Project Closeout Escalation of Accountability

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Resolution of Identified File Deficiencies

All identified file deficiencies must be resolved for a project to advance from contract completion date through the construction project closeout process to financial closeout. Construction project closeout is considered complete when the ‘Final Estimate Submittal Form’ 1105A is signed and submitted.

File deficiencies are generally classified into two categories

Minor deficiency: A file deficiency that can be corrected with proper documentation or a letter to the file.

Major deficiency: A file deficiency where payment cannot be substantiated without further investigation.

Typically, minor deficiencies are resolved in the following manners:

  • Documentation added to the file
  • A Letter to File explaining the situation is created and added to the file

Typically, major deficiencies are resolved in the following manners:

  • Documentation added to the file
  • A Letter to File is created following the Major Deficiency procedures
  • Additional explanation added to the file
  • Forensic evaluation such as destructive or non-destructive testing
  • Partial or full item value deemed non-participating
  • Subsequent partial or full item values associated with deficient item deemed non-participating

Project noncompliance remedies may also include steps identified in 2 CFR 200: Subpart D (link), including:

  • Temporarily withhold payment until correction of deficiency
  • Disallow all or part of the cost of the activity not in compliance
  • Wholly or partly suspend or terminate the federal award
  • Initiate suspension or debarment proceedings 2 CFR Part 180
  • Withhold further Federal awards for the project or Local Agency program
  • Take other remedies that may be legally available

The Construction/Project Engineer is responsible for proposing resolutions to identified file deficiencies. The Final Project Review (FPR) team will collect the Construction/Project Engineer’s proposed resolutions and forward to the TSC Manager, MDOT Construction Engineer, and Region Construction Engineers for consideration. Construction Field Services, FHWA, and the Region Engineer must be notified when considering resolutions such as forensic evaluation and/or non-participation of items and/or associated items.

If file deficiencies are the result of a contractor not responding, resolution actions may include appropriate ratings or revisions on the Contractor Performance Evaluation and/or issuance of a contractor notification letter indicating the problem, asking the contractor to address, and citing contractual requirements which may lead to non-payment. In extreme or habitual cases of contractor non-response, the TSC Manager and/or TSC/Region Construction Engineer can take the issue to the MDOT Contractor Performance Evaluation Review (CPER) team. If issues are not resolved, the CPER team may escalate the matter to the Pre-Qualification Committee which can suspend contractor bidding privileges or otherwise restrict their pre-qualification.


Final Project Review Resolution Action Plans
In some instances, based on the Escalation of Accountability Matrix, a written Final Project Review Resolution Action Plan (FPRRAP) may be required of the Construction/Project Engineer. The purpose of the action plan is to acknowledge understanding of identified deficiencies, including associated documentation requirements, to detail a strategy and timeframe for resolving current file deficiencies, and to outline a plan for ensuring similar deficiencies do not happen on future projects. The FPRRAP is to be submitted by the Construction/Project Engineer of record to the FPR Team Lead, TSC Construction Engineer, TSC Manager and Region Construction Engineers. If the project is a LAP project, the FPRRAP Action Plan should also be submitted to the TSC Designated Representative and the Statewide Local Agency Construction Engineer at Construction Field Services.

If habitual deficiencies are identified during subsequent file reviews, appropriate rating and/or evaluations may be submitted to the pre-qualification committee for offending consultants and/or contractors. Additionally, appropriate evaluation ratings, notations, and employee corrections may be instituted for MDOT staff.

See the Potential Close-out Problems with Remedies matrix.

Once all identified deficiencies have been resolved, and the project records are in substantial conformance with current department policies/procedures, the FPR Team Leader will sign the Final Project Review Summary (Form 1147). The original signed FPRRAP is then placed in the official project files in folder 106 Estimates and Closeout package. Once the FPR Summary is executed, the Final Estimate Submittal Form (1105A) can be properly executed and submitted.

Escalation of Project Closeout Accountability with Timeframes

All deficiencies identified on the FPR report must be resolved by the Construction/Project Engineer before construction project closeout can proceed. After the FPR Report is issued, the FPR team will conduct follow-up inquiries, regarding deficiency resolution progress, with the Construction/Project Engineer. The initial inquiry will be within 30 days of report issuance, then as needed thereafter, including as directed during the TSC and Region Level Resolution escalation stages.

1st Escalation of Accountability
If any FPR report deficiencies remain unresolved at 180 days after the contract completion date, a 1st Escalation of Accountability meeting will be scheduled with MDOT TSC Manager and appropriate parties, including the Construction/Project Engineer, a member of the FPR team, and if applicable the local public agency. Besides meetings, a written FPRRAP Action Plan may be requested at this time. Projects in this category will be flagged on the “Projects with Finals Pending Due” list and will be reported to management.

2nd Escalation of Accountability
If FPR deficiencies remain unresolved at 270 days after the contract completion date, accountability of the Construction/Project Engineer will escalate from the MDOT TSC Management level to the MDOT Region Management level for monitoring. A written FPRRAP Action Plan may be requested or updated at this time. The project will stay at this level until all deficiencies are resolved and the construction project closeout can be finalized.

Escalation of project closeout accountability meetings may be paused for the following valid reasons:

  • Project Claims in Progress or Pending, Region Construction Engineer Discretion
  • Legal Issues, Region Construction Engineer Discretion
  • Forensic Verification in Progress, Region Construction Engineer Discretion
  • Other, Region Engineer Discretion

Paused projects will be reported with explanation on “Projects with Pending Final Estimates Submittals” report and monitored by management.

Paused projects will continue to be reported on the ‘Projects with Pending Final Estimates Submittals’ list with an explanation. Pausing project close-out does not mean the project can stay open indefinitely. It’s expected advancement towards project close-out will proceed, the pause reason just means more time is needed to resolve a unique situation.

All Major Deficiencies and any habitual deficiencies will affect the engineer’s ability to retain or become a Certified Engineer.


Construction Project Closeout - Escalation of Accountability

Standard Project Closeout
Contract Completion Date thru 179 days
1st Escalation of Accountability
6 Months (180 Days)
2nd Escalation of Accountability
9 Months (270 Days)
Region Level Resolution
Region schedules meeting with Engineer of Record & appropriate parties to advance closeout
MDOT; Region Eng., Assoc. Reg. Eng. & Reg. Const. Eng., TSC Mgr., MDOT Construction Eng., Const. Staff, & CFS Staff
LAP (if applicable);Managers or Execs. & LAP Responsible Charge
TSC Level Resolution
TSC schedules meeting with Engineer of Record & appropriate parties to advance closeout
MDOT; TSC Manager, MDOT Construction Engineer & Construction Staff
LAP (if applicable); Managers or Execs., & LAP Responsible Charge
Stand Project Closeout
Project Documentation finalized by Engineer of Record
Final Project Review Performed*
Engineer of Record resolves identified file deficiencies*
Final Estimate Submittal Form #1105/A signed & submitted

*waived on projects w/ certified engineers


Potential Closeout Problems with Remedies

Closeout Problem Local Public Agency MDOT MDOT Consultant
Engineer of Record Tardy with Project Closeout Minor Resolved at TSC/Region Level Resolved at TSC/Region Level Resolved at TSC/Region Level
Major Item(s) to Non-Participating Correction Performance Rated Appropriately
Habitual Initiate FPRRAP Action Plan Process Correction Performance Rated Appropriately. Pre-qualification Considered
Elements Missing from Construction Oversight Minor Letter to the File. CFS Notified & Records. Letter to the File. CFS Notified & Records. Letter to the File. CFS Notified & Records.
Major Item(s) to Non-Participating. Forensic Evaluation (Paused). ** Item(s) to Non-Participating. Forensic Evaluation (Paused). ** Item(s) to Non-Participating. Forensic Evaluation (Paused). ** Performance Rated Appropriately.
Habitual Initiate FPRRAP Action Plan Process Correction Performance Rated Appropriately. Pre-qualification Considered
Contractor Not Responding Minor Resolved at TSC/Region Level Contractor Performance Rated Appropriately Resolved at TSC/Region Level Contractor Performance Rated Appropriately Resolved at TSC/Region Level Contractor Performance Rated Appropriately
Major Contractor Notification letter. Contractor Performance Rated Appropriately Contractor Notification letter. Contractor Performance Rated Appropriately Contractor Notification letter. Contractor Performance Rated Appropriately
Habitual Contractor Notification Letter. CPER Action and MDOT/MITA Address. Contractor Notification Letter. CPER Action and MDOT/MITA Address. Contractor Notification Letter. CPER Action and MDOT/MITA Address.
Claims Pending/In-Progress Legal Action Project "Paused" ** Project "Paused" ** Project "Paused" **

** "Paused" projects will be reported with explanation on "Projects with Pending Final Estimates Submittals" report and monitored by management.


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