Thank you, distinguished Engr. Onyokoko. This issue seems to be a recurring decimal in interprofessional relationships in the construction industry. It is believed this issue had been settled. It is essentially aided by the Nigerian factor.
The similar case we heard between the medical doctors and the pharmacists! It hinges on unhealthy competition and rivalry. The body language of these people give rise to unnecessary situation. Let us look at the facts:
1. The Quantity Surveyor is not a competent designer, and cannot have knowledge of the components in an engineering system. How can he quantity and cost the system?
2. The Quantity Surveyor has limited knowledge of science of materials, properties, and applications. How will he assess quality and costs in different situations?
3. Project Management involves man power assessment, organisation, human resources and financial management to achieve a goal. How will the Quantity Surveyor be more efficient than the design Engineer?
4. The Civil seem to delegate the responsibility of costing to the QS. I think something should be done about this.
5. For the M&E systems costing, we have demonstrated to the QS that it is no area for them. There was a particular project that pointed this out. What they had in the BOQ could hardly go half way the project, and we have to do fresh estimates and costing to complete the project.
6. There are cases in which the QS secured the job inclusive of producing the BOQ for the M&E services, and then approach us to bail them out. Can we stop accepting to do this?
7. There are a number of cases in which the QS secures the total commission of engineering project, and then appoint Engineers on the project, become the project manager, and payments are through the QS . He becomes very powerful and influential. Is there anything that can be done about this?
8. Often, the need to have a cost picture of a project necessitates the Client approaching the QS as a first contact, and this leads to the QS’s influence an authority over other design Team members. Is there anything that can be done about this?
In the developed countries, like the UK, you have a publication called Building Information Service, or Cost Information Service. An average Client can actually estimate cost picture of a project from these before approaching the appropriate Consultants. There are also a category of Engineers called Estimators who can fill the place of cost assessment. The training given in the Universities in the UK actually includes the costing of engineering systems and project. To me, the QS cannot do my job.
9. In my own opinion, COREN and NSE should send a powerful position letter to the House of Assembly with bullet points enlightening the House of Assembly, and objecting to the bill by the QS. We still value and should promote TEAM work with the QS. What is the role of Association of Professional Bodies? I think greed is at work!
Engr Victlr Akpan FNSE