What is a Contract Administrator


Many people understand the need to use a contract on a refurb project but they cant tell you what is a Contract Administrator? A Contract Administrator( CA ) is a 3rd party who is employed by the client. They oversee the administration of a contract on a construction project

Different types of contracts

There are many different types of  contracts used on construction projects . The standard contract used in refurbishment projects is the JCT contract. However these are not the only ones. The Royal Institute of British Architects and Federation of Master Builders also issue contracts that are widely used.

We have previously discussed the benefits of using a contract on a project . This will set out the scope of the project, responsibilities, payment schedules and dispute resolution procedures. The CA will take no part in the planning or managing of the project. Although they are paid by the client they are there to ensure both parties abide by the conditions of the contract

The financial role

There may be agreed construction milestones that will trigger a payment to the builder. It might be the installation of all the partitioning or the first fix of the wiring. When the builder says they have completed these works the CA will visit site and measure the installed works. If they have been completed they will report back to the client and the agreed sum will be paid. They  may report back that only 90% has been completed. Then the client will only pay 90% of the agreed amount. If they find that works have not been completed to the agreed standard they will inform the builder that they will not be paid until the works are redone. Many people like to use a CA as this can prevent them falling out with the builder over money

The Contract Administrator must be impartial

In the event of works not being completed to standard or on schedule, or in the event of the client not paying as agreed the CA will refer to the contract and will decide who is in the wrong. If the client does not keep to the terms of the contract the builder has contractural rights. These can include the right to stop work or even leave site.

If the client has provided a design and the builder has installed the work to the design the client is still contractually obliged to pay for it even if they don’t like the result. The CA is legaly obliged to treat the builder fairly and to show no favour to the client. The CA is there just as much for the builders protection as the clients

Who can act as a Contract Administrator?

Sometimes the Architect who designed the building will act as the CA. Other times it may be a Construction Consultant or a Quantity Surveyor. However on occassion the client will take on this role themselves. This can be a risky strategy if they end up in court over a dispute with the builder. It can be very difficult to demonstrate they acted impartially whilst acting as both the client and the CA


If you need an experienced person to act as Contract Administrator on your project please contact us. We have extensive experience in this.

























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