Section 7: Project Documentation and Data SubmittalAnchor: #i1007905
Project records, including legal documents, meeting minutes, reports from material testing, etc., must be maintained by the local government (LG) during the course of the project. Specific regulatory requirements for records retention are found below and in Chapters 7, 9 and 10. These requirements ensure compliance with state and federal statutes for contract elements such as equal employment opportunity, equipment rental rates, non-segregated facilities, prevailing minimum wage (Davis-Bacon Act) and Title VI. In addition, requirements for record retention are included in Contract Administration tasks (see Chapter 9) to ensure proper documentation of progress payments, quality assurance program, specification compliance, statements and payrolls, and other contract elements.
This section provides guidance for the LG for two types of records generated during a transportation project: records retention and legacy system data submittal. Records retention relates to legal and other documents used to administer the project. Data submittal relates to the data collected during the project that is used to populate the TxDOT legacy systems. Requirements for both of these records are specified in the Advance Funding Agreement (AFA).Anchor: #i1007925
As soon as the contract between the LG and the contractor is executed, the LG should establish a system to maintain and organize the project records. Early organization of the project documents and files by the LG will ensure an audit by TxDOT or FHWA during or at the close of the project will proceed smoothly. Proper record keeping also aids in the administration of the project by documenting compliance with local, state and federal procedures and policies.
The LG must retain records as specified in the AFA. The TxDOT district must also retain records as specified in the AFA and must ensure the LG is maintaining the appropriate records to aid both TxDOT and FHWA during project audits.
After the contract is executed between the LG and the approved contractor (following the letting process described in Chapter 8), project records provide documentation and support for the payments for contract work. For construction projects, records also include documentation of pay quantities, test reports supporting that the materials used meet specification requirements and a variety of contract administration documentation. For example, 23 CFR 635.123 states,
“The STD (LG) shall have procedures in effect which will provide adequate assurance that the quantities of completed work are determined accurately and on a uniform basis ... All such determinations and all related source documents upon which payment is based shall be made a matter of record. Initial source documents pertaining to the determination of pay quantities are among those records and documents which must be retained pursuant to 49 CFR Part 18 (now 2 CFR 200.333).”
23 CFR Part 637 Subpart B provides for quality assurance procedures for construction. These procedures include the development of a quality assurance program that will assure the materials and workmanship are in conformity with the requirements of the approved plans and specifications. There must be documentation to demonstrate specification compliance.
FHWA does not specify the content and format of job records; however, FHWA approves TxDOT manuals and procedures used on federal-aid projects. The LG has the option of adopting TxDOT’s job record process or submitting its own for TxDOT concurrence. The goal is to give TxDOT a level of comfort when it certifies to FHWA a project has been completed in substantial conformity with the approved plans and specifications, including authorized changes. Records may be retained in hard or digital format, or a combination of both; however, 2CFR 200.335 provides that the LG “should, whenever practical…store [f]ederal award-related information in open and machine readable format.” However, the FHWA and TxDOT “must always provide or accept paper versions of [f]ederal award-related information to and from the [LG] upon request.”
For sampling and testing records, FHWA requires that the “source document” must be retained. The source document is the first document upon which an inspector or technician notes measurements or observations. If a source document is originally established in digital format, then if should be kept in digital format (a paper copy may still be included in the project records). A paper source document that is later converted to a digital format may be used for project management, but the paper source document must also be retained.
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- 23 CFR 635.123 – Requires procedures to be in place to provide adequate assurance that quantities of completed work are accurately and uniformly determined. Such determinations and source documents are a matter of record. Anchor: #YUEIPENB
- 2 CFR 200.333 – Requires project records to be kept for 3 years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report for a project. (Note that current templates of AFAs provide for retention for 4 years.) Anchor: #DYWCHWQB
- 2 CFR 200.335 – Provides that the project records should, whenever practical, be kept in an open and machine readable format. However, paper versions must always be provided or accepted to and from the recipient upon request. Anchor: #FGGPGASK
- 2 CFR 200.336 – Requires records be made available for review by federal and state officials.
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- Texas Local Government Code Chapter 203 – Requires the management and preservation of records, including the establishment of a records management program and record control schedules, by elected county offices and all other local government offices. Anchor: #BVUBVBER
- Texas Government Code §441.158 – Provides that the director and the librarian of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission prepare and distribute record retention schedules for each type of LG and are the official resource for all State record retention matters.
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- For projects with state or federal funds and projects on the state highway system regardless of funding source, the LG must use TxDOT’s Records Retention Schedule or submit an alternate procedure for TxDOT approval. This approval must be received before work on the project begins. Note that the AFA may provide for a longer period for retention of project records, in which case the longer period will be applicable. Anchor: #WFBAEWED
- The LGPM Guide provides the responsibilities for the LG and TxDOT with respect to document retention.
Legacy System Data
When TxDOT manages the development and construction of its own projects, various data is collected to populate “legacy systems” for future use. Legacy systems are electronic applications plus manual (hard copy) data used to maintain project and operating files.
The specific requirements for each project will be addressed in the AFA. The LGPM Guide describes the requirements for the data submittal for each project.
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