Construction Program Guide
The FHWA's policies for construction contract modifications provide for the use of standardized changed condition clauses for certain projects and for the review and approval of contract modifications for Federal-aid participation.
- Title 23 U.S.C. 315 provides very broad authority for the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe regulations to carry out the Federal-aid highway program. However, there are no specific statutes dealing with construction contract modifications other than the required use of standardized changed conditions clauses as required by 23 USC 112(e).
The above regulations provide the FHWA's regulatory policy regarding construction contract modifications. However, please note that these regulations were last updated on August 2, 1991 and do not include revised stewardship, oversight, and applicability requirements resulting from the 1991 ISTEA and the 1998 TEA-21. See the discussion in the FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual for a summary of current FHWA policy).
- The FHWA Contract Administration Core Curriculum Manual summarizes policy and provides general guidance concerning contract modifications. Please refer to the following sections of the manual for more specific guidance:
- Headquarters memorandum dated July 12, 1963, Subject: Participation in Engineering Errors provides guidance for FHWA's participation in change orders where carelessness, negligence, incompetence or under-staffing are not contributing factors.
- Headquarters memorandum dated February 16, 1970, Subject: Expediting completion of highway construction in urban areas provides guidance for division staff to critically review contract time allowances and any change orders that affect contract time on projects in urban areas.
- Headquarters memorandum dated September 8, 1978, Subject: Participation in the Cost of Corrective Work Resulting from Construction Engineering Errors provides guidance for FHWA's participation in the cost of consultant design errors that are not the result of carelessness or gross negligence.
- Headquarters memorandum dated September 8, 1982, Subject: Audit of Construction Contract Change Orders provides guidance on the basis of payment to be used in a contract change. The use of force account is to be the last resort.
- Headquarters memorandum dated September 18, 1990, Subject: Contract Procedures Federal Participation in Premium Time (Overtime) Payments to Contractors provides general guidance concerning the eligibility of acceleration costs when the original contract does not have an incentive / disincentive provision.
- Headquarters policy letter dated November 15, 1996 provides general guidance concerning the eligibility of cardinal changes which provide significant changes in the scope of the work.