Original Date: 04/07/1997
Revision Date: 04/14/2003
Information : Partnering in HVAC Contracts
Prior to 1997, rock Island Arsenal (RIA) had subcontracted all technical support services for HVAC building operation, chiller operation, and system preventive maintenance under one general contract to a single supplier. This single contract configuration, covering the three distinct service requirements, did not provide timely solutions to excessive downtime and emergency needs because the contractor’s personnel were not aware of contract specifications regarding areas of responsibility, resulting in the wrong resources being applied to a particular problem; a lack of coordination and cooperation existed between the contractor and RIA engineering and inspection group; there was a lack of supplies and support for repair personnel; and non-technical RIA contract personnel incorrectly interpreted technical requirements of the contract and misguided the contractor’s efforts.
In 1997, it was decided that a team approach or contractor/Arsenal partnership be developed to focus on reducing contract misinterpretation and enhancing system performance. Individual contracts were established with more than one service organization to support each of the three maintenance requirements. This was done to minimize confusion between the contractors and Arsenal personnel, and to maintain maximum equipment availability. In addition, the contracts stipulate that Contract Responsibility Training will be provided to all personnel, and that all personnel will meet weekly to discuss problems and coordinate work assignments. Contractors are also required to provide mobile vans containing specified tools and supplies to ensure that repairs can be effected quickly.
This partnership between contract employees and government personnel, including training and interactive discussions, provides closer cooperation and an effective deployment of resources. Less time is spent on contract issues and crisis management, and more time is be spent on problem diagnostics and repair activities.
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