Civil engineering is a professional discipline that deals with built environment involving physical construction of man-made structures such as roads, rails, bridges, drainage, water supply, geotechnical, and services. It also contracts with soft skills such as maintenance, research and investigation, conservation, and planning. In Malaysia, it is prerogative that civil engineers administer civil engineering contracts. The preliminaries are an integral part of the bill of quantities and difficult to price due to its nature. However, the contractor is expected to price all items fully. The engineer prepares the preliminaries but the risk and liabilities are ultimately transferred to the contractor notwithstanding the reliability of the bill itself.  As such, the reliability of preliminaries is of the utmost concern. The research focused on the improvement of the reliability of the Preliminaries. The aim is to improve the effectiveness of present preliminaries in Civil Engineering conventional contracts. The objectives are, (1) To investigate the existing cost items consideration and strategic approaches, (2) To improve the criteria of cost-related item components and expand its potential strategies. This paper considered previous research findings and highlighted the issues and problems related to the fallacy of the subject. Based on an initial exploratory survey (N=19), it was obvious that the issues of reliability of preliminaries exist. The research proceeded with a mass survey (N=270) of stratified data sampling involving Malaysian civil engineering contractors class G7 CE21, civil engineering consultants and developers. The survey used Likert scales of 1 being “Strongly Disagree” to 5 being “Strongly Agree”.The analysis was predominantly using SPSS statistics. The results conspicuously exposed the issues with the weaknesses of present practices (M=3.579, SD=0.927). The improvement of the present practices’ criteria expected to increase the reliability of preliminaries. As a way forward, the improved criteria provide better clarity, accuracy, and transparency to engineers and contractors as well as other construction players in general. Reliable preliminary items improve price accuracy for the betterment of the construction industry.


conventional contract, civil engineering contract, preliminaries, tender accuracy

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