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Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1753 → Subpart F

Title 7: Agriculture

Subpart F—Outside Plant Major Construction by Contract

§1753.46   General.
§1753.47   Plans and specifications (P&S).
§1753.48   Procurement procedures.
§1753.49   Closeout documents.
§§1753.50-1753.55   [Reserved]

Source: 54 FR 39267, Sept. 25, 1989, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 55 FR 39397, Sept. 27, 1990.

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§1753.46   General.

(a) This subpart implements and explains the provisions of the loan documents setting forth the requirements and procedures to be followed by borrowers when outside plant major construction by contract is financed by loan funds. Terms used in this subpart are defined in §1753.2 and RUS Contract Form 515.

(b) The contract method for major construction is described in §1753.5(b).

(c) The two contract forms which may be used for major outside plant construction are Form 515 and Form 773. Limitations on the applicability of these forms shall be as follows:

(1) Form 515 shall be used for major outside plant construction projects which will be competitively bid. The contract contains plans and specifications and has no dollar limitation. See §§1753.47, 1753.48 and 1753.49.

(2) Contract Form 515, which is for $250,000 or less, may, at the borrower's option, be negotiated. See §1753.48(b).

(3) RUS Form 773 may be used for minor outside plant projects which are not competitively bid because they cannot be designed and staked at the time of contract execution. Projects of this nature include routine line extensions and placement of subscriber drops. See subpart I of this part.

[54 FR 39267, Sept. 25, 1989. Redesignated at 55 FR 39397, Sept. 27, 1990, as amended at 59 FR 43717, Aug. 25, 1994; 64 FR 16608, Apr. 6, 1999]

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§1753.47   Plans and specifications (P&S).

(a) General. (1) Prior to the preparation of P&S for the construction project:

(i) A review shall be made of the outside plant requirements, and the Loan Design (LD) shall be revised to reflect any needed changes (See §1753.3).

(ii) Deviations from the approved LD (7 CFR part 1737) must be approved by RUS (See §1753.3).

(2) The standard RUS specifications required for construction of outside plant facilities are:

(i) RUS Form 515a (Bulletin 345-150)—Specifications and Drawings for Construction of Direct Buried Plant.

(ii) RUS Form 515c (Bulletin 345-151)—Specifications and Drawings for Conduit and Manhole Construction.

(iii) RUS Form 515d (Bulletin 345-152)—Specifications and Drawings for Underground Cable Installation.

(iv) RUS Form 515f (Bulletin 345-153)—Specifications and Drawings for Construction of Pole Lines and Aerial Cables.

(v) RUS Form 515g (Bulletin 345-154)—Specifications and Drawings for Service Entrance and Station Protector Installation.

(b) Preparation of plans and specifications. Each set of plans and specifications shall include:

(1) RUS Contract Form 515, “Telephone System Construction Contract (Labor and Materials).”

(2) The specifications described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section as specified by the borrower in the RUS Contract Form 515.

(3) Description of special assembly units and guide drawings, if any.

(4) Key, detail, and cable layout maps.

(5) RUS Contract Form 787, “Supplement A to Construction Contract, RUS Contract Form 515,” when the borrower proposes to provide any materials to the contractor. The borrower shall not order materials for a contractor without RUS approval. In such cases the borrower must attach Form 787 and a “List of Owner's Materials on Hand” and/or a “List of Materials Ordered by Owner but Not Delivered” to contract Form 515 (See §1753.48(f) of this part). Any materials furnished under Supplement A shall be listed in RUS Bulletin 344-2 unless special RUS approval has been received by the borrower to use unlisted materials.

(c) Submission of plans and specifications to RUS. (1) If the project does not exceed $500,000 or 25% of the loan, whichever is less, the borrower shall furnish GFR one set of P&S. The borrower may then proceed with procurement in accordance with §1753.48.

(2) If the project exceeds $500,000 or 25% of the loan, whichever is less, RUS approval of P&S is required. Two sets of P&S shall be furnished to GFR. RUS will return one set to the borrower upon notice of approval. The borrower may then proceed with procurement in accordance with §1753.48.

[54 FR 39267, Sept. 25, 1989. Redesignated at 55 FR 39397, Sept. 27, 1990, 55 FR 53488, Dec. 31, 1990, as amended at 64 FR 16609, Apr. 6, 1999]

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§1753.48   Procurement procedures.

(a) Sealed competitive bidding—(1) Qualifying bidders. (i) The borrower is responsible for selecting qualified contractors to bid on the project. See §1753.8(a)(3). Questions relating to bidders' qualifications shall be resolved prior to the pre-bid conference.

(ii) RUS Form 274 or its equivalent, supplemented by RUS Form 276, shall be used for the submission of bidders' qualifications for all types of construction and for the required information on the bidder and subcontractors.

(2) Invitations to bid— The borrower shall solicit bids as set forth in §1753.8(a)(2). Invitations shall be sent to at least 6 prospective bidders.

(3) Pre-bid conference. (i) Representatives of the borrower and its engineer shall be present at the pre-bid conference at the time and place designated in the Notice to Bidders. The borrower shall invite the GFR to attend the pre-bid conference.

(ii) The purpose of the pre-bid conference is to acquaint the bidders with the scope and special considerations of the project and to clarify any concerns the bidders may have.

(iii) No proposals shall be considered from bidders that do not attend the pre-bid conference unless the bidder has been notified by the engineer that such bidder's attendance has been waived. Attendance can be waived if, in the judgment of the engineer, the bidder would gain no additional understanding of the construction project by attending the pre-bid conference.

(iv) The borrower shall obtain from the engineer the minutes of the pre-bid conference and shall distribute them to all potential bidders.

(v) When fewer than three bidders have been qualified to submit bids, RUS written approval must be obtained to proceed with requesting bids.

(4) Bid openings. (i) Bid openings and award of the contract shall be conducted in accordance with §§1753.5(b)(1) and 1753.8(a).

(ii) If §1753.8 requires RUS approval of award of the bid, the borrower shall submit to RUS two copies of the assembly unit sections of the apparent lowest responsive bid accepted by the borrower.

(b) Negotiated procurement. (1) Competitive bids are not required for outside plant construction that is estimated to cost $250,000, or less, inclusive of labor and materials.

(2) The procedures to be followed are contained in §1753.8(b) and paragraphs (3) and (4) of this section.

(3) Negotiation conference. (i) The borrower shall schedule a conference to be attended by representatives of the engineer, the borrower and the contractor selected for negotiations. The borrower shall invite the GFR to attend this conference.

(ii) The purpose of the negotiation conference is to acquaint the contractor with the scope and special considerations of the project and to answer any questions.

(iii) The borrower shall obtain from the engineer notes covering the negotiation conference and shall distribute them to all attendees.

(4) Two copies of the assembly unit sections of the negotiated contractor's proposal shall be sent to the GFR for approval.

(c) Contract amendments. The borrower shall prepare contract amendments in accordance with §1753.11 on RUS Contract Form 526, Construction Contract Amendment.

(d) Subcontracts. The RUS requirements for subcontracts and the procedures to be followed are set forth in §1753.9.

(e) Preconstruction conference. The borrower shall conduct a conference, attended by the borrower, contractor, subcontractors, resident engineer, and the GFR, prior to the beginning of cable placement, to resolve any questions pertaining to the construction. Results of the conference shall be provided to each conference participant (See §1753.10).

(f) Owner-furnished materials. When the borrower furnishes materials under RUS Contract Form 787, Supplement A to Construction Contract, these steps shall be followed:

(1) Materials on hand to be furnished by the borrower shall be released to the contractor at the start of construction. Materials on order but not received shall be provided to the contractor as they become available. The borrower shall obtain from the contractor a written receipt for all such materials delivered.

(2) Materials on hand, until released to the contractor, shall be covered by fire and either wind-storm or extended coverage insurance, exclusive of materials stored in the open and not within 100 feet of any building. Poles, wherever stored, shall be covered by fire insurance. All insured values must be at least 80 percent of the cash value of the property insured.

(3) Subject to adjustment at the time of final settlement, the borrower shall obtain from the contractor monthly invoices that show credit to the borrower, at the prices quoted in Form 787, Supplement A, for all materials furnished by the borrower and installed by the contractor during the preceding month.

(4) Any materials furnished by the borrower remaining as surplus at the completion of construction shall be returned to the borrower. For such materials, the borrower shall furnish a written receipt to the contractor and credit the contractor at the prices quoted in Supplement A.

(g) Changes or corrections in construction. (1) When changes or corrections in construction are necessary, and the cost of such changes or corrections is properly chargeable to the borrower, the borrower shall have its engineer prepare and sign four copies of a Construction Change Order, RUS Form 216, obtain borrower's approval and forward the four copies to the contractor. Receipt of the executed Construction Change Order by the contractor will constitute authorization to proceed with the changes or corrections.

(2) When the changes or corrections have been made, the borrower shall have the contractor complete the form, itemizing the costs in accordance with the terms of the contract, and return three copies to the borrower's engineer. A copy of each change order shall be attached to each copy of the construction inventory required to close out the contract.

[54 FR 39267, Sept. 25, 1989. Redesignated at 55 FR 39397, Sept. 27, 1990, as amended at 64 FR 16609, Apr. 6, 1999]

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§1753.49   Closeout documents.

(a) General. The borrower shall be responsible for preparing the closeout documents with, if necessary, the assistance of the GFR.

(b) Documents required. The following table lists the documents required to closeout the RUS contract Form 515.

Documents Required To Closeout Construction Contract

[RUS Form 515]

RUS Form No.DescriptionNo. of copies prepared byDistribution
724Final Inventory—Certificate of Completion211
724aFinal Inventory—Assembly Units211
NoneContractor's Bond Extension (send to RUS when required)(3)(to RUS)(to RUS)
281Tabulation of Materials Furnished by Borrower211
213Certificate—“Buy American”11
NoneListing of Construction Change Orders11
224Waiver and Release of Lien (from each supplier)11
231Certificate of Contractor11
527Final Statement of Construction211
NoneReports on Results of Acceptance Tests111
NoneSet of Final Staking Sheets11
NoneTabulation of Staking Sheets11
NoneCorrection Summary (legible copy)11
NoneTreated Forest Products Inspection Reports or Certificates of Compliance (prepared by inspection company or supplier)1
NoneFinal Key Map (when applicable)11
NoneFinal Central Office Area and Town Maps11

(c) Closeout procedure. (1) After construction has been completed in accordance with the plans and specifications, and acceptance tests have been made, the borrower shall arrange the time for a final inspection to be made by the borrower's engineer, the contractor, the GFR and a representative of the borrower.

(2) Final inventory documents. (i) The borrower shall obtain certifications from the engineer that the project and all required documentation are satisfactory and complete. Requirements for these contract closeout certifications are contained in §1753.18.

(ii) The borrower shall prepare and distribute the final inventory documents in accordance with the tables contained in this section. The documents listed for RUS shall be retained by the borrower for inspection by RUS for at least two years from the date of the engineer's contract closeout certification.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Closeout of Construction Contract

[RUS Form 515]

Step No.When
1Upon Completion of ConstructionBorrower's EngineerPrepares the following: a set of Detail Maps and a set (when applicable) of Key Maps which show in red the work done under the 515 contract; a Tabulation of Staking Sheet; and a tentative Final Inventory, RUS Forms 724 and 724a.
2After acceptance tests madeBorrower's EngineerForwards letter to the borrower with copies to the GFR stating that the project is ready for final inspection. Schedules inspection date.
3Upon receipt of letter from Borrower's EngineerGFRAdvises borrower whether attending the final inspection will be possible.
4By inspection dateBorrower's EngineerObtains and makes available the following documents: a set of “as constructed” detail maps and (when applicable) “as built” key maps; a list of construction change orders; the final staking sheets; the tabulation staking sheets; the treated forest products inspection reports or certificates of compliance; the tentative final inventory, RUS Forms 724 and 724a; the tentative tabulation, RUS Form 231 (if borrower furnished part of material); and, a report of results of acceptance tests.
5During inspectionBorrower's EngineerIssues instructions to contractor covering corrections to be made in construction as a result of inspection.
6During inspectionContractorCorrects construction on basis of instructions from the borrower's engineer. The corrections should proceed closely behind the inspection in order that the borrower's engineer can check the corrections before leaving the system.
7During inspectionBorrower's EngineerInspects and approves corrected construction. Marks inspected areas on the key map, if available, otherwise on the detail maps.
8Upon completion of inspectionBorrower's EngineerPrepares or obtains all the closeout documents listed in Table 3.
9After signing final inventoryBorrowerPrepares and submits to RUS the engineer's certifications of completion and a Financial Requirement Statement, RUS Form 481, requesting amount necessary to make final payment due under contract.
10On receipt of final advanceBorrowerPromptly forwards check for final payment to contractor.
11During subsequent loan fund audit review following final paymentRUS Field AccountantExamines borrower's construction records for compliance with the construction contract and Subpart F, and examines RUS Form 281 (Tabulation of Materials Furnished by Borrower) if any, for appropriate costs.

(iii) When the total inventory price exceeds the maximum contract by more than 20 percent, an extension to the contractor's bond is required.

(iv) The borrower shall submit the engineer's contract closeout certification with FRS for the final advance of funds.

(3) Final payment shall be made according to the payment provisions of article III of RUS Form 515, except that certificates and other documents required to be submitted to or approved by the Administrator shall be submitted to and approved by the Owner.

[54 FR 39267, Sept. 25, 1989. Redesignated at 55 FR 39397, Sept. 27, 1990, as amended at 59 FR 43717, Aug. 25, 1994; 64 FR 16609, Apr. 6, 1999]

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§§1753.50-1753.55   [Reserved]

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