VTCA’s ECLC Key to Securing Significant Improvement to Inspector Vehicle Policy
On August 1, a new agreement for construction engineering and inspection (CEI) vehicle payments became effective largely due to the persistence and commitment of the ECLC’s CEI Working Group. The new agreement, IIM-CD-2-23-04.01, which supersedes a policy implemented in late 2017, provides an additional $160 to $250 a month in reimbursement for vehicle use over the rates established six years ago. It simplifies reimbursement to one flat fee ($900) for any vehicle, adds vehicle qualification flexibility by allowing a shorter wheelbase for pickups, and eliminates the minimally used hourly rate model.
The new agreement represents a number of improvements in comparison to the previous policy. However, it is important to remember that the 2017 agreement was a significant advancement for the CEI community introducing the first use of an advance agreement on a fixed monthly or hourly rate. This approach allowed both the consulting industry and VDOT to reduce the resources needed for record keeping and direct them to the core business of ensuring quality construction. ECLC’s Working Group and their partners at VDOT deserve substantial credit for this constructive shift in paradigm.
A note on the elimination of the hourly rate model: VDOT recognizes that there are several firms who will need to transition away from the hourly rate model and into a fixed monthly rate model. To mitigate the impact on those firms, VDOT is preparing guidance that is expected to allow a transition period up to 90 days in length. That guidance will be distributed by VTCA as soon as it is released. Stay tuned for a Heard Along the Highway email or upcoming Blue Top article for more information.