Monday, May 26, 2014

Meeting Minutes

When work is completed many times one of the next step is dealing with contract claims. There are a number of tools that you use. What does the contract say as expressed by the terms of the contractual agreement? If there were changes to the agreement either by amendment, change order or variation, what do those say, what did they change and when were those changes implemented. If you had personnel on site another tool is site reports of what was being done, by whom, and when. Throughout a project there will also be a number of meetings held and for each meeting minutes should identify the status, any issues or problems, action items and action item status. They will also document what was discussed or agreed, and instructions were given. For example if a contractor brought forth a claim, the owner may provide instructions on what they require to process the claim.

Whether it is the supplier, contractor or employer that writes the minutes is not important. What is important is making sure the minutes, as published, are an accurate reflection of the meeting. As meeting minutes can be introduced into court or arbitration, if you are not the one that published them, you need to take the time to read them to ensure they are correct. If they aren’t, you need to reply and specify what portions or statements need to be corrected.

The reason for this is simple. Many times the individual(s) that need to deal with a claim may not have been involved in the work. The individual(s) involved may no longer be with the company or may not be reachable. For the individual managing the claim to do that effectively the contract file needs to provide them with as good of a picture as possible of what actually occurred and what was discussed and agreed. If you allow incorrect meeting minutes to be published and don’t seek to correct them, the individual managing the claim would think they were accurate.

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