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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 24, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1753 → Subpart B


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1753—TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM CONSTRUCTION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES


Subpart B—Engineering Services


Contents
§1753.15   General.
§1753.16   Architectural services.
§1753.17   Engineering services.
§1753.18   Engineer and architect contract closeout certifications.
§§1753.19-1753.20   [Reserved]

Source: 54 FR 3984, Jan. 27, 1989, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 55 FR 39397, Sept. 27, 1990.

§1753.15   General.

(a)(1) The standard RUS loan documents contain provisions regarding engineering and architectural services performed by or for RUS telecommunications borrowers. This part implements certain of the provisions by setting forth the requirements and procedures to be followed by borrowers in selecting architects and engineers and obtaining architectural and engineering services by contract or by force account.

(2) Borrowers shall obtain architectural and engineering services only from persons or firms which are not affiliated with, and have not represented, a contractor, vendor or manufacturer who may provide labor, materials, or equipment to the borrower under any current loan.

(3) Preloan architectural and engineering services may be provided by qualified personnel on the borrower's staff or by consultants. Neither the selection of a preloan architect or engineer by a borrower, nor the contractual arrangements with them, requires RUS approval.

(4) Postloan architectural and engineering services shall be obtained by borrowers from registered architects and engineers licensed in the State in which the facilities will be located, except where RUS has approved the borrower to provide these services by the force account method. When the extent of the proposed major or minor construction is such that the postloan engineering involved is within the capabilities of employees on the borrower's staff, the borrower may request RUS approval to provide such services. This method of providing engineering services is referred to as force account engineering. Refer to §1753.17(c).

(5)(i) For major construction, services provided by architects and engineers not on the borrower's staff must be provided under Form 220, Architectural Service Contract, or Form 217, Postloan Engineering Service Contract—Telecommunications. These contracts require RUS approval.

(ii) For minor construction, borrowers may use the contracts in paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section for postloan architectural or engineering services or any other form of contract, such as Form 245, Engineering Service Contract, Special Services—Telephone. RUS approval of contracts for postloan architectural or engineering services associated with minor construction, except for buildings covered in paragraph (a)(6) of this section, is not required.

(6) For buildings to be constructed with RUS funds, postloan architectural or engineering services shall be obtained if (1) the construction cost exceeds $50,000 (prefab buildings using manufacturer's specifications approved by RUS are exempt from this requirement) or (2) soil or seismic conditions require special design considerations.

(b) For the purpose of this subpart B:

(1) Contract—The services contract between the borrower and its architect or engineer.

(2) Force Account Engineering—Any preloan or postloan engineering services performed by the borrower's staff.

(3) Postloan engineering services—The design, procurement, and inspection of construction to accomplish the objectives of a loan as stated in a LD approved by RUS.

(4) Preloan engineering services—The planning and design work performed in preparing a LD. This consists of helping the borrower determine the objectives for a loan, including consideration of RUS's requirements relating to the modernization plan, selecting the most effective and efficient methods of meeting loan objectives, and preparing the LD which describes the objectives and presents the method selected to meet them.

(c) Single copies of RUS forms and publications cited in this part are available free from Administrative Services Division, Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250-1500. These forms and publications may be reproduced.

(d)(1) All outside architects and engineers employed by RUS telephone borrowers shall have insurance coverage as required by 7 CFR part 1788.

(2) Borrowers shall ensure that their architects and engineers comply with the insurance requirements of their contracts. See 7 CFR 1788.54.

(e)(1) Borrowers shall make prompt payments to architects and engineers as required by the contract.

(2) RUS shall not make loan funds available for late payment interest charges.

[54 FR 3984, Jan. 27, 1989. Redesignated at 55 FR 39397, Sept. 27, 1990, as amended at 58 FR 66259, Dec. 20, 1993; 59 FR 17464, Apr. 13, 1994; 64 FR 16605, Apr. 6, 1999]

§1753.16   Architectural services.

(a) The borrower shall be responsible for selecting an architect to perform the architectural services required in the design and construction of buildings.

(b)(1) The borrower shall use Form 220 when contracting for architectural services for major construction, except that the borrower may use either Form 220 or Form 217 if the building is an unattended central office building.

(2) The borrower and the architect negotiate the fees for services under Form 220.

(3) Reasonable modifications or additions to the terms and provisions in Form 220 may be made, subject to RUS approval, to obtain the specific services needed for a building.

(4)(i) Three copies of Form 220, executed by the borrower and the architect, shall be sent to GFR to be forwarded to RUS for approval. RUS will review the contract terms and conditions. RUS will not approve the contract if, in RUS's judgment:

(A) Unacceptable modifications have been made to the contract form.

(B) The contract will not accomplish loan purposes.

(C) The architectural service fees are unreasonable.

(D) The contract presents unacceptable loan security risk to RUS.

(ii) If RUS approves the contract, RUS will send one copy to the architect and one copy to the borrower.

(5) Loan funds will not be available to pay for the preliminary architectural services if a loan is not made for the construction project, or if the construction project is abandoned.

(6) Subpart D of 7 CFR part 1753 sets forth the requirements and procedures to be followed by borrowers constructing central office, warehouse, and garage buildings with RUS loan funds.

(c)(1) RUS telephone borrowers shall obtain two copies of a completed Form 284, Final Statement of Architect's Fees, when all services and obligations required under the architectural services contract have been completed. All fees shown on the statement shall be supported by detailed information where appropriate. For example: out-of-pocket expense, cost plus, and per diem types of compensation shall be listed separately with labor, transportation, etc., itemized for each service involving these types of compensation.

(2) If Form 284 and supporting data are satisfactory, the borrower shall approve the statement, sign both copies, and send one copy to the GFR.

(3) Upon approval of Form 284 by RUS, the borrower shall promptly make final payment to the architect.

[54 FR 3984, Jan. 27, 1989. Redesignated at 55 FR 39397, Sept. 27, 1990, as amended at 59 FR 43717, Aug. 25, 1994; 64 FR 16606, Apr. 6, 1999]

§1753.17   Engineering services.

(a)(1) All engineering services required by a borrower to support its application for a loan shall be rendered by a qualified engineer selected by the borrower or by qualified employees on the borrower's staff. The selection of the preloan engineer, the form of preloan engineering service contract, and the contract itself, are not subject to RUS approval. Borrowers, however, should discuss their proposed method of obtaining preloan engineering services with the GFR before proceeding with any arrangements.

(2) Form 835, Preloan Engineering Service Contract, Telephone System Design, is a suggested form of preloan engineering service contract. While use of this form of contract is not required, it will be helpful in determining the tasks to be performed. Any form of contract used shall specify that preloan engineering services conform to RUS requirements for preloan studies. See subpart D of 7 CFR part 1737.

(b)(1) Major construction. (i) Three copies of Form 217 executed by the borrower and the engineer shall be sent to the GFR to forward to RUS for approval. The engineer's estimate of the engineering fees, on Form 506, shall be included.

(ii) RUS will review the contract terms and conditions. RUS will not approve the contract if, in RUS's judgement:

(A) Unacceptable modifications have been made to the contract form.

(B) The contract will not accomplish loan purposes.

(C) The engineering service fees are unreasonable.

(D) The contract presents unacceptable loan security risk to RUS.

(E) The consulting engineering firm is affiliated with or has represented a contractor, vendor, or manufacturer who may provide labor, materials, or equipment to the borrower under any current loan.

(2) Minor construction. When a borrower contracts for an engineering firm to inspect and certify construction accounted for under the work order procedure or the Contract for Miscellaneous Construction Work and Maintenance Services, Form 773 (See 7 CFR part 1753 subpart I), the borrower shall require that the certification be signed by a licensed engineer.

(c)(1) Major construction. When the extent and complexity of the proposed construction is such that the engineering involved is within the capabilities of employees on the borrower's staff, borrowers may request RUS approval to provide such services.

(i) The request shall include:

(A) A description of services to be performed.

(B) The name and qualifications of the employee to be in charge. RUS requires this employee to meet the State experience requirements for registered engineers. In the absence of specific State experience requirements, the employee must have at least eight years experience in the design and construction of telecommunication facilities, with at least two years of the work experience at a supervisory level. RUS does not require professional registration of this employee, but this does not relieve the borrower from compliance with applicable State registration requirements which may require a licensed individual to perform such services.

(C) The names, qualifications, and responsibilities of other principal employees who will be associated with providing the engineering services.

(D) A letter signed by an authorized representative of the borrower authorizing the engineering services to be performed by force account and certifying the information supporting the request.

(ii) RUS shall notify the borrower by letter of approval or disapproval to perform force account engineering. The letter shall set forth any conditions associated with an approval or the reasons for disapproval.

(iii) RUS's approval of force account engineering for major construction shall be only for the specific projects named in the notice of approval.

(2) Minor construction. (i) When the borrower proposes to perform the inspection and certification of minor construction, the following shall be submitted to the RUS:

(A) A copy of the employee's qualifications and experience record, unless previously submitted. RUS requires a minimum of four years of construction and inspection experience. The employee cannot be engaged in the actual construction.

(B) A letter signed by an authorized representative of the borrower authorizing the performance of these services by the employee, subject to RUS approval, and certifying the supporting information.

(ii) RUS shall notify the borrower by letter of approval or disapproval of the borrower's staff employee to perform the inspection and certification of construction. The approval shall be limited to the employee's area of expertise.

(d)(1) Subject to the requirements of this part and other applicable regulations, RUS will make loan funds available for the architectural and engineering services up to the amounts included in the approved loan.

(2) Advance of funds shall be requested on an FRS as set forth in 7 CFR part 1744 subpart C.

(e) The borrower shall obtain status of contract and force account proposal reports from the engineer once each month. The report shall show for each contract or FAP the approved contract or FAP amount, the date of approval, the scheduled date construction was to begin and the actual date construction began, the scheduled completion date, the estimated or actual completion date, the estimated or actual date of submission of closeout documents, and an explanation of delays or other pertinent data relative to progress of the project. One copy of this report shall be submitted to the GFR.

(f)(1) Upon completion of all services required under the engineering service contract Form 217, the borrower shall obtain from the engineer four copies of the Final Statement of Engineering Fee, Form 506.

(2) If the statement is satisfactory, the borrower shall sign all copies and send three to the GFR.

(3) After RUS approval of Form 506, one copy shall be sent to the borrower and one copy sent to the engineer.

(4) The borrower shall promptly make final payment to the engineer.

[54 FR 3984, Jan. 27, 1989. Redesignated at 55 FR 39397, Sept. 27, 1990, as amended at 59 FR 43717, Aug. 25, 1994; 64 FR 16606, Apr. 6, 1999]

§1753.18   Engineer and architect contract closeout certifications.

A certification of completion and inspection of construction signed by the borrower and countersigned in accordance with accepted professional engineering and architectural practice, by the engineer or architect, shall be prepared as evidence of completion of a major construction project. This certification shall make reference to the contract number and contract amount, and shall include the following:

(a) A statement that the construction is complete and was done in accordance with the RUS approved system design or layout or subsequent RUS approved changes.

(b) A statement that the construction was for loan purposes.

(c) A statement that construction used was in accordance with specifications published by RUS covering the construction which were in effect when the contract was executed, or in the absence of such specifications, that it meets other applicable specifications and standards and that it meets all applicable national and local code requirements as to strength and safety.

(d) A statement that the construction complies with the “Buy American” provision (7 U.S.C. 903 note) of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.).

(e) A statement that all necessary approvals have been obtained from regulatory bodies and other entities with jurisdiction over the project.

(f) A statement that all closeout documents required by this part have been examined and found complete such that the Contractor has fulfilled all obligations under the contract except for warranty coverage.

(g) A statement that the engineer or architect is not affiliated with and does not represent the contractor, vendor, or manufacturer who is a participant in the contract.

[64 FR 16606, Apr. 6, 1999, as amended at 81 FR 71582, Oct. 18, 2016]

§§1753.19-1753.20   [Reserved]

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