Nov 25, 2009

USDA Rural Utility Service Latest Group to Allow Use of Template Construction Contract Documents

Coalition says decision will save time and money

The federal government has joined a growing list of groups that allow for the use of template construction contract documents prepared by a coalition of building, owner and surety groups known as ConsensusDOCS.

The decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service opens the way for key template documents to be used in water construction projects worth up to $20 billion each year, according to the coalition.

“It just got much easier for federal officials to write smart, effective contracts that help keep the work on time and on budget,” said Brian Perlberg, executive director of the ConsensusDOCS coalition.

The federal agency announced that it will allow the use of two of the coalition’s documents: the Electronic Communications Protocol and the Contractor’s Qualification Statement for Engineered Construction.

Perlberg noted that the federal government is the latest in a series of large-scale project owners to embrace the ConsensusDOCS contracts. He noted that states such as South Dakota, Michigan and North Carolina allow the use of the coalition’s documents. He added that Habitat for Humanity now routinely uses ConsensusDOCS contracts on a number of its key projects.

“You don’t need to start from scratch every time you need a construction contract,” Perlberg said. “We spend years getting these contracts right so others can focus on getting the project right.”