When it comes to delivering capital construction projects, one of the processes that are common to all those projects is making payments for approved work in place completed by the contractor for each awarded contract. Nevertheless, those project owners, investors, and funding agencies need to be assured that before releasing the payment for the interim payment certificates that they have been formally reviewed and approved in accordance with the contract agreement requirements. 

Usually, there are four types of interim payment certificates in a construction contract agreement. The first is the payment certificate for the advance payment if the contract agreement has this condition. The second type is the first payment certificate submitted by the contractor for completed and approved work in place. This will be followed with the third type, which is the monthly interim payment certificate for works in place completed during the project duration. The last type is the final payment certificate.

The review and approval of those four types of payment certificates need to be done against a pre-defined checklist. That checklist will include the items required to approve those payments in accordance with what the contract agreement calls for. Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb, four checklists will be created for each payment certificate type. Organizations can assign a unique workflow to each checklist to formalize the completion, review, and approval tasks for those checklists. These will be a prerequisite for releasing the relevant payment to the contractor.

Creating checklists

PMWeb custom form builder will be used to create those checklists. Each checklist will have two parts. The first provides details of the contractor, contract agreement, interim payment certificate number and date, and the amount of the payment certificate. The second part is a table of predefined items to be checked for each interim payment certificate type. Each item has a compliance field that needs to be checked if the submitted interim certificate complies with the requirement. 

In case there is a requirement that those checklist items need to be reviewed by different individuals, then multiple tables must be created where each table will include only the items to be reviewed by each specific individual. This will enable assigning the view and edit rights for each table to its authorized individual. The workflow assigned to each checklist type enforces the sequence for completing those tables.

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Each payment certificate checklist transaction will be attached with all supportive documents for items reviewed and approved. Organizations can upload and store those documents in their relevant folder or subfolder in PMWeb document management repository. In addition, organizations add links to the relevant interim payment certificate record on their relevant checklist. The interim payment certificate record will be created using PMWeb Commitment Progress Invoice module as imported MS outlook emails.

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Enforcing transparency and accountability

To enforce the required transparency and accountability in completing, reviewing, and approving those checklists, a unique workflow could be assigned to each payment certificate checklist process. The workflow will detail the review and approval tasks for each payment certificate checklist process along with the duration for each task and the sequence for performing the tasks. 

Of course, those checklist types can share the same workflow steps if the tasks required are the same. The workflow will also include the approval authority levels associated with those processes if needed.

The actual release of payment against interim payment certificates could only be approved when the relevant checklist is approved by the assigned project team member. Only then, the checklist status will become approved.

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