The University of Chicago department of Capital Project Delivery relies on well established procedures for soliciting and receiving proposals for specific scopes of work.  The department of Procurement and Payment Services (PPS) has assembled a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) diagram to document the roles played by CPD and PPS during the solicitation of proposals and purchase orders and the negotiation/issuance of contracts.  

CPD is also able to take advantage of contract templates that have been refined between CPD, PPS, and the Office of Legal Counsel over many years.  Finally, the Procurement and Legal departments provide assistance in contract negotiation if/when the vendors that CPD selects have exceptions to the standard contracts.  Therefore, the Controls defined in the Project Delivery Guide are focused on specific areas that are discretionary to individual projects, or require engagement of project stakeholders in addition to Procurement and Legal.  Specifically, these issues include:

Project-specific Contracting strategies – the University procurement guidelines do not dictate the form of contract that should be used for an individual project.  In the past, Capital Project Delivery has managed projects under several forms of contract, including Lump Sum General Contract, Construction Manager At-Risk, Design Build, and Cost Plus. CPD will continue to evaluate each project and recommend the most sensible contracting strategy.  However, to provide a consistent methodology, CPD has determined that the following standard forms of contract will be employed on each of the two project types:

  • Projects Less than $3 Million – Lump Sum General Contract (Design-Bid-Build)
  • Projects Greater than $3 Million – Construction Manager At-Risk

In order to deviate from these standard strategies, we have indicated in the Project Delivery Guide that the contracting strategy may be revisited during the Programming phase, and will require the approval of the Provost.

Other Vendor Selection and Timing – each capital project is different, and requires a different set of consultants and contractors.  The CPD project manager should work with project stakeholders, including the A/E team and contractors, to identify the required timing for each service or construction contract that will be used during the project.  The procurement timelines should consider the length of time to issue an RFP, receive bids, scope reviews/interviews, and the time for Central Procurement to approve the issuance of a contract after the vendor is selected. 

Commitment Approvals and Change Order Management – the University and Capital Project Delivery have developed effective workflows and approval structures for the approval of contracts and of change orders to contracts, task orders, or purchase orders.  These workflows are illustrated in the e-Builder project management software Commitment Approval and Change Order modules.  The e-Builder workflows assure that all contracts are reviewed and approved at appropriate levels of Facilities Services and University hierarchies, and that all change orders are reviewed by the architect, project manager, and any other University personnel that are required to sign off depending on the magnitude of the change order. 

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