Employer's agent for design and build
In construction the term 'employer's agent' is used to describe an agent acting on behalf of the client as the contract administrator for design-bid-build contracts (such as the Joint Contracts Tribunal JCT SBC 16). For design build contracts, this role may or may not be included in the contract (it is contract specific). For example, there is no contract administrator in the design build contract JCT DB16, but the NEC4 does include this role, as a 'project manager'.
The employer's agent is likely to be either the lead consultant (often the architect) or the cost consultant, however, the role can be carried out by someone from the client organisation such as an in-house project manager, or may be an independent project manager appointed by the client.
In addition to their role as contract administrator, the employer's agent may also carry out other tasks on the client's behalf prior to the award of a contract, such as co-ordinating the tender process, co-ordinating the novation of consultants, collating contract documents for execution, implementing change control procedures and so on.
- Issuing instructions.
- Co-ordinating the review of information prepared by the contractor.
- Considering items submitted by the contractor for 'approval', as required by the employers' requirements. There is some risk here, as client approval might be considered to relieve the contractor of their liability for such items. In addition, refusing to approve an item can only be done in relation to compliance with the employer's requirements. Comments which amount to a change in the employer's requirements must be consented to by the contractor (although this consent may not be unreasonably withheld) and may result in an adjustment to the contract sum and a claim for extension of time.
- Managing change control procedures.
- Reviewing the progress of the works and preparing reports for the client.
- Validating or certifying payments.
- Considering claims.
- Monitoring commissioning and inspections.
- Arranging handover.
- Certifying practical completion.
- Bringing defects to the attention of the contractor (it is the contractor's responsibility to identify and rectify defects, not the clients - so if the client does bring defects to the contractor's notice, they should make clear that this is not a comprehensive list of all defects).
- Issuing the certificate of making good defects.
- Agreeing the final account.
- Change control procedures.
- Construction contract.
- Contractor's proposals.
- Contract administrator.
- Contract documents.
- Design and build.
- Employer's requirements.
- Glossary of construction slang and other terms
- Procurement route.
- Project monitoring.
- Tender process.