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July 17, 2017   Inside UGA

New procedure clarifies, streamlines approval process for facilities projects

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The Facilities Project Initiation Form has been created to streamline the initiation of building or grounds projects at the University of Georgia and is a result of collaborative input from across campus.

Within the Finance & Administration division, the Office of University Architects for Facilities Planning and the Facilities Management Division work alongside campus stakeholders in an effort to provide guidance and direction for project needs as any FPIF process begins. This collaboration also assists facilities professionals to further advise the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost as an FPIF is routed for approvals, as required. The FPIF serves as a tracking mechanism for current and planned projects, allowing UGA to forecast and explore staffing and operational efficiencies and resources. Further, the routing process of the FPIF provides clear communication about intended projects and ensures coordination of strategic initiatives.

Though recently introduced, campus users are already recognizing the benefit of this process.

"The new project initiation forms should help reduce the confusion that has sometimes existed for end-users in whether to work with the Architects or Facilities Management on a given facilities project," said Russell Malmberg, associate dean and University Professor in the plant biology department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

The FPIF process also provides another solution to campus users by helping predict the costs before a project is actually initiated.

"The forms are also helpful in providing a path to obtain information and estimates for new ideas for projects where the submitter has no idea of the costs or magnitude of the work likely required, but they need some way to get started before even seeking any funds," Malmberg said.

With the support of the Provost's Office, Finance & Administration and strong partnerships across campus, the FPIF process accomplishes the multi-faceted intent to offer 1) increased awareness of the depth and breadth of UGA projects, 2) greater transparency to campus partners, 3) minimized misconceptions with regard to what work or projects are allowable within university facilities or on university properties statewide, 4) better tracking mechanisms for the variety of projects underway at any given point in time, and 5) an institutional protocol and focus to bolster effective space utilization, ensure stewardship of limited resources on institutional priorities and strategic plans, and improved preparation for projects, including those requiring submission to the board of regents.

The Facilities Project Initiation Form and the two supporting policies providing additional guidance (Engaging Design Professionals and Contractors and Performing Work at UGA) are online at fanda.uga.edu/facilities.