ACEC COMMUNIQUÉ - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1998

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1999-2000 ACEC Directory Update Kits in the hands of Member Firm leaders

This past week, ACEC mailed a Corporate Data Update Kit to all members to bring the information published in ACEC's industry marketing tools up to speed.

The next edition of the Directory is particularly interesting to members because the Company Profiles will now be put up on ACEC's web site, giving participating members the double marketing exposure of the internet AND the CD-ROM for the same price as last year!

Contact ACEC's Membership Department for details or questions about the kit.


1998 ACEC Government Relations Days - December 3 & 4

Outsourcing agreement between PWGSC and ACEC: a template for other levels of government

On Thursday, December 3, 1998 ACEC and Public Works and Government Services Canada signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) confirming that 85% of non-core engineering work required by PWGSC is to be contracted out.

ACEC will be talking to PWGSC about further outsourcing of core services (e.g. contract administration and quality assurance) to the private sector. ACEC Chair, Bob Lorimer, said that the PWGSC/ACEC MOU was an excellent template for use by Consulting Engineers of Yukon in negotiating a similar agreement with the Yukon government. For more information, contact Anne-Marie Schneider .

No signals on federal infrastructure spending at ACEC's Government Relations Days

While ACEC representatives hammered home the need for immediate federal investment in Canada's infrastructure as a matter of good leadership and good governance, federal politicians and officials told the 80 industry participants at ACEC's Government Relations Day not to hold their breath.

ACEC will continue to carry its message to the highest offices in Ottawa with a campaign focusing on the impact to Canada's health and safety costs resulting from inadequate infrastructure. ACEC will join forces with other national and provincial groups promoting this cause in the coming weeks.

CIDA pilot project's preliminary report confirms industry concerns

While the evaluation of CIDA's Pilot Project on Open Competition has not yet been made public, ACEC has learned that the report is likely to confirm that there is a lack of transparency and accountability in CIDA's procurement process; there are contracts for large sums of money awarded outside of established procurement mechanisms; and, roughly 70% of CIDA contracts are awarded to firms in Ontario and Quebec.

ACEC is lobbying for CIDA to award 80 - 90 percent of its contracts through the competitive process and for contract opportunities to be available in a fair and transparent manner to Canadians in every region of Canada. For more information, please contact Hélène Schneider .


ACEC seminar reveals industry is not ready for Y2K

ACEC members who thought that the so-called Year 2000 (Y2K) problems were only relevant to the computer business got a wake up call at ACEC's Y2K seminar held this past October and November in several cities across the country. They learned that: if your clients experience Y2K problems they may not be able to pay your invoices; you may be considered negligent if you have not written due diligence letters to your suppliers; you may not fulfill your own contractual obligations to clients if your suppliers/manufacturers cannot deliver on schedule; date dependent equipment, microchips and systems may malfunction, for which you may be held liable.

Many members who participated claimed not to have been aware of these consequences. For more information, please contact Clara Higgerty at the National Office.


ACEC protects consulting engineers in Design-Build projects through an Owner-Owner's Engineer Agreement

ACEC is drafting an Owner-Owner's Engineer Agreement for design-build projects. The Agreement is necessary because Doc. 14 and the draft Design/Builder-Consultant Contract fail to protect the engineer by requiring the consultant to certify progress payments, thereby placing the engineer in a conflict of interest. For more information, please contact Anne-Marie Schneider.


3-Year ACEC budget approved with a focus on private sector business issues and a broadened membership base

The Board of Directors approved ACEC's first ever 3-Year budget at its December Board meeting in Ottawa. Highlights include: no dues increase in 1999; a commitment to broaden ACEC membership to include non-consulting engineers and increase the number of consulting engineering firms represented by ACEC; greater coordination of efforts on industry priorities with provincial member organizations; greater emphasis at ACEC on private sector business issues; a continuing focus on international business development for member firms; and, a government relations focus on infrastructure and on tax reform. These priorities emerged from a special planning session of the Board held this past October in Winnipeg.


Transport Canada to distribute business leads to ACEC

After lobbying efforts by ACEC, Transport Canada verbally agreed this month to provide ACEC a list of international transportation-related projects that it is made aware of through foreign governments and international agencies. ACEC is awaiting a written confirmation of this verbal promise along with details as to how the information will be communicated to ACEC's National Office.


Industry observers sought for DND and PWGSC Selection Process

ACEC has been invited by DND and PWGSC to observe their selection process for A&E contracts so that industry can help improve the process and ensure transparency. They are looking for a handful of volunteer observers from different parts of Canada and with different expertise. Those interested should contact Anne-Marie Schneider .


DND shares construction spending estimates with ACEC

DND is expected to spend $246 million in construction in this upcoming fiscal year of which $135 million will be in new spending. From these new monies, approximately $10 million will be for engineering - $3.5 million for works in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec; and, $6.5 million for Victoria and Halifax. For more information on other DND spending intentions for the next fiscal year, refer to www.dnd.ca/admie/dge .


IBPSA

The International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA), founded in 1985 and with 600 members world wide, wants to establish a Canadian chapter. In support of ACEC members with expertise in building performance simulation, ACEC is investigating the possibility of a partnership with IBPSA. Please contact Anne-Marie at the National Office for more information and to let her know if you are interested in ACEC becoming involved.

The IBPSA is in business to advance and improve the design, construction, operation and maintenance of new and existing buildings worldwide through the development of new building simulation software.


ACEC argues for increased access to Overseas Export Tax Credits

ACEC sent a letter to Minister of Finance Paul Martin last week urging him to make Overseas Export Tax Credits (OETC) available to individuals on short-term overseas assignments. Unlike Qu,bec, Canada restricts the tax relief to overseas employment periods of 6 months or more.

ACEC also recommended that employment under CIDA-funded projects no longer be disqualified for purposes of the OETC. Anyone who can contribute to this dossier should contact Hélène Schneider at exports@acec.ca


Hurricane Mitch Reconstruction Mission

The Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica is organising partnering events in Managua, Tegucigalpa, and San Pedro Sula for the week of 25-29 January, 1999. The purpose is to match Canadian suppliers with Nicaraguan and Honduran potential partners in order to facilitate Canadian participation in the reconstruction. CIDA INC is a full partner in the mission.

To obtain the registration application form or for further details, please contact Hélène Schneider at 1-800-565-0569, ext 210 or exports@acec.ca .


From all of us to all of you: Safe and Joyous Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!!