Obviously, the extent of record keeping required for a particular construction
job will depend on the type of contract. However, some record keeping will be
required in any case because it is:
- Required by law
- Required by the terms of the contract
- Needed to control the on-going work
- Needed as data for estimating future work
- Needed for preserving the contractor's rights under the contract
The first item may be ascertained by referring to the authorities having jurisdiction
over the place of the work. The second may be determined by a thorough reading
of the contract documents, both in terms of the administrative requirements contained
in the general and special conditions, and the technical requirements contained
in the specifications. The third, fourth and fifth items are for the contractor
to decide, and depend largely on his disposition.
Perhaps the best case that can be made is that, if the contractor wishes to
remain profitable he must maintain control of his on-going work, and control
of on-going work requires on-going records. Some records may need to be kept
daily, others weekly, and still others monthly. Different frequencies are appropriate
for different records, but the key is that all such records must be on-going.
It is no use shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted!