The Engineer is a Business Solution
What engineers do better than most everyone else is organize and manipulate various creative and technical skills necessary to produce a desired result. Not all projects run smoothly. By virtue of the nature of the process, engineers must continuously evaluate continuously from multiple perspectives and to formulate solutions. Smart leadership finds a way to extract the best from the brightest. Preparation is key: the potential for error increases as the time spent in preparation decreases.
Getting Limitation of Liability (LOL) into a Contract
$50,000 or the amount of the engineer's fee is a common LOL. The experience of engineering firms getting this into a contract however is all over the map. Some jurisdictions do not allow it as a matter of public policy. Some owners and clients flatly reject them. Some jurisdictions do allow LOL through precedential court decisions and some firms will rarely work without them. It should be a negotiated point and may be better described as risk allocation which to many is more acceptable. Also, if it is a negotiated point in a contract it stands a much better chance of holding up in court. EJCDC E-500 Owner/Engineer agreement contains (in an exhibit to the agreement) three alternative LOL provisions. It is available here.
Marketing to Major Engineering Prime Contractors
All major primes receive a large number of company marketing offers. It is important to stand out and communicate the exclusivity of your firm. One way to do this is by focusing on a service you provide that is not widely available. Big primes usually have a small business development office that can help direct you to the proper business unit that can use your specific capabilities. Register in the prime's database even if a working relationship already exists. Be sure the information is meaningful rather than cutting and pasting a statement of work. If contacted show up with your key people including leadership and technical.
A Look Forward for the Energy Industry
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has put forth an "energy blueprint" that includes many initiatives long advocated by ACEC to expand opportunities in the energy sector. The Energy 2020 blueprint includes opening more federal land and waters for oil and gas production, emphasizing clean coal research and technology, exporting of domestic gas, and creating a "trust fund" for clean energy. Click here for more information.
Fiscal Cliff Bill Includes ACEC-Backed Provisions
The fiscal cliff bill HR 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act, extends a number of ACEC-backed tax provisions, including a one-year extension of the production tax credit for wind energy projects and the extension of 50 percent bonus depreciation and higher limits for the Section 179 business expensing allowance, which allows firms to immediately deduct certain capital purchases. Click here for a summary of major provisions.
ACEC Recommends Improvements to Proposed FHWA Regulations:
In comments submitted on proposed Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations for the procurement and management of engineering services on federally funded projects, the Council supports updates to QBS procedures, contract negotiation, and audit rules that are consistent with current policy and best practices that ACEC helped to shape. Click Here for entire story.