Owners Engineer/Employeers Representative and Supervision of works, Serbian legal framework

In the Serbian legal framework, particularly under the Law on Planning and Construction, the concepts of an Owner’s Engineer (or Employer’s Representative) and Supervision of Works are distinct but complementary roles involved in managing and overseeing construction projects. Understanding these roles within the context of Serbian regulations provides clarity on their responsibilities and importance in ensuring project success and compliance.

Owner’s Engineer (Employer’s Representative)

The Owner’s Engineer, also known as the Employer’s Representative, acts on behalf of the project owner or investor throughout the construction process. This role is typically filled by a highly qualified engineering firm or individual consultant with extensive experience in the type of project being undertaken. The responsibilities may include:

Project Management: Overseeing the project’s progress to ensure it meets the planned timelines, budget, and quality standards.
Technical Advisory: Providing technical advice to the owner, making recommendations on design, materials, and methods.
Contract Management: Assisting in managing contracts with contractors and suppliers, including negotiations, amendments, and enforcement.
Compliance: Ensuring the project complies with legal, regulatory, and environmental standards.
Risk Management: Identifying potential risks to the project and advising on mitigation strategies.

Supervision of Works

Supervision of Works is a legally mandated role in Serbia for overseeing the actual construction process. Supervisors are licensed professionals (engineers or architects) who ensure that the construction is carried out according to the project documentation, relevant technical standards, and regulations. Their key responsibilities include:

Monitoring Compliance: Ensuring that the construction work complies with the project plans, legal and regulatory requirements, and safety standards.
Quality Assurance: Overseeing the quality of materials and workmanship to ensure the construction meets the agreed specifications.
Reporting: Providing regular reports to the owner on the progress, issues, and any deviations from the plan.
Final Acceptance: Participating in the final acceptance of the work, verifying that it has been completed satisfactorily and in accordance with the project documentation.

Legal Framework and Requirements

Under Serbian law, particularly the Law on Planning and Construction, both roles are crucial for the successful delivery of construction projects. The law stipulates:

Licensing and Qualifications: Both the Owner’s Engineer and the Supervisor of Works must possess appropriate qualifications and licenses, typically issued by the Serbian Chamber of Engineers. This ensures they have the necessary expertise and authority to fulfill their roles.
Record-Keeping: There is an emphasis on maintaining detailed records of construction activities, decisions, and compliance checks. These records are essential for accountability, future reference, and in case of disputes.
Safety and Environmental Compliance: A significant focus is placed on ensuring the safety of construction sites and adherence to environmental regulations, reflecting broader societal concerns.

Collaboration and Communication

Effective collaboration and communication between the Owner’s Engineer and the Supervisor of Works are vital for project success. While the Owner’s Engineer provides a broader project oversight and technical advisory from the owner’s perspective, the Supervisor of Works focuses on the day-to-day compliance and quality control of the construction activities. Together, they ensure that the project is executed as planned, within budget, and to the required quality and safety standards.

In summary, both roles are integral to the construction process within the Serbian legal framework, offering different but complementary expertise to ensure projects are completed successfully and compliantly.


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