Once an award of contract has been made, a meeting is necessary with the selected contractor to make preparations for starting the contract. Such a precommencement meeting will be attended by the employer or his key staff concerned, the engineer and his proposed resident engineer, and the contractor’s
manager and agent. This is to effect introductions and exchange information about the principal initial matters concerning each party. Items which may need to be covered by this meeting are as follows:
• Exchange of addresses, telephone numbers, etc. and establishing agreed lines of communication.
• Clarifying the resident engineer’s delegated powers, and advising the contractor of his proposed staffing and supervisory arrangements.
• The contractor’s report on the agent’s experience in the type of work involved, in order that his appointment can be approved by the engineer.
• Any particular needs for temporary works designs or special methods of construction proposed.
• Arrangements for provision of sets of contract documents to the contractor
and indication of any further drawings that will be supplied (e.g. bar schedules).
• Progress by the contractor in obtaining bonds and insurance (this is especially important where early access to site is expected since this may not be permitted until bond and insurance are secured).
• Proposed date for commencement, which, if not agreed, will be set by the engineer after taking the views of the contractor concerning his readiness to mobilize, and of the employer concerning the readiness of the site for occupation.
• The programme for construction which the contractor is to produce within 21 days of award of contract, and the consequent needs of the contractor in respect of further information and drawings to prevent delay.
• The contractor’s health and safety plan and how this will work in conjunction with the employer’s and engineer’s responsibilities for safety.
• Provisions for access to the site the employer may require for his own staff.
Other matters which it might be important to consider include the siting of the resident engineer’s offices, the services the contractor is to provide him with, and the layout of forms for monthly statements. This may not cover all the matters that may have to be discussed, and a further meeting may be needed to consider certain matters in more detail.
The success of this meeting in establishing good working relationships can make an important contribution in setting the tone for subsequent co-operation.