Third-party reliance is a legal concept that is important for all practicing geoengineers to understand. We produce work products meant for a specific client and a specific purpose. But what if a third party wants to rely on the report or recommendations for some other purpose? Or does so without your permission?
The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) has been providing guidance on these professional practice issues since its inception (as ASFE) over 50 years ago. The GBA’s Legal Affairs Committee recently updated the GBA Guide to Third-Party Reliance document. It provides a comprehensive discussion of both authorized and unauthorized reliance and includes exhibits that contain sample materials firms can finalize with the assistance of qualified legal counsel. Contents include:
- Third-Party Reliance Defined
- Dealing with Reliance Requests
- Dealing with the Potential of Unauthorized Third-Party Reliance
The exhibits include:
- Sample Letters Authorizing a Third Party to Rely on a Geotechnical-Engineering Report and GeoEnvironmental Report
- Sample Contract Clauses about Document Use and Third-Party Reliance
- Sample CoMET Advisory Letter to a Contractor
- Sample Letter to Client about Contractors’ Use of Report for Bid Preparation
- Sample Cease-and-Desist Letter
- Sample Application for Authorization to Use
GBA Guide to Third-Party Reliance also includes an interactive table of contents and an interactive index. You can download the GBA Guide to Third-Party Reliance here. The document is free to all members of GBA. By the way, if your firm is a GBA member firm, YOU are a GBA member!