Open Book JOC – When a JOC is not a JOC

“Open Book JOC” is a term that has been floating around for a bit, and is a procurement mechanism that appears exclusive to the State of Arizona.    The fact of the matter is, Open Book JOC is a classic oxymoron, or a best a fabricated term.

JOC, by its very definition uses a line item unit price book, UPB. as a required tool in preparing transparent, detailed, and verifiable construction cost estimates for projects/task orders.   In fact, best management practices require that any JOC estimate shall not consist of more than 10% (by value), of items that are note derived from the unit price book.

Open Book JOC, should not be called JOC at all.   Open Book JOC allows construction contractors to base pricing upon subcontractor and/or manufacturer quotes.  This practices negates the benefits of using a Unit Price Book.

It’s ironic that Arizona should allow “Open Book JOC” use as leading construction authorities such as The Alliance for Construction Excellence / Arizona State University, and the Performance Based Studies Research Group / Arizona State University are located in the State and both would likely frown upon the concept.

Job Order Contracting should never be used as a means to bypass procurement or approve construction projects that otherwise would not have been approved by traditional procurement mechanisms.

What is Job Order Contracting?Job Order Contracts should always have the following features and characteristics…

  • Collaboration
  • Mutual Respect & Trust
  • Line Iten Unit Price Book – UPB & Financial Transparency
  • Owner Leadership without excessive management & control
  • Shared Risk/Reward
  • Supporting Technology
  • Best Value Procurement
  • Common Standard Terms, Definitions, & Data Architectures (UNIFORMAT, MASTERFORMAT, OMNICLASS)
  • Continuous Education, Training, & Improvement
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) / Audits job
  • Written Execution / Operations Manuals (Roles, Responsibilities, Deliverables, Workflows / Standardized Work Processes, Reporting Requirements…)

Learn more…


“For JOC job orders, the District shall set administrative limits to assure the $750,000 limit for each job order is not violated. The District shall review all job orders for accuracy of the estimate and document the basis for acceptance of the estimate. When a job order is $100,000 or larger and is being estimated without a pre-agreed upon unit price book, the District shall have an independent analysis of the job order costs. This analysis shall be documented. When JOC job orders are accomplished under a GMP type construction with out a unit price book, the process shall be open book.”

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