CAA … working on your behalf! (Oct 2016)
Behinds the scenes, the Consulting Architects of Alberta continues to focus on issues that are of importance to our members. One of the key issues that affects architects is contracts and contract wording. We continue to push for and achieve success with a number of our public clients. Provided below is an update of the outcomes of our most recent activities.
City of Calgary
Over the past 18 months, the CAA, along with the CEA, has participated in meetings related to the City of Calgary’s New Consultant Contract (QBS document). The CoC is planning to pilot the new document on a couple of projects first before a full scale roll out of the new documents.
The CoC is also creating a disbursement review team that will feed into to the QBS update when it is ready.
Similarly, we are near to wrapping up the current phase of discussions with Alberta infrastructure. Significant improvements have been made over the past 18 months (many of them are listed in the December 17, 2015 CAA … working on your behalf).
Shannon Flint, the new Deputy Minister at Alberta Infrastructure, has recently announced the creation of a Government Procurement Policy Review that will very soon get underway.
City of Edmonton
The CAA has also has also participated in several meetings with the City of Edmonton regarding their contracts and practices. Most recently, two meetings were held; the first meeting focused on the outcomes of the CAA member survey and especially the concerns about “starchitects”. The second meeting also focused on contracts and the perception that there is not a level playing field. There was also discussion about the restructuring that recently occurred and also the need to develop regular industry liaison meetings, similar to the industry liaison meetings organized by Alberta Infrastructure.
On a broader perspective, the CAA also met with the federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Honourable Amerjeet Sohi. The purpose of the meeting was to make him aware of the value that architects provide and the importance of counter-cyclical spending. We have had similar meetings and discussions with municipalities across the province and have been working closely with the City of Calgary, the City of Edmonton, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Infrastructure as the provincial and municipal contracts often serve as benchmarks for other clients, both public and private.
As always, our primary focus continues to be advocating for the way that projects are procured, contracted and delivered, and that consultant services are valued.
The best communication is two-way communication and that has increased too. More and more, CAA members seek our input on issues and inform us about bad contract wording and concerns that they come across. If you come across something that concerns you, please get in contact with us so that we can follow up on behalf of all architects in Alberta.