ODACC’s Ontario Construction Act adjudications double in 2023 fiscal year

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Dispute resolution under the Ontario Construction Act has gained traction with a doubling of adjudications in the 2023 fiscal year.

Elise Teitler, director of the Ontario Dispute Adjudication for Construction Contracts (ODACC), writes in the organization’s annual report released in late 2023 that 269 adjudications were commenced and 161 determinations were rendered during the fiscal year ending July 31, 2023.

“Thirty-one adjudications remained open as of the end of the 2023 Fiscal Year,” she wrote.  Other adjudications were terminated on the consent of the parties, primarily because the parties settled their dispute.”

“Contractors, subcontractors, businesses and other individuals hav elected to use the adjudication process to resolve their disputes so that their conflict can be resolved in a streamlined, timely and cost-effective manner,”she wrote. “ODACC continues to see parties return to adjudication to resolve new disputes once they have experienced it and appreciate its benefits.”

The annual report says the total amount claimed for the 269 Notices of Adjudication was $68,870,376.04 in fiscal year 2023. The average amount claimed was $256,023.70 and the median amount claimed was $102,819.45.

Of course, not all claims were adjudicated 100 per cent in the claimant’s favour.

Overall, there were 161 determinations during the fiscal year, of which 21 relate to 36 adjudications that had commenced in the 2022 fiscal year.

ODACC says the total amount required to be paid in 2023 fiscal year was $24,381,989.90.  Significantly a few large adjudications offset many smaller or disapproved ones, since the average amount required to be paid was $151,440.93, while the median amount required to be paid was only $8,242.42.

odacc numberThe disparity between total payments required and the median amount required to be paid is most clear in the Public Buildings sector, where adjudicators made 14 determinations, requiring a total of $811,732.84 to be paid. However, the median amount is only $750.00.

By sector, the largest volume of determinations occurred in residential, with 54 for a total amount required to be paid of $11,543,723.49 and a median amount of $9,834.20.

ODACC reported it collected $1,304,982.50 in adjudication fees, $81,000 in referral fees and $10,700 in certification fees for a total revenue of $1,396,682.50.  The adjudication fee is payable to the adjudicators, with ODACC retaining significant administrative fees.  Fees are either on a per-adjudication basis, or at hourly rates, depending on the size of the dispute to be resolved.

ODACC’s adjudicator registry currently shows 53 adjudicators on its roster. While there can be some overlap (as adjudicators can have more than one profession), the annual report says the largest category of adjudicator is project manager with 29 adjudicators.

Other professions include: Engineer (26), architect (3), lawyer (20), accountant (1), quantity surveyor (10), arbitrator (11) and mediator (4). ODACC says five prospective adjudicators applied and one was accepted into the roster in the 2023 fiscal year.

The annual report indicates that adjudicators are available to work in every area of the province. Not surprisingly, the largest volume of completed adjudications was in Toronto. The 25 adjudications there included five commercial, one industrial, six public buildings, 11 residential, and two transportation and infrastructure files.

There were 13 adjudications in York and 12 in Peel, reflecting the GTA’s population concentration. Ottawa had 12 adjudications including seven commercial, two public buildings and three residential files.

Most adjudications (68) related to “the valuation of services or materials provided under the contract”, followed closely by 63 adjudications completed for “payment under the contract, including in respect of a change order, whether approved or not, or a proposed change order.


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