Section 4: Partnering Process

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Every construction project is a joint effort between the department and the contractor. Cooperate with contractor personnel to expedite the work without violating the terms and conditions of the contract.

Use the department’s Partnering Program to improve working relationships and reduce construction related disputes and claims. The goals of the program are:

  • handle problems fairly and honestly
  • interpret and apply the specifications in a reasonable manner (this does not relieve the contractor of their responsibility in conforming to the specifications) and
  • maximize the quality in a fair manner.

The need for partnering will be determined by the district engineer (DE) after consideration of the following factors:

  • contract complexity
  • impact on traveling public
  • high profile contracts and those with potential for recognition
  • high degree of risk for citizen or partner complaints
  • required Road User Costs and/or the use of incentives/disincentives
  • contracts requiring coordination between multiple partners (including resource agencies) and
  • the presence of environmentally critical areas.

For additional information related to Partnering, please refer to the department’s website.

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Review the contract to determine the requirement for a partnering meeting. Partnering meetings may be mandatory or voluntary. Voluntary meetings are at the discretion of both the department and the contractor.

Complete the following tasks to arrange a partnering meeting:

  • compile a list of the individuals and entities who should participate in the initial partnering workshop:
    • department personnel (i.e., inspectors, recordkeepers, project engineers, etc.)
    • contractor personnel (i.e., foremen, superintendents, and project managers, etc.)
    • representatives of all interested parties (i.e., subcontractors, material suppliers, city and county officials, utility companies, etc.)
  • Select either an external facilitator from the Partnering Facilitation Services Vendor List or an internal facilitator from the approved list. The facilitator is responsible for meeting planning, development, delivery, and producing and supplying participants with the final report.
  • schedule the partnering meeting
  • provide sufficient advance notification to identified meeting participants to ensure attendance
  • conduct the meeting
  • If using an external facilitator, obtain written evaluations from all meeting participants and forward to CST, Labor and Contract Administration Branch (L&CA). Evaluations are not required for internal facilitators.
  • forward significant concerns regarding overall facilitator performance (external or internal) to CST-L&CA.
  • If requested, reimburse the contractor for half the costs of the partnering meeting. The contractor may elect to pay the full cost.

The initial partnering meeting may last from one-half day to two calendar days and may be held prior to or in combination with the pre-construction conference.

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Partnering Performance

Either party may withdraw from an agreement reached at a partnering meeting by providing written notice to the other party. Make every reasonable effort to restore a partnering agreement prior to providing written notice of the department’s withdrawal from the agreement. The sole remedy for non-performance of a partnering agreement is termination of the agreement.

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