Minnesota Department of Transportation
Jump to main content.

Construction Tools - Force Account

Basic information about force accounts
Home | Innovative Contracting | Contract Changes | Project Controls | Labor Compliance | References | Contacts

Force Account

Force account is the payment method used for extra work if the contractor and the owner cannot agree on a unit price or lump sum amount, or if those methods are impracticable.  Force account payments cover labor, materials, and equipment.  They may also cover other miscellaneous expenses. Click here to contact someone concerning a force account.


Prime contractors are paid only one allowance for force account work.  The allowance covers administration, general superintendence, additional bond and other overhead expenses. 


Prime contractor allowances are based on specifications applicable to your project:

2005 spec book  edition - 10 percent of the first $50,000 plus 2 percent of any amount over $50,000


Review MnDOT Standard Specification for Construction specification 1904 for information on extra and force account work.

Review Contract Changes, Section 350 of the Contract Administration Manual for payment options.

Force account can be tracked with the following forms:


The engineer and contractor must compare cost account records daily and resolve discrepancies. 

Work is paid for once it's acceptably performed and itemized by the contractor. 


Specification 1904 of the MnDOT Spec Book (see under "More Links" at right) details labor charges in force account situations.  The contractor receives the actual wage rate paid and shown on the payroll for every hour that the labor and foreman are engaged in force account work.


Additionally, MnDOT pays the contractor an additional 62 percent of the actual taxable wage rate as full compensation for overhead, profit, additional bond, property damage and liability insurance premiums, workers' compensation, insurance premiums, employer Social Security taxes and other indirect labor force costs.  There is a process to claim a higher rate if the situation warrants.

MnDOT pays the actual cost of acceptable materials delivered and used on a project.  An additional 15 percent is added for overhead and profit.


Click here for the Technical Memo on equipment rental rates. This document outlines rental rates for trucks and the four methods used to determine equipment rental rates.

All force account equipment rental rates are approved by the Equipment Rental Rates specialists.  Contact them at 651-366-4693 or 651-366-4654 for information.


Other Compensation

Miscellaneous Compensation

Extra work may involve other expenses not covered in labor, materials or equipment. Specification 1904 details how the following cases would be handled:

  • Work performed on railroad right of way
  • Miscellaneous costs such as dumping fees, permits, licenses


Specialty Contract Work

Specialty work may be involved in force accounts and is paid for at reasonable invoice costs at the engineer's discretion.  Speciality work is unique work that cannot be done by the prime or subcontractors.