ACEC COMMUNIQUÉ - MARCH 1998

Please note -- there is a small survey at the end of this issue of ACEC Communiqué -- please take a little time to answer the questions and return your response to the ACEC National Office. Thank you!


Last Call!

Many members still haven't returned their ACEC Directory Corporate Data updates. Please think about potential missed project or partnership opportunities because of outdated contact names, addresses or telecom numbers. Think also about your marketing edge by placing a Company Profile on the ACEC CD-ROM.

Contact Francine or Kerry at the National Office to make arrangements.


1998 ACEC National Convention

There are three good reasons why you should be there in Whitehorse this coming June 17-20:

Register today for the 1998 ACEC National Convention. Call 1-800-565-0569 for a free brochure.


Awards Submission Deadline Looming!

Plan to enter a project! You might see yourself on stage before your peers from Canada and around the world, not to mention the design community through the media coverage surrounding the event! Download a notice of intention from the ACEC site at www.acec.ca or contact the Editor of CCE magazine at 416/442-2266. Deadline for the notice is May 15th.

This year's presentation is special: as part of FIDIC '98, the Awards will be given at a unique event in the new Winspear Centre in Edmonton, with entertainment provided by none other than Canada's own André-Philippe Gagnon, the "Man of a Thousand Voices"! Call Clara Higgerty at the National Office for tickets.


FIDIC '98

ACEC is hosting the 1998 FIDIC International Conference. The FIDIC and local organizing committees have done a superb job of assembling relevant and informative business sessions, while rolling out the red carpet for our peers from around the world. Contact ACEC at 1-800-565-0569 for more information or visit the ACEC web site at www.acec.ca for a link to the FIDIC'98 web page.


Government Relations

Meeting with Massé

As reported in the last issue of Communiqué, ACEC met with the Honourable Marcel Massé, Treasury Board President, to present and discuss the consulting engineering industry's position relative to three key areas:

1- Infrastructure in Canada

With an infrastructure deficit of some $60 billion, ACEC recommended the establishment of a permanent infrastructure program aimed at municipalities, the national highway system and new infrastructure technologies.

2- Centralizing the Contracting of A&E Services

With dwindling public projects, ACEC believes that greater efficiency can result if federal contracting of A&E Services is done through one Department. Such a move would allow government to rationalize resources, standardize quality, increase transparency and develop a clearer understanding of public-private partnerships through concertation of efforts, knowledge and experience within the federal government. At the same time, the private sector would benefit from the standardization of federal government requirements for SOQs and proposals, from having to monitor a single source of business opportunities at the federal level as well as encountering less public sector competition. PWGSC is the logical candidate.

3- Growth through support of knowledge-based industry exports

To enhance the Canadian consulting engineering industry's presence on international projects, ACEC recommends that corporate taxes be reduced on export earnings of knowledge-based industries AND personal income tax be reduced for Canadians working abroad (i.e. expansion of the Overseas Employment Tax Credit).

ACEC argued that knowledge-based industries are important net contributors to the national economy through export revenues, but don't enjoy the tax advantages of Canadian manufacturers, such as capital depreciation allowances.

ACEC will continue to make representations to Finance Minister Martin and other federal MPs to build up a greater understanding of the urgency to address the infrastructure deficit and the growth potential for Canada through export incentives to knowledge-based industries. The position papers will soon be available on the ACEC Web site. Copies can now be obtained by calling the National Office.


Design/Build

ACEC is working with the RAIC, CCA and CSC in developing a commonly acceptable Design/Builder - Consultant Contract to complement the existing Document 14 (Owner - Design/Builder Contract). ACEC remains opposed to any contract language that puts the consultant in a conflict of interest relative to certifying progress payments, compliance with Construction documents and substantial performance of work.

ACEC is also working with the federal government to develop best practices for federally contracted Design/Build projects. On March 6, industry reps raised a number of issues, including: when is Design/Build an appropriate project delivery method, partnering, the selection process and evaluation criteria, remuneration, and contracts. Industry and government reps agreed to exchange information on individual positions and needs and be a source of advice to other participants in Design/Build projects.

The Canadian Construction Design-Build Institute has recently been established. Its mandate is to promote the use of the Design-Build project delivery method when suitable, provide a forum for Design-Build practitioners, recommend solutions to problematic areas of Design-Build procedures and recommend "best practices". CCDBI is financed by the CCA and it's membership is open to all Design-Build practitioners.


PWGSC

Following ACEC and the RAIC's recommendations with respect to a) selection of teams as opposed to Prime only, and b) evaluation of the cost component of proposal according to the "Stepped Approach", PWGSC has agreed to implement the first recommendation on all new projects and the second on a few pilot projects. If you see projects on MERX which do not prequalify teams, but only the Prime, please advise Anne-Marie Schneider at the National Office.

For the pilot projects, the selection process will be as follows:

The winning team is the one with the highest total score. This evaluation method aims at eliminating lowballing practices. This stepped approach can be used on all projects, not just on the pilots, as long as all pre-qualified teams agree. You just have to ask PWGSC!


Making Sense of MERX Postings

A consultant offering Search Agency services has approached ACEC. Members who have found the transition to or the use of MERX challenging could benefit from tailored daily identification of government and MASH sector opportunities, for a preferential annual fee. Services would include qualifications-based searching and reporting of pertinent opportunity notices, weekly activity reports and historical reporting. If your firm would take advantage of such a service, please indicate so in the "Survey" section below.


Career Services at ACEC

In the last issue of Communiqué, we proposed to members an ACEC partnership with an Internet-based employment service as a value-added service to Members.

Only two members actually responded -- for which we express our appreciation -- but we now have on hand both a "yes" and a "no" answer to the questions. We are polling the membership one last time on the concept, and would appreciate your feedback (see "Survey" below).

As part of this potential new service, ACEC would offer subscriptions to an employee database composed of design and technology professionals, among others, accessible through the ACEC web site. This would be an option to traditional (and sometimes costly) personnel advertising.


CyberspACEC


SURVEY

1. Would you subscribe to an ACEC employment service?

Yes |__| No |__|

If yes, how would you use it?

- Year-round (annual subscr.) |__|
- At peak periods (monthly) |__|
- As needed (pay-per-use) |__|

2. Would you engage the services of a Search Agency to identify for you relevant opportunities that are posted on MERX?

Yes |__| No |__|

3. |__| Send me an ACEC Convention Kit

4. |__| Send me a FIDIC '98 registration package

Name:
Firm: