Commenced in January 2007
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Cost-control Concept Related Publications

1 Analysis of Cost Estimation and Payment Systems for Consultant Contracts in the US, Japan, China and the UK

Authors: Shih-Hsu Wang, Yuan-Yuan Cheng, Ming-Tsung Lee, Wei-Chih Wang

Abstract:

Determining reasonable fees is the main objective of designing the cost estimation and payment systems for consultant contracts. However, project clients utilize different cost estimation and payment systems because of their varying views on the reasonableness of consultant fees. This study reviews the cost estimation and payment systems of consultant contracts for five countries, including the US (Washington State Department of Transportation), Japan (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), China (Engineering Design Charging Standard) and UK (Her Majesty's Treasure). Specifically, this work investigates the budgeting process, contractor selection method, contractual price negotiation process, cost review, and cost-control concept of the systems used in these countries. The main finding indicates that that project client-s view on whether the fee is high will affect the way he controls it. In the US, the fee is commonly considered to be high. As a result, stringent auditing system (low flexibility given to the consultant) is then applied. In the UK, the fee is viewed to be low by comparing it to the total life-cycle project cost. Thus, a system that has high flexibility in budgeting and cost reviewing is given to the consultant. In terms of the flexibility allowed for the consultant, the systems applied in Japan and China fall between those of the US and UK. Both the US and UK systems are helpful in determining a reasonable fee. However, in the US system, rigid auditing standards must be established and additional cost-audit manpower is required. In the UK system, sufficient historical cost data should be needed to evaluate the reasonableness of the consultant-s proposed fee

Keywords: Consultant Services, Cost Estimation and Payment System, Payment Flexibility, Cost-control Concept

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