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The Owner's Role in Public Construction

Regardless of whether a construction project is public or private, the process begins by “owners” identifying a need, creating basic parameters, securing financing and procuring a site. “Owners” of public projects are citizens at large, represented by public officials or agencies that are empowered to make the major decisions related to delivery of public projects. As the representative to the “public owners”, public officials can improve the quality of the services they receive and the overall success of the project by understanding their role in the construction process.

Public Owners Check List for Construction Projects

  • Determine project scope, budget, funding source and overall schedule for project as early in the process as possible
  • Assign qualified personnel to the project and give them responsibility for quick decision-making
  • Prequalify designers and constructors and employ only clearly qualified practitioners
  • Select the most appropriate Project Delivery System through consultation with design and construction experts
  • Use standard contracts and ConsensusDocs such as those prepared by the Associated General Contractors of America or the American Institute of Architects (these can be adapted to meet the needs of a great majority of projects)
  • Establish risk distribution so that all parties can secure the right insurance
  • Become thoroughly involved in the preconstruction phase while not obstructing professional processes
  • Have a dispute resolution process in place early
  • Establish and maintain partnering relationships among all parties
  • Perform site monitoring or assign to a reliable party
  • Establish a clear payment process