American Society of Civil Engineers

Pitfalls in Subconsultant and Vendor Contracting for Consulting Engineers

by David F. Pritchard, M.ASCE, (Chf. Engr., Hydropower Finance and Regulatory Affairs, Burgess & Niple, Ltd., Engrs. and Archts., 5085 Reed Rd., Columbus, OH 43220)

Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 5, No. 3, July 1989, pp. 237-248, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: This paper reviews the experiences of a consulting engineering firm in developing contracts with subconsultants for work relating primarily to hydropower projects and associated environmental work. Payment methods, progress reporting, and control and conflict resolution are discussed. Recommendations are made to improve subcontracting procedures by careful coordination, contract definition, staff assignment, and reporting. Experiences in good and bad subconsultant contracting are discussed. The need to involve experienced staff and management, where possible, is emphasized.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Case studies
Consulting services
Contract management