AI Prime Consultant Agreement

Contract issue: Alberta Infrastructure Prime Consultant Agreement

Background

New contract appears

Late December of 2010 Alberta Infrastructure issued a new Prime Consultant Agreement in conjunction with the RFPs for the new hospitals. The agreement was very similar to the one in use by AHS that we had been lobbying to change. It was a significant departure from the standard agreement that they had used in the past. We immediately met with Alberta Infrastructure to indicate our concerns. to their dredit, AI was very approachable and willing to discuss the issue at length, and consider our position.  One of the key reasons given by AI for bringing this new document forward was due to the Construction Management model being used with the new hospital projects.

 

CAA provides extensive input

Over Christmas break, CAA representatives spent many hours going through the document and made extensive suggestions for how the document could be improved.  Ultimately however, it was our request that AI return to the standard agreement based on RAIC doc 6.  We provided our suggestions for how RAIC doc 6 and supplementary conditions could be adapted for use with the Construction Management delivery model.  It was our assertion that the industry-standard document provided much better protection for both client and consultant, and could be well-adapted to this situation.  Use of a new agreement would be risky for all concerned.

 

Interim adjustments made to new agreement

As an interim step, Alberta Infrastructure accepted many of the suggestions made by CAA for improvements to the Prime Consultant Agreement, but also promised to look at how the industry-standard document might be adapted to the Construction Management model.  There was a commitment to fast-track this process if at all possible for the next round of hospital projects.

Current Status

Many months have gone by, and no progress has been made.  New hospital projects have been initiated using the disputed, non-standard Prime Consultant Agreement.  When we inquire about the status of the review of our proposed document, we are told the document is still with their legal advisers and there is no expected date for a response.

The Contracts Committee will continue to advocate for a return to industry-standard agreements.

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