Interview Questions: Change Order Abuse

Questions that might reveal change order abuse include:

  • Do you know or suspect, or have you heard about, abuses in the change order process?
  • Are proper procedures for requesting and approving change orders followed?  If not, what are the exceptions?
  • Do certain contractors receive an unusually high number of change orders?   If so, who receives and approves the changes?
  • Is there adequate need or justification for the change orders?
  • Are requests for change orders supported by adequate documentation?
  • Are their instances or a pattern of low bid awards to certain contractors followed by change orders that increase the price of the contract?
  • Are their instances or a pattern of unusually high or low line item bids that are followed by:
    • Change orders that extend the quantities of the high-priced line items?  (see the discussion of Unbalanced Bidding)
    • Change orders that reduce or eliminate the low-priced line items? (see the discussion of Unbalanced Bidding)
  • Are controls and procedures to prevent change order abuse in place and enforced?