Besides creating RFIs, the process should be clearly defined before the project starts. Who creates the RFI? Who receives the RFI? How is it directed to the appropriate reviewer? How are responses communicated back to the contractor? What about follow-up actions? These are questions that should be answered by a complete RFI process.Generally, the construction company’s project manager or coordinator is responsible for filling the RFI form and sending it to the owner’s representative, which may be a consultant provider or other staff. That person will then direct the RFI to the appropriate reviewer, including the designer, a materials inspector, a utility coordinator, external stakeholder(s), etc.
Time is of the essence when it comes to RFIs. Remember the contractor needs an answer to proceed with the work, so the process must be streamlined and decisive. Nearly any construction project needs an RFI construction log as part of the management process.Each RFI is identified in sequential order, capturing the description, the dates of submission and response, the type, the responsibility, and the status (open or closed). Project coordination meetings should include a review of the RFI log, a discussion of open or unresolved issues, and an action plan for resolution. In an optimized process, critical and outstanding RFIs would be flagged for attention.
When an RFI is resolved, either through a simple response, or the following RFP or change order, it needs to be formally closed with the concurrence of resolution by all parties. A document control manager, record keeper, or auditor verifies that all documentation is correct and complete. It’s in everyone’s best interest for the complete progression of the RFI to be formally recorded and completed.