This Guideline provides an overview of the Denver Service Center (DSC) Quality Assurance (QA) Process for reviewing design documents.
As a federal government organization the DSC is responsible for assuring the quality of all design documents it accepts. These documents must be biddable and buildable. The regulatory basis for this requirement exists in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) where it states:
Section 46.102 - Policy
Agencies shall ensure that:
- Contracts include inspection and other quality requirements, including warranty clauses when appropriate, that are determined necessary to protect the Government's interest.
- Supplies or services tendered by contractors meet contract requirements.
- Government contract quality assurance is conducted before acceptance (except as otherwise provided in this part), by or under the direction of Government personnel.
To meet this requirement DSC developed the DSC Quality Assurance (QA) Process to ensure the production of high quality design documents.
DSC Quality Assurance (QA)
DSC QA ensures delivered products meet the established programmatic, performance and technical goals of the project.
DSC Quality Assurance reviews each project for overall adherence to:
- Scope and budget
- DSC Design Standards
- Design Deliverables Requirements
- Programmatic requirements
- NPS design ethic
- Appropriate design for the location
- NPS policies and guidelines
- Health, safety, and functional requirements
and adequacy of construction documents (biddable and buildable) to construct the intended facility.
For each project the Architect-Engineer (A/E) Contractor is responsible for:
- Adherence to scope and budget
- Consistency with DSC Design Standards
- Adequacy of Design Deliverables (Content and Format)
- Integration of programmatic requirements
- Conformance with NPS design ethic
- Appropriateness of design for the location
- Conformance with NPS policies and guidelines
- Compliance with health, safety, and functional requirements
The Architect-Engineer (A/E) Contractor is also responsible for Quality Control (QC) which includes ensuring the technical accuracy, completeness, and correctness of the design, cost estimate and all engineering aspects and details, including coordination of all disciplines with each other and with the specifications.
This is consistent with the FAR, which states:
52.236-23 Responsibility of the Architect-Engineer Contractor.
As prescribed in 36.609-2(b), insert the following clause:
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTOR (APR 1984)
- The Contractor shall be responsible for the professional quality, technical accuracy, and the coordination of all designs, drawings, specifications, and other services furnished by the Contractor under this contract. The Contractor shall, without additional compensation, correct or revise any errors or deficiencies in its designs, drawings, specifications, and other services.
- Neither the Government's review, approval or acceptance of, nor payment for, the services required under this contract shall be construed to operate as a waiver of any rights under this contract or of any cause of action arising out of the performance of this contract, and the Contractor shall be and remain liable to the Government in accordance with aapplicable law for all damages to the Government caused by the Contractor's negligent performance of any of the services furnished under this contract.
QA reviews are conducted at major project submission milestones:
- 100% Draft Predesign
- 100% Draft Schematic Design
- Design Development
- 100% Draft Construction Documents
- 100% Complete Construction Documents.
Milestone submission content and format requirements for both Design-Bid-Build and Design-Build are located at the DSC Workflow Website under Design Deliverables - Content and Format Requirements.
Prior to each design submission A/E Contractors shall perform a QC review. After each QC review A/E Contractors shall revise submission documents per their QC review findings.
A/E Contractors shall submit design submissions to the DSC per the Task Order Scope-of-Work submission requirements.
DSC Project Management will initiate the QA process by submitting a QA Request Form and providing the submission documents to the DSC Technical Branch Quality Assurance Technical Specialist.
The Quality Assurance Technical Specialist checks the project submission documents into the Quality Assurance Process and the QA review begins. QA reviews typically are completed within 10 working days except for 100% Complete Construction Document reviews which are typically completed within 5 working days. QA reviewers will use individualized QA checklists as guides in performing their reviews. The checklists are designed to be comprehensive, but do not necessarily include all items that may be reviewed on a particular project. Not all items shown on the checklists are applicable to every project. In addition, not all of the QA reviewers will be required on every project.
QA review comments are recorded on the QA Review Form, an MS-Excel file with a summary cover sheet and individual reviewer sheets. As separate sheets within the file, individual reviewer sheets are formatted to allow A/E Contractors to respond to QA review comments.
DSC Project Management is notified when QA reviews have been completed and is responsible for transmitting completed QA reviews to A/E Contractors.
A/E Contractors shall resolve all QA review comments and respond to all QA review comments on the QA Review Form's individual reviewer sheets.
Except for Predesign submissions each subsequent design submission shall include the previous submission QA Review Form with A/E Contractor responses to all QA comments.
The QA Process is completed when all quality assurance review comments have been adequately addressed by the A/E Contractor within the 100% Complete Construction Documents.