The History of FIDIC
FIDIC is a French-language acronym for Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils, which stands for the International Federation of Consulting Engineers. It was started in 1913 by the Francophone states of France, Belgium, and Switzerland.
As a result of a search for independent expert consultants for the World Fair Exhibitions in 1913, several consulting engineers met to discuss the possibility of forming a global Federation. The meeting was a success in that it led to the formal constitution on 22 July 1913 of FIDIC. The founding principles adopted were Quality, Integrity, and Sustainability. There were 59 participants at the inaugural meeting; official delegates from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the USA. Other countries maintained provisional links during the initial years. However, due to the World Wars and other crucial political disturbances, FIDIC development was slow until the late 1940s.
The Federation developed gradually over the years into a truly global organization with Member Associations representing countries from all regions of the world. Today, more than ever, the role of FIDIC has become essential for the consulting engineering industry. FIDIC not only represents the Member States, but it has also become the voice of the consulting engineering industry in a globalized world. Dedicated professionals from consulting engineering firms and associations contribute day-to-day with their work to develop and promote FIDIC over the world: the FIDIC President, the FIDIC Board, members of FIDIC committees; members of task forces and working groups; FIDIC Directors and Secretaries, FIDIC Past Presidents; FIDIC Adjudicators; FIDIC Accredited Trainers; and Young Professionals. Today, FIDIC is a century of volunteer and committed leadership.
Over the last century, consulting engineers have made a truly significant impact on society worldwide. Innovative advances in transport, water supply, energy, buildings, and vital infrastructure critically improved health and economic development. Hence a much better quality of life. However, much of humankind still struggles for food, clean water, and even survival. We need to address such issues more effectively. Technical solutions alone are insufficient in the broader discussions on effective governance and restricted finance.
Engineers will need to become more involved in the political and social debate and its impact on the solutions offered for global challenges. It aims to match the available resources to the needs of society. Over the past century, engineering excellence contributed to our achievements. Consulting engineers became an essential partner of developed communities and laid the foundations of a sustainable future. Engineering is fundamental for humankind, but the strategic planning skills of engineers need to be universally recognized and used for the benefit of everyone.
Figure 1: FIDIC Rainbow Suite 2017
FIDIC organizes World Consulting Engineering Conference seminars and training courses. FIDIC publishes business practice documents as guides and templates for international contracts. FIDIC is best known for its range of contracts: Dredgers Contract; Short Form of Contract; Construction Contract; Plant & DB Contract; DBO Contract and EPC/Turnkey Contract. Details are available in the FIDIC Bookshop. FIDIC also publishes the following model agreements: the Client/Consultant Model Services Agreement, Sub-Consultancy Agreement, Joint Venture Agreement. Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) like the World Bank use the MDB Harmonized Edition of Construction Contract.
FIDIC aims to be a trusted advisor to decision-makers in planning sustainable infrastructure for future generations. FIDIC will collaborate with other like-minded organizations to achieve this objective.