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(OWN-2475) Streamlining Government Change Order Processes – Can It Be Done?

Level: Intermediate
Author(s): James G. Zack, Jr. CFCC FAACE Hon. Life
Venue: 2017 AACE International Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL

Abstract: Change is the norm on construction projects. Change is beneficial in that owners can modify the project after contract award while contractors can increase the scope of work and project profitability without needing to compete for additional work. At the same time change can be detrimental for both owners and contractors. Change often causes projects to complete later than planned and over budget. And, owner change order processes are often lengthy detrimentally impacting contractor cash flows. As a result slow processing of change order requests by public project owners coupled with slow payment for changed work are major problems threatening project success and contractor viability. Efforts have been initiated by various governmental entities to “streamline” change order processes. The purpose of this paper is to explore current streamlining efforts. The paper also discusses difficulties in speeding up such processes and why such efforts are quite often doomed to fail – due mainly to a misunderstanding when does a change start and when does the change order process commence?