FPR Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions - Final Project Closeout Process Changes
As of June 25, 2020

This FAQ has been created to assist with implementation of the Final Project Closeout and Certified Engineer Process changes.

Where can I find the Final Project Closeout and Certified Engineer Process updates?

The MDOT Construction Manual has published the following changes:

Recent Major Changes

Updated Division Section Summary What Changed
1 Supplemental
Interim File Review
Created a new Interim File Review page View Here
1 Supplemental
Removed the e-File Project Review Procedures from Section 109.7Created a new Interim File Review page Compare Here
1 Supplemental
Letter to File
Created a new Letter to File page View Here
1 Supplemental
Project Closeout Escalation of Accountability
Created a new Project Closeout Escalation of Accountability page View Here
1 Supplemental
Final Project Review
Created a new Final Project Review page View Here
1 Supplemental
Certified Engineer Process
Created a new Certified Engineer Process page View Here

Recent Minor Changes

Updated Division Section Summary What Changed
1 Supplemental
Final Project Review
Updated Final Project Review page with Interim File Review link Compare Here
1 Supplemental
Certification Programs
Updated Engineer Record Certification List View Here

When are the process updates in effect?

The new guidance is effective immediately, as the timeframes are more flexible and extends project closeout times to account for the final project review and resolution of deficiency process. The one substantial change incorporates levels of escalating accountability. While the guidance is effective immediately, discretion on implementing the TSC and Region level escalation meetings is understandable, especially for agencies/engineers who are already actively in the close-out process. TSC and Region meetings should be considered to address outstanding projects yet to be completed ensuring they are in alignment with the new process and timeframes.

What is the name of the new ‘Overdue Finals Report’?

The ‘Overdue Finals Report’ is now called the ‘Final Project Review Report’. The report will continue to be run on a quarterly basis for TSC management and Region tracking purposes.

How is the Final Project Review Report updated?

There is a Final Project Review Report User Guide detailing changes to inputting final estimate/project closeout information. The construction tab of Phase Final Closeout (PFC) is no longer available. Field office and region staff must now access the Construction Administration System (CAS) application, where project review date, final estimate projected date, and other closeout information is stored and includes information on primary reasons for project closeout delays entry. A statewide Final Project Review Report is generated by CFS quarterly and distributed to Regions and TSCs. Fields should be updated prior to report generation typically run Jan 1, April1, July 1, Oct 1.

Has the CAS program been updated yet to reflect the 180 days that is now allowed per the construction manual update? If not, do you know when that might be updated to reflect the new timeframe?

The software is in process of being updated to ensure adjustment from 120 days to 180 days and the drop-down selections are available within the system. It is anticipated the update will happen before October 2020.

Have there been any notifications to local agencies, consultants, and MDOT personnel regarding this new process?

The process was discussed at various conferences in 2020, including MDOT’s internal Construction Alignment Conference, ACEC, County Engineer Workshop, and the virtual Local Agency Region Workshops. Information was also shared in the May 2020 using the Construction Field Services listserv and the Construction Manual Quarterly Report.

Further notifications regarding publishing will again be shared in an upcoming CRA Engineering Update and during a webinar in July with the Michigan Municipal League.

During the June 24, 2020 Local Agency Construction Engineer meeting, MDOT Responsible Charge/Designated Representatives (MRC/DR) for LAP projects will be encouraged to discuss and share the project closeout process changes with their assigned agencies. Bay Region has already encouraged their MRC/DR’s to discuss with locals.

Does the Construction Engineer need to sign the letter to the file?

Yes. Please refer to specifics in Letter to File

There used to be various timeframes in the construction manual for project closeout, such as for notification of need for review, scheduling review, completing review timeframe from initial request, and resolving deficiencies. What are applicable timelines with new process?

The 180-day timeframe starts with the construction completion date. When the Engineer determines the final quantities of all pay items and completed required documentation for the project is together, the Engineer requests the Final Project Review (FPR) from the Region Construction Engineer. The Engineer has 30 days to address all deficiencies and submit documentation once the Final Project Review Report is received.

Escalation of accountability will happen at 180-day after construction completion. It’s in the best interest of the Engineer to use the time wisely since the time allowance includes wrapping up final project paperwork/balancing quantities, the entire final project review process (including resolution of deficiencies) and post review submission of Form 1105A.

Detailed guidance can be found in Final Project Review and Project Closeout Escalation of Accountability sections of the MDOT Construction Manual.

Can the Final Project Review occur prior to construction completion?

While the Final Project Review is intended to be completed in its entirety after construction completion, it is up to Region Construction Engineer’s discretion whether to initiate portions of the review process at an earlier stage. In some instances, it may be beneficial to perform the review and have the Engineer address deficiencies closer to the substantial completion of construction. Early review is a means to facilitate a portion of the Final Project Review while project details are fresh and personnel are readily available. When all work and documentation is complete then the Final Project Review can be completed.

An example would be when a single pay item such as ‘watering & cultivating’ is outstanding, which may not be completed for one or two years. Performing the majority of the Final Project Review earlier would facilitate a timelier more accurate resolution of any identified file deficiencies and allow for a prompt closeout request (1105/1105A submittal) upon actual construction completion.

Is there a specific way the Final Project Review Team should cite specification/guidance document references? Could a standard deficiency list be developed to encourage all reviewers to use a similar format/reasoning for supporting deficiencies?

An example can be found here. The reason for citing is so the Engineer can understand the deficiency more effectively, and work towards resolution.

A standard deficiency list is not being developed.

On a warranty project, when should the Final Project Review be performed?

Warranties are not part of the FPR process and are covered by a dedicated bond covering the duration of the warranty period.

The FPR should start at the contract completion date. Review the Project Closeout Escalation of Accountability content for more details.

Does an engineer need two years of projects to request engineer certification?

No, the requirement is that projects submitted for certification cannot be older than 2 years. Detailed information can be found in the Certified Engineer Process.

Do I need to reapply for certification if I am already a Certified Engineer?

Not immediately. Old certification credentials remain valid with the Engineer until expiration. After expiration, the requirements of the current certification process must be met.

I was certified several years ago when I worked at MDOT, is my certification still valid?

If the certification is more than 4 years old, no, it is not valid.

What happens if I change employers, am I still a Certified Engineer?

Under the new guidance, Certified Engineer credentials are now portable. So, if you were certified while working at one employer and transition to another employer, your certification moves with you just like your professional engineer license. Portability is valid for engineers certified under this new process and any certified engineer whose certification had not yet expired.

An example is if someone was employed by MDOT or a Local Agency, certified, and has now changed jobs to a consulting firm, their certification remains valid until the expiration date.

Does a Certified Engineer need to maintain a valid Office Technician Certification, or can they just take the office tech class once like before, and be done with office tech training for good?

Under the new Certified Engineer Process, a Certified Engineer must maintain a valid Office Technician Certification.

If you are currently a Certified Engineer without a valid Office Technician Certification, you will be required to obtain an Office Technician Certification prior to renewal of your Certified Engineer status.

What does the Certified Engineer Application requirement of ‘the engineer must be 100 percent in charge of the project at the time of closeout and for the majority of the duration of the project’ mean?

To utilize a project on the Certified Engineer Application, it’s expected the applicant engineer is in full command or control of the project at time of project closeout. Additionally, the engineer must also have worked on the project for the majority (over half) of the project life, duration, or cost.

My projects are pavement marking and traffic signal jobs, can I apply to be a Certified Engineer?

You can apply, however per the Certified Engineer Application Requirements projects must contain major items of work from multiple divisions of work. Project with all major work on a single pay item or division will only be considered if the other submitted projects contain a more diverse cross section of work over multiple divisions. It is best to gain experience on projects with a diverse item cross-section prior to applying for Certified Engineer status.

What does the Certification Engineer score during review of projects?

Certified Engineer Application Review Procedures can be found here. Files are reviewed in an ‘as-is’ condition, meaning there is no opportunity for an engineer to supplement project files once a deficiency is identified. Certification scoring deductions are taken when minor deficiencies are found. If a major deficiency is found, it is an automatic fail.

What is the difference between a major and minor deficiency?

Definitions for Minor and Major deficiencies can be found in Project Closeout Escalation of Accountability.

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