Chapter 5 - Project Management
5.1 PROJECT INITIATION
Once a researcher has been selected and the proposal has been finalized, IRIS will prepare and forward a contract to the appropriate office of the research agency. Two signed original contracts will be returned to IRIS for further processing. Once the Director of Transportation has signed the contract and funding is secured, one fully executed contract will be returned to the research agency for their files along with an authorization to proceed with the work. The other fully executed contract will be retained by IRIS. Work cannot begin without the signature of the ODOT Director. For more information on contracts, refer to Section 5.2.
5.1.1 CONTROLLING BOARD APPROVAL
Contracts with state agencies and state supported universities in Ohio do not require approval from the State of Ohio Controlling Board (see Glossary). However, contracts with private universities, private sector consultants, and federal agencies must be sent to the Controlling Board for review and approval when:
- the total amount of the proposed purchase over the contract period, and
- the total amount of all open encumbrances with the given vendor, and
- the total amount of all disbursements to the vendor during the fiscal year are equal to or greater than $50,000.00 in a given biennium.
Purchases which have been made by competitive selection (defined in Section 125.01 (I) of the ORC) or which have been approved by the Controlling Board are not included in this calculation.
Once a contract is approved by the Controlling Board, ODOT’s Director signs the contract.
Controlling Board actions are also confined by the two year (biennial) limitation. Projects whose duration will cross into the next biennium must be taken back to the Controlling Board for review and approval prior to the beginning of the next biennium. The Controlling Board may opt to discontinue a project at this point. Should the Controlling Board determine not to renew a project, the contract must be terminated (see Section 5.5).
5.1.2 - PROJECT STARTUP MEETING
The actual start date for the project is specified in the agreement. The start-up meeting is generally scheduled as close to this date as possible, but should not be mistaken as the official start date. Work should begin on the start date stated in the agreement. The start-up meeting is an opportunity to review the contractual obligations, scope of work, deliverables, project milestones, time table, and appropriate office policies and procedures to ensure the new project is well-managed. It also serves as a means to introduce the research team to ODOT’s Subject Matter Experts who will provide technical guidance and direction throughout the duration of the study and IRIS Project Managers who will assist in the facilitation administrative items. Finally, it provides an opportunity to clarify any lingering technical issues or concerns with the project.
Start-up meetings are scheduled by IRIS and are typically held in the ODOT Central Office building. The administrative portion of the agenda generally takes one hour. The technical discussions can vary depending upon the project. Invitees to this meeting include the researcher(s), Subject Matter Experts, sponsoring Office Administrators, FHWA, and IRIS staff.