Some Thoughts On Administering Government and Grant Funds

Initial Planning
In order to obtain government funding or grants from private agencies it is usually necessary to
do initial planning in the form of a Condition Report or Schematic Design. These documents
become part of the grant application and are evaluated by grantors to determine if the project is
carefully thought out, necessary, and fulfills the intent of their funding.

Project Delivery

1. Most granting agencies require the following steps as requisites to obtaining funds:Design Development: Drawings, outline specifications, and estimates fix and further describe the size and character of the project. These are usually reviewed, and must be approved, by the granting agency before contract documents are prepared. The granting agency representative essentially becomes part of the project team and must be kept informed as plans change and mature. In New York, if State funds are granted for work on National Register-listed (or eligible) buildings, your architect will submit the drawings for that review to the State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, often called the SHPO1 (ship-o).

2. Contract Documents: Working drawings and specifications describe the work in detail. They are used for competitive bidding, obtaining a building permit, and construction of the building. Again, they must be approved by the grantor before bidding.

3. Bidding: Most grantors require competitive bidding. If government funds are used, the bidding must be open to the public. Requirements for advertising the work are regulated by State or Federal law. Requirements for M/WBE, women and minority owned business enterprise participation, are established by the grantor. Your architect can help you comply with government regulations and find qualified bidders who are interested in constructing your project.

4. Contract Administration: Architects visit the site from time to time to assist Contractors with interpretation of Contract Documents (drawings and specs), to assist in revising contracts if necessitated by site discoveries or requested revisions, and to verify that, in general, work conforms to the Documents.

5. As the work proceeds, the Architect determines amounts owed to contractors for periodic payments and certifies those amounts to the grantor and owner. This eliminates potential conflict between owner and contractor, and assures the grantor of a disinterested overview of the work, fair to both owner and contractor.

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  1. SHPO stands for the State Historic Preservation Officer, a federally mandated position. []