project critique and evaluation; operator training may also be part of the contractor’s contractual responsibilities.

Always bear in mind that, no matter what dispute arises, “no Contractor can get back its money if the works are still incomplete”, unless otherwise the Employer breaches the contract. This is to say that the contractor can only get the final payment at time the employer or its representative certified the overall workdone at completion of work. In case the contractor does not accept the certified value, settlement of dispute will then go to mitigation or arbitration which is quite time consuming.

Let us consider, as a normal practice, there is always a 5 ~ 10 % retention money being kept by the employer; in addition to the usual QS practice of certifying only about 90 ~ 95 % of workdone on account for interim purpose; in addition to the “Bank Bond” and “Company Guarantee” as stated in Chapter 3, the total amount of contractor’s money or security being kept in the employer’s custody may vary to over a few million dollars just for a nominal size construction contract. So if the “Work” is not being completed with acceptable quality, on time, with good documentation and contemporary records by the Site Staff, which contractor can suffer these damages?

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