Presentation on theme: "Issues and Experiences with Infrastructure Grants from Multiple Perspectives – Panel Discussion OPUS D AYTON K NIGHT John W.C. Boyle, M.I.C.E., P.Eng."— Presentation transcript:
Issues and Experiences with Infrastructure Grants from Multiple Perspectives – Panel Discussion OPUS D AYTON K NIGHT John W.C. Boyle, M.I.C.E., P.Eng. Vice President MED / MMCD Joint Annual General Meeting and Workshops Representing the Consulting Engineers of British Columbia December 3, 2010 - Vancouver Hilton Metrotown 1
What Went Well The Grant program helped stimulate the consulting economy The publication of the Grant funding provided us with good reasons to call clients we work with to mobilize on projects on which we had carried out the preliminary studies The publication of the Grant listing enabled us to market our services to clients which we, to that point, had not worked with The Grant program announcement was a positive public indication that the Province was seriously trying to stimulate the economy Clients initially received greater contractor interest and better value for their tenders. 2
What Were Some of the Negative Impacts Clients withheld projects until the Grants were announced. This caused a ramping down of work and then a ramping up after the Grant announcement Grant expiry dates are too restrictive in some cases The amount of effort in completing Grant applications is considerable (around $7K on average) A simpler form would be better 3
What Were Some of the Negative Impacts - continued There was too much work to be done in a short time frame. Companies could not do all the work and had to decide whether to hire more staff for short duration work. There is the possibility that work done may not have been adequately reviewed. Due to the tight design schedule, consultants could not use the Grant projects to train inexperienced staff. There were too many projects being tendered at the same time. Contractors’ prices increased which affected the engineers’ estimates. The amount of work that became available resulted in a lack of experienced contractors to do all the work. This has resulted in additional contract administration costs. 4
What Were Some of the Negative Impacts - continued The environmental approval process needs to be improved. Projects has not been proceeding in a timely fashion due to the time taken for approvals to be received. TILMA: Some municipalities were still inviting everyone instead of going to consultants that have worked successfully with them previously. This resulted is a lot of wasted effort by consultants in submitting proposals to municipalities where low price dictates the award. There has been little increased activity in the private development expansion sector to suggest that the program has been a success to the overall economy. 5
What Could Be Improved Extend the Grant funding period over a longer period. The construction season for work in northern BC in particular is short. Process the Grant applications faster and more spread out in time, rather than announcing them in batches. This would stagger the startup of the projects and improve delivery times and tendered prices. Recognize that significant additional resources are required when a substantial amount of funding is announced at the same time 6
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