Final Project Review
The Final Project Review (FPR) procedure applies to MDOT let projects, Local Agency Force Account and other federal aid projects that utilize a non-certified engineer. A non-certified engineer is a construction/project engineer of record that does not have active certification under MDOT’s Certified Engineer Program (link) or is not eligible to obtain certification under this program. The non-certified engineer is required to adhere to these procedures on every project until they successfully graduate into the department’s Certified Engineer Program. This FPR supersedes all previous versions.
The purpose of the FPR is to verify that final contract quantities are supported by proper documentation and have been paid in accordance with contract documents and MDOT’s Standard Specifications for Construction. The review provides assurance that the project records are in substantial conformance with the plans and specifications, as well as the department’s policies and procedures. Substantial conformance is defined as no major deficiencies and that all identified minor deficiencies have been addressed.
MDOT uses these procedures to help identify issues and reduce risks. A formal risk-based auditing procedure is used to select project pay items to sample which represent the major items of work on the project and/or account for large portions of the project funding.
When actions depart from specifications and established MDOT policies/procedures, the basis for acceptance must be documented by the engineer using the Letter to the File Procedures (link).
Timely construction project close-out is imperative. It’s MDOT’s expectation that all Construction Project Closeout processes are complete within 180 days after the construction completion date. This includes balancing of final contract quantities, executing all contract modifications/time extensions, processing of final paperwork, completion of the FPR, resolution of any deficiencies identified during FPR, and submission of the Final Estimate Submittal Form (1105 or 1105A) to MDOT Finance. Projects not closed out within the allowed timeframe will be subject to further review and scrutiny per the attached escalation of accountability guidelines (link).
Each FPR Team will have a leader, as well as members with knowledge and experience in MDOT construction and materials documentation. The team leader will be responsible for scheduling the review, ensuring that the review is completed in a timely and thorough manner, management of review documentation, completing final deliverables of the closeout review by compiling the final estimate review report, and signing the Final Estimate Review Summary at the completion of the review. Upon request, consultation or assistance on project related review issues is available with the Construction Contracts Unit, Construction Field Services Division.
The Region Construction Engineer will appoint FPR team members. Members may consist of MDOT engineering and/or technical staff from other TSCs, the region, or prequalified consultants. However, staff from the overseeing TSC office or consultants with conflict of interest must not be part of the review team.
Minimum Requirement for Team Performing Final Project File Reviews: The team must have sufficient members included so that the combined team will meet the following requirements.
- Current Certified MDOT Office Technician
- MDOT Prevailing Wage Compliance Course certification
- After January 1, 2021, the review team must also have at least two materials related certifications from the following list:
- ACI Concrete Field Testing (I or II)
- Michigan Bituminous Paving Operations
- Michigan Bituminous QC/QA Technician Certification
- Michigan Certified Aggregate Technician (I or II)
- Michigan Density Technology Certification
- Bridge Construction Rehabilitation & Preservation
- Michigan HMA Laboratory Technician, Level 1
When the engineer has determined the final quantities of all pay items and completed required documentation for the project, the Engineer must request the FPR from the Region Construction Engineer. It is important for the engineer to complete the project closeout in a timely manner to allow adequate processing time for the entire final project review process, and post review submission of the final estimate within 180 calendar days of project completion. If a project closeout is not completed within the department’s established timelines, the engineer will be required to provide the Region Construction Engineer with an explanation. This information will also be reported to MDOT leadership and listed on MDOT reports.
The engineer must also ensure the review team has access to the project FieldManager/AASHTOWare file, ProjectWise project file folders, and LCPtracker wage compliance information. The final project review will be performed remotely by the review team utilizing ProjectWise, FieldManager/AASHTOWare, and LCPtracker as applicable. If paper tickets need to be reviewed, the review team will coordinate with the engineer on which tickets to scan and place in ProjectWise or to schedule a date and time to review the physical files.
The FPR will cover two major areas:
- Construction pay item documentation, including contract related project documentation.
- Materials documentation.
The FPR Team will review the project records for the following items, at a minimum:
- Required administrative documents, per MDOT’s Construction Manual.
- Contractor Certified Payroll documentation that has been properly reviewed by the construction/project engineer in accordance with current department policy.
- Contract modifications to ensure that they contain proper formatting and content and are consistent with the procedure for processing contract modifications.
- Supporting documentation for extensions of time approved with or without liquidated damages, incentives, and/or value engineering change proposals are included in the project files.
- Confirmation that the person performing office technician duties for the certified construction/project engineers on MDOT, local agency, and consultant projects has successfully completed office technician training.
- Review other items such as FHWA focus areas and or rotating areas of interest as determined by the MDOT Construction Field Services Certification Engineer for closer review.
- ProjectWise file folders and naming convention for adherence to Construction Manual guidance.
The selection of pay items sampled for review on the project will be determined as follows:
- Initial Sample Size - A minimum of 5 percent of contract pay items (rounded up) must be reviewed initially or a minimum of three items, whichever is greater. For projects with many pay items, the initial sample size for review will be capped at a maximum of 15 items.
- If an interim review (link) was performed and deficiencies were noted, those items must also be reviewed.
- If an Audit or FHWA Compliance Assessment Program (CAP) review noted any deficiencies during the project, those items must also be added to the FPR.
- If any major deficiency is encountered in the initial sample, all similar/related items must also be reviewed, and the minimum sample size must also be expanded to include a minimum of 10 percent of project pay items (no cap).
Initial Pay Item Sample Selection Procedure:
- Sort all project pay items by dollar value and then by division of work (200 series, 300 series, etc.) Select the largest dollar value item for review, then repeat by selecting one of the largest dollar value items for the next division of work. Continue to select one of the largest dollar value items in each division of work to include all the following as applicable:
- Earthwork item
- Aggregate base item
- Hot Mix Asphalt paving item
- Concrete Paving item or Concrete Item if no Concrete Paving
- Item containing steel or iron
- A force account item (if one exists)
- A Unique Special Provision Item
- Pay item with the largest quantity of units
- Largest Lump Sum Item
- Work Items should be randomly selected from the top several of the largest dollar value items in each division of work.
- If necessary, after the applicable item selections above have been completed, repeat sampling procedure in each work division expanding the scope to include more of the division pay items and randomly select the pay item to fulfill the percentage requirements.
- The focus of the review should prioritize large dollar value pay items where potential risk is greater. However, item selection should include a degree of random sampling to ensure a representative sample of each work division type has been represented.
- Review additional contract pay items to bring the total number of pay items reviewed to the minimum sample size.
- If major deficiencies are found with a pay item, the review must be expanded into all similar or related items and the sample size increased as previously noted.
- If a pay item is randomly selected for review and it has a final contract value of zero units (or was deleted from the contract), then a different pay item must be randomly selected.
The individual pay item review must include, at a minimum, the following items:
- Pay items measured and paid in accordance with the applicable specifications and special provisions. This includes timely payment to contractors and that no payment has been made prior to receiving all required certifications.
- Supporting documentation that is properly identified (MDOT control section and job number) and signed.
- Documentation that is properly completed on current prescribed forms.
- Component materials for each pay item properly documented, cross referenced, approved, and accepted.
- A sample of the Inspector’s Daily Reports (IDRs) containing each pay item, which demonstrates conformance with MDOT’s policies and procedures including required notations, measurements, calculations and other items.
Documentation requirements for most pay items can be found in the Documentation Guide (Minimum Documentation Requirements for Pay Item Approvals and Material Acceptance).
For each pay item reviewed, the acceptance of the materials component must also be examined. If irregularities or deficiencies are found, the review should be expanded into similar or related items. During the review, ensure that documentation for the following emphasis areas is adequate:
- Signed Material Source List Form 501 are included in project files.
- The materials were approved in accordance with the MDOT Materials Quality Assurance Procedures Manual and Materials Source Guide.
- Sufficient quantity of each material was approved for materials accepted by test for all pay items reviewed.
- All materials approved for use under General Certification, Test Data Certification, and Approved Manufacturer/Supplier are in accordance with Material Source List Form 501.
- All required testing was completed at appropriate intervals.
- All testing personnel were properly qualified and/or certified.
- Items included on the Qualified Product List are visually inspected and noted on an IDR.
- Materials approved by visual inspection are noted on the appropriate IDRs, and quantities are within the threshold limits in accordance with the Materials Source Guide in effect at the time of letting.
- Proper sampling and testing of concrete items, including frequency and results of slump tests, modulus of rupture, atmosphere and concrete temperatures, air content, and yield/evaporation (bridge projects only) tests.
- Verification of proper sampling and testing of HMA items, including frequency and results of mix and air temperatures tests, application yield rate data, loose mixture tests, density tests, thickness checks, and all other information required in the MDOT Construction Manual under division 5.
- Steel and iron certifications for Buy America provisions.
The Materials Review Worksheets (Form 1972) should include reference to specific test documents examined, so that an auditor can easily trace these documents. Additionally, total quantities tested must be reported.
Independent Assurance Testing (IAT) is required for each individual inspector or tester and their equipment for all federally funded projects on the National Highway System (NHS) in the following four areas:
- Concrete sampling and testing.
- Aggregate sampling and testing.
- In-place density testing.
- HMA mixture testing.
A listing of current IATs for an individual can be found in the Independent Assurance Testing Database (link). The FPR Team must verify and document that all required IATs were completed.
The items reviewed must have all deficiencies listed and must have the deficiencies cited/linked to the appropriate rules/guidance.
Example: Pay Item xxx, Buy America Certification missing for sources of Steel / Iron. Certification Required per 12SP-105A-08 and the 2012 Standard Specifications 105.10 page 53. Specific Guidance on Buy America is provided in the MDOT Construction Manual here: http://mdotwiki.state.mi.us/construction/index.php/105.10_Buy_America_Source_of_Steel_and_Iron
The final project review report listing all deficiencies found will be given to the Engineer after the review. The Engineer will have 30 days to address all deficiencies and submit documentation to the FPR team leader. Any Major Item found in the review will result in a larger review sample size and escalation per the Resolution of Identified File Deficiencies (link).
The FPR Report contains the review work papers documenting the findings of the review.
The following forms, which are available on MDOT’s Web site, must be used to develop the FPR report:
- Contract and Related Document Checklist (Form 1969)
- Construction Item/IDR Checklist (Form 1970)
- HMA Item Checklist (Form 1971)
- Material Review Checklist (Form 1972)
- Concrete Item Checklist (Form 1973)
- Interim Project File Review (Form 1963)
- Prevailing Wage Quality Assurance Review Checklist (Form 1965)
- Final Project Review Summary (Form 1147)
MDOT’s control section and job number should appear on each sheet to properly identify the work papers. Clearly identify the pay item or material reviewed on each form. Fill in the MDOT Standard Specifications for Construction section number for the item, and/or proposal reference page of the special provision for the item detailing the basis of measurement and payment. The special provision modifies the standard specification for the item reviewed. The support documents examined by the FPR Team should be listed on the forms. All forms should be signed by the member of the review team who completed that portion of the review.
LAP Project Considerations MDOT let LAP projects, emergency relief LAP federal-aid projects, and federally funded local agency projects by non-competitive bid contract (force account) which are not performed by an engineer certified under the MDOT Certified Engineer Program are subject to this Final Project Review procedures.
Upon completion of the project, the engineer will notify the MDOT Region Construction Engineer and the MDOT designated representative assigned to the project that the project is ready for a final project review.
The local agency’s designated person in Responsible Charge of the project, if not also the engineer of record, must be included on all correspondence related to the request for Final Project Review, subsequent review findings, and proposed resolutions.