RC107 JulyAugust2023 - Magazine - Page 31
EXPERT-FACILITATED Both parties must feel confident that jointly chosen independent experts have the required technical
knowledge, and problem-solving skills, to determine the
root causes of disputes and work with both parties to find
If a DRP does not meet each of these criteria, it is effectively unfit for purpose, and leads to greater time, money,
and expertise costs that negatively impact projects and
A process that is underpinned by the principles above
will ensure both parties act in good faith during project
delivery. Above all else, these principles will contribute to
a more focused work environment that encourages collaboration, which is critical for successful project delivery.
Based on our research through the Future of Infrastructure Group, we have also seen there is an opportunity to
take a more proactive approach by introducing a Conflict
Avoidance Process. This involves leveraging a roster of
approved experts in an inquisitorial role who help coach
both parties through project issues. This has been successfully rolled out among major clients in the U.K., delivering
huge cost savings, slashing the number of disputes that result in litigation or arbitration, and has even been adopted
as standard practice by the U.K. Government.
An opportunity for change
In Canada, we are fortunate that there is a broad acceptance of the merits of infrastructure investment. As the
number of projects grows and projects become more
complex, it is vital that we spend time improving how we
deliver projects. The amount of time spent dealing with
disputes is hindering the industry’s ability to deliver projects on time and on budget and driving up project costs
overall. According to research from HKA, disputes added
around 22 per cent to project costs and nine-and-a-half
months to project timelines in Canada as of 2022.
Developing fair and effective dispute resolution
processes is possibly the biggest step we could take in
controlling cost escalation for public sector projects, and
a confluence of events has presented an opportunity to
transform the project delivery environment in Canada.
New construction legislation in Ontario and Alberta
includes adjudication processes, must be incorporated into existing DRPs, and other provinces are soon to
follow. The public sector can either seize the opportunity
to deliberately reconsider and revise DRPs for the benefit
of all projects and those delivering them or compound
the ineffectiveness of current DRPs by simply tacking on
additional DRP steps.
Integrating renewable energies
in communities to create a better world
JULY/AUGUST 2023 – RENEW CANADA 31