Responding to Contractors Selection Problems in Construction Projects with Prequalification Model

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Selecting a contractor for a construction project has been shown to be directly related to the success or failure of the entire project and client’s value for money. It was observed that the wrong choice of a contractor will certainly impact on the time, cost and quality of delivery of the project. This study assessed the prequalification criteria for evaluating contractors and their eventual section for the award of the contract. A prequalification model on a scale of 100 was formulated from the study for contractor’s evaluation on assessment of their quality score, eventual construction time and final cost of the project. Stakeholders in the sector agreed that a contractor with assessment mark of 61 – 70% be awarded the contract. Keyword: Prequalification criteria, quality control, eventual completion time, final cost of completion, technical capability, financial strength and health and safety policy.

Hatush and Skitmore (1997) noted that one of the difficult decisions faced by clients in the construction industry is the selection of contractor. This is owing to the fact that every construction project faces adversity and uncertainty associated with environmental issues, finance, technical know-how and statutory compliance. These problems are complicated with incompetent contractor which tends to increase the chances of the project been delayed, cost overrun, substandard work, disputes and bankruptcy. Babalola (2010) complimented that a wrong choice of contractor may not lead to an acrimonious client – contractor relationship, but also contribute to waste of resources. It is required that a contractor should possess a sound knowledge of organizational control, reputable administrative skill and demonstrable knowledge of building and civil engineering construction. Drew and Skitmore (1993) averred that contractor selection is a critical aspect of the construction contract procurement process as different contractors have different levels of cost, quality, efficiency and technical know-how. The selection of a qualified contractor gives confidence to the employer that the selected contractor can achieve the project goals. Babalola (2010) affirmed that appraising the diverse pressure limits associated with construction project success requires that selection of contractors is highly important. Ng and Skitmore (2001) were of the view that contractor’s selection is a decision characterized by multiple and conflicting objectives since client wants to minimize the likely cost of the construction project, but also want contractors to maintain schedules as well as achieving acceptable quality standards. However, contractors may be selected on the basis of competition or negotiation. The competitive process is conventionally regarded as the most efficient means of producing the proper and fit contractor. Fu et. al (2002) resonated the view that competitive bidding is still the most acceptable method of evaluating contractor’s suitability since they are faced with high competitive pressure. On the other hand negotiation makes it possible to use a contractor’s knowledge of construction method and cost to advantage and by mutual agreement to specify contract duration and/or conditions of payment to produce the most effective and advantageous bargain. The tendering process according to Jagboro (2009) is aimed at selecting a suitable contractor and obtaining from there an appropriate time an offer or tender which is capable of forming basis for a workable agreement. Aje (2008) agreed with the above, that the tendering stage is the focal point of all the construction stages which depicts the stage at which construction project is handed over to a contractor for execution on the basis of his competence. In summary, the selection of a construction contractor require a careful assessment which is done on the basis of...
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