ACEC Communiqué -- March 1999

In this issue:

  1. Business Practices and Government Relations

    • Document 32 - Agreement between Engineer and Sub-Consultant
    • Risk Management Guide
    • Engineering, Design/Build and Public Private Partnerships (PPP)

  2. On the International Scene

  3. Association Business


Document 32 - Agreement between Engineer and Sub-Consultant

ACEC is in the process of revising its Document 32 (Agreement between Engineer and Sub-Consultant). It will reflect the changes made to the Prime agreement (Doc. 31) in 1996, i.e. ADR provisions, basic and additional services and payment provisions. ACEC's Contracts Committee invites members to contact ACEC if they have encountered problems with the document in the past or if they have specific suggestions for new provisions.

Risk Management Guide

ENCON Insurance Managers in collaboration with ACEC are developing a guide to risk management. It will be launched in June as part of the ACEC National Convention business session on "Meeting Clients' Expectations while Managing Risk". The guide will help limit liability in communications, in contracts and during the different stages of a project, including planning and construction. It will show how to avoid claims and how to handle them, and address insurance and bonding requirements. A section will also focus on Design/Build and new considerations related to this alternate project delivery method.

Engineering, Design/Build and Public Private Partnerships (PPP)

ACEC is organizing a seminar on PPP as part of the Business Programme of the 1999 National Conference in St-Andrews (see page 2). We have invited representatives from stakeholder industries to participate and help build a clearer understanding between our industry and these important partner, client and supplier groups.

The experience of PPPs in Canada, while growing, is still largely misunderstood by stakeholders. This is at a time when the PPI (Public Private Infrastructure) market may soon account for 50% of the global infrastructure market (US$3 trillion over the next 10 years).

For more information on the 3 subjects above, contact Anne-Marie Schneider at


Federal Government Adopts Foreign Public Officials Act

As of February 15, 1999 Canadian enterprises and their personnel can be charged and convicted of a criminal offence in Canada for directly or indirectly bribing a foreign official of another country under the newly adopted Foreign Public Officials Act.

The Act contains a broad definition of "foreign public official" which includes not only officials of foreign governments, but also officials of various government entities such as state or Crown corporations and officials of public international organizations, like the United Nations and the World Bank. Members can take steps to minimize risk and avoid liability by drafting special contract provisions and implementing compliance programs that include due diligence measures. For more information, contact Tim Page at the National Office at

EDC Introduces an Environmental Review Framework

Keep your eyes open for an April 6 statement from the Export Development Corporation announcing the establishment of an Environmental Review Framework within EDC.

According to EDC, the Framework responds, in part, to those who have been trying to bring the export credit system into line with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. EDC's intention is to formalize a process for assessing the environmental effects and/or risks associated with projects seeking EDC support that is "transparent, flexible and appropriate to their commercial operating environment".

EDC hopes to strike a balance between export competitiveness and environmental conservation. It also says that it will use a "professional judgement based system" to mitigate environmental risks in their lending decisions. Anyone with a comment or a suggestion should contact Tim Page at

WTO and FTAA Consultations

The Canadian government is conducting Canada-wide consultations to prepare for the upcoming negotiations on the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) as well as the Free Trade Areas Agreement (FTAA). After exporting members complete a soon-to-be-mailed survey, ACEC will submit a brief to both DFAIT and the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. If you are able to provide input, or participate in the development of the brief, please contact Hélène Schneider at or Tim Page at Information concerning the negotiations, including consultation papers, is available on the Services 2000 website at


New National Associate Member Category

April 1st marks the enactment of ACEC's new Associate Member category. Over the coming months, ACEC will be targeting a select number of Canadian companies and business associations interested in developing strategic business alliances with ACEC and full members.

ACEC's interest in broadening its membership is a reflection of the way contemporary markets for CE services operate. Success goes to those who partner with other service providers in related fields to offer integrated solutions to client needs. With this in mind, ACEC must establish a closer relationship with, and understanding of, the business interests that guide its industry and those of other related industries. For more information, contact Dan Matko at

75 years in business: Celebrate with ACEC!

Sign up now and save as an early-bird registrant to ACEC's 75th National Convention, June 9 to 12, in St-Andrew's-By-The-Sea, New Brunswick! Sign up now to meet industry leaders, as well as clients, partners, suppliers and lenders! Let your colleagues know about this meeting and encourage them to attend. Registration kits were mailed to all member firms early in March.

A strong technical and business program will be the main focus of the Convention, providing valuable insights into key areas such as risk management, public/private partnerships and infrastructure. Featured speakers include Julian Payne from the Asian Development Bank who will be presenting current priorities of the ADB and emerging business trends, while Elizabeth Beale of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council will address the resurgence and trends of Atlantic Canada's economy. Among other confirmed speakers, Jacques Lamarre, President and CEO of SNC-Lavalin, will speak on the impact of the evolving PPP market on the consulting engineering industry.

ACEC members, their clients and partners can sign up for registration kits by visiting the "Events" page on the ACEC web site. Just fill in the online form and submit it directly to ACEC. A CAR RIDE TO ST-ANDREWS IS REQUIRED, SO IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO USE THE HOTEL SHUTTLE, YOU WILL RECEIVE AN ADDITIONAL BONUS ON YOUR ALREADY LOW MEMBER CAR RENTAL RATES WITH AVIS BY CALLING 1-800-879-2847 AND QUOTING ACEC'S CONVENTION NUMBER C455399.

For more information, contact Clara Higgerty at 1-800-565-0569, ext. 207 or email

1999 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards

Members are reminded that the Awards submissions deadlines are fast approaching - «Notices of Intention» are due now, «Official Entry Forms» on May 24th and «Full Submissions» by June 16th. Download the «Notice of Intention» from the "Events" page on the ACEC web site.

This year's event will be staged at Toronto's Westin Harbour Castle on October 21st, where we expect to host more than 500 people, including engineers, clients, suppliers, media and students.

For information on submissions, contact Bronwen Ledger at 416/442-2266 or email For venue and ticket information, contact Clara Higgerty at the ACEC National Office at

National Industry Business Survey

The complete report of the 1998 ACEC Business Survey was mailed to all members at the beginning of March. Additional copies are available from the National Office, as are Survey Summaries suitable for distribution to clients, government officials and the media.

Project Management Guide promotes Best Practices

The AICQ/ACEC Engineering Services Management: Guide and Glossary is a document which is proving to be as much use to clients as it is to professional service providers. For instance, it addresses the impact of project management on remuneration.

The Guide, available by contacting the ACEC National Office, provides descriptive advice to both owners and consultants on all aspects of project management. To order one or more copies, contact ACEC at 1-800-565-0569 or email:

ACEC Discount Program with AVIS

For close to seven years, AVIS has been providing member firms and their employees with worldwide discounts on car rentals and special affinity benefits from participating merchants and service providers. ACEC will be mailing updated program documentation to all member firms over the next few weeks. Please call Dan Matko for more information on ACEC member benefit programs.