On March 20, the Louisville District, Construction Division, Reserve Branch hosted an Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO) and Contracting Officers Representative (COR) business meeting for geographic Construction Contract Administration partners supporting the Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve Construction Program. Twenty four construction personnel from 12 partner districts across the continental United States including Puerto Rico attended the meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to calibrate roles among the Reserve Branch as a construction program office operating similar to a very large area engineer office and its supporting field offices.
The terms COR and ACO represent formal contract authority delegations that are granted to personnel in construction who are charged with construction contract administration duties. Typically, area engineers and resident engineers are delegated ACOs, and construction project engineers are delegated CORs.
The Reserve Construction Program for the Louisville District places approximately $220 million to $250 million in construction annually. Across-the-command funding means a huge amount of work is administered by 33 field offices from 15 geographic districts, according to Hans Probst, construction division, Reserve branch chief. A briefing given by Probst focused on reviewing the USACE project management business process and the roles of contract administrators in the project delivery team who serve the Army Reserve and Air Force Reserve construction contracts. Among other topics, the group held sessions related to funds management, construction management and quality assurance planning, construction schedules and partnering.
During the meeting, Probst shared his vision of the program and the vision of Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, USACE commander, from “SemoNote #9” relating to area and resident engineer focus. Here, Semonite encouraged a “world-class mindset – one of excellence, ingenuity, and innovation, underpinned by mutual trust of our partners, stakeholders, and the public we serve.”
“As construction professionals, the best way for us to support our project delivery teams is to effectively manage construction contracts and quality assurance to deliver the project with world-class excellence.” said Probst.
“The conference is a great platform to better understand the Reserve Construction Program procedure, said Jeremy Pagoada, project engineer, New York District, Niagara Falls. “It helped to more clearly define PDT roles by providing a more intimate setting than telecommunicating provides, and to more effectively collaborate ideas that identify ways to strengthen PDT members’ ability to deliver more efficient and successful projects.”
“I had a great experience during the meeting. It was great knowing the expectations and the available support they provide in case I needed it. It was also good to know the consistent issues they have had on previous projects. That will help me focus on those particular items and make sure I keep on top of them before they become an issue. Anytime we have lessons learned, it’s always a great help for new upcoming projects,” said Elvis Garay, civil engineer, construction division, Los Angeles District.