What is Contract Administration?

What is Contract Administration?

Contract administration, is, the management of the contract between the principle, or client, and the main building contractor, this can include sub-contractors if subcontractors are procured by the client directly.  A contract administrator is required to manage, negotiate, support, and execute the contract process.

Contract administration formally starts when the main contractor is appointed to deliver the construction of the project and associated works, however a contract administrator can also be appointed at the very start of the project when a Project management company is engaged to manage the procurement of a design team.

The role will include administrating the contract agreements with the design team consultants and will continue through the tender phase as support to the project manager.

The contract administration phase is all-inclusive and covers everything from:

  • Procurement
  • Design
  • Construction
  • Subcontracting
  • Installation
  • Engineering
  • Commissioning
  • Handovers
  • Rectification
  • Final financial close of the project


The Role of a Contract Administrator


The role of a contract administrator is broad and can be also seen as a Project Coordinator but have very different requirements.

Project Coordinator vs Contract Administrator

Project coordination is all about meeting management/scheduling, programme updates, resolving technical issues with vendors, suppliers., stakeholders, clients etc. This will happen during all stages of the project.

Contract Administration – The assigned administrator will manage the correspondence with the contractors, keeps chronology of events, keeps eye on the contractor performance.

However, the most basic definition of a Contract Administrator is managing the contract between the principle and the main contractor. Contract administration is required whenever contracts are involved and traditionally starts from the contract award stage and continues throughout until contract closeout or termination.

The role of a CA was originally usually carried out by the architect, however projects team roles have widened to include that of a development or project manager who often carries out the role, or it may be a role in its own right, depending on the size and complexity of the project.


Contract Administrator Duties and Responsibilities


A contract administrator is responsible for administering the terms of a contract between the parties involved. While the role is quite broad, a contract administrator requires a high level of accountability and responsibility. The day-to-day responsibilities and requirements of a contract administrator may vary depending on the type and size of the project and the location.

Contracts may also vary in complexity and type, although the overall requirements of a contract administrator generally involve the following:

  • Having the knowledge and skills to apply all contractual obligations and provisions.
  • To make decisions in a fair, impartial and independent manner.
  • Work with different personnel within an organisation.
  • A working knowledge and experience in the construction industry and all other related trades.
  • Keep a record of the building contract and the work involved.
  • Coordinate actions with internal stakeholders and legal teams if needed.
  • Report status of current contract processes to management.
  • Resolve any conflicts and disputes related to the contract.
  • Follow up to ensure that all contractual agreements and payments are actioned.
  • Analyse potential risks that contract changes may pose to the organisation.

JC Project Consulting is a New Zealand based development and project management company offering a dedicated, specialist team focused on a consistent, quality approach to delivering projects.

Need to know more then get in touch with us HERE

Jason Cauvain – December 2021

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