(iii) scope and powers. Establishing the appropriate level of performance, which meets the needs of the owner and draws on the professional and technical skills of the owner`s representative, is critical to success. Unless the owner`s representative has proven expertise in areas such as cost estimation, buildability checks, development consulting, licensing, A&E services, and project finance, he or she should not be entrusted with these responsibilities. Allowing an owner`s representative to provide services that he or she is not “best placed” for supply exposes the owner to unnecessary risk, particularly where, beyond his contract, the owner`s representative provides services that may not be covered by his professional liability insurance. Engineering or design studies, development consulting and land use analysis, claims assessment and negotiation, as well as ensuring the financial performance of the project or the execution of the project team`s contract, can be examples of such an expansion, which requires careful verification on the part of the owner. Similarly, all parties to the project should have a clear understanding of the authority of the owner`s representative to act on behalf of the owner and to bind the owner with respect to actions and decisions made under design and construction contracts. The limits of powers should be clearly defined in the Treaty and implemented consistently in practice. (iv) harmonization of dispute settlement mechanisms. Due to the increase in the prevalence of owners` representatives and their extension to additional service areas, disputes with these consultants will be more frequent. When performing the contract with the owner`s representative, it is advisable to ensure that the selection clauses of the jurisdiction and location of the event in the contract with other owner agreements are in accordance with the design professional and the contractor. It would be inefficient and costly not to be able to negotiate with a representative of the owner who has an arbitration clause in their contract. Owners should also specify in their agreements that the owner`s representatives provide services on a loan basis and therefore do not acquire ownership of project documents that may be under their control during the course of the project.
Given the nature of their services, owner representatives often collect, manage and retain a significant or even all of the project information and documents on behalf of the owner. If the project does not use a web-based information management system, the owner would not be able to access critical project documents in the event of a dispute. When assessing the role of owner representatives, it is important to understand the range of terminology used to describe these consultants. Owner representatives, project managers, program managers, tenant representatives, and site manager/advisor representatives are apparently used interchangeably to relate to the person or company responsible for representing the owner`s interests throughout the duration of the project. Not only is this terminology confusing, but it is also suitable for misunderstandings about the scope of these consultants` skills and their level of performance – both can vary greatly from project to project. The “core” performance level assigned to the owner`s representative focuses on project management, coordination, moderation, supervision and monitoring during the planning, acquisition and construction phase of a project. For example, Massachusetts law requires that all public works projects over US$1.5 million mandate an “owner`s project manager” for a minimum range of services, which includes: AIA publishes a series of cm/consultant agent contract documents in which the CM advisor serves as an advisor to the owner for the duration of the project and manages the project in collaboration with the design professional.