Even the best managed projects need monitoring to ensure potential disputes are addressed early.
Good contract administration is key. If overlooked, small disagreements or uncertainty around time and cost can develop into disputes. This can damage not only the project, but the relationships and businesses involved.
Each construction contract places upon the parties obligations that they are to meet. These obligations are often triggered by one party doing something pro-active. It could be that the Employer must issue a written instruction if he wants a change. Alternatively, the contractor may need to issue a programme at set intervals. These contract administration procedures ensure the contract is effective. In many cases, the procedures are a condition precedent to entitlement. That entitlement may be payment or an extension of time. You will therefore want to ensure you keep on top of these requirements to ensure success.
Having a robust contract administration procedure in place can often avoid any claims. It can keep momentum in the project and maintain positive relations amongst all parties. It also allows you to proactively avoid risks. If risks do arise, by having the correct contract documents and records in place, you are in a strong position to deal with them before difficulties occur.
What is involved in contract administration?
All standard form contracts have a set of responsibilities for the parties to perform. Each contract is different and contract clauses within a suite of contracts may be different. Much will depend on the procurement method. We are familiar with all contract forms including JCT, NEC and ICE (now the Infrastructure Conditions of Contract).
We consistently keep abreast of any contract interpretation through the construction courts, construction related legislation amendments for the benefit of our clients. As a result of focus on contract analysis through legal seminars and CPD, you can be sure we are familiar with the latest developments.
Our contract administration support includes:
- Preparation and checking of contract documents
- Interpretation of contract provisions
- Contract Notice provisions
- Managing change control procedures
- Issuing of Contract Instructions and variations arising
- Payment mechanisms
- Construction programme and progress reports
- Ensuring maintenance and correct issue of project documents and records.
- Dealing with certificates of completion, interim payment certificates, making good and final certificate.
- Defects liability
In conclusion, our role is to ensure projects run as smoothly and effectively as possible. To help you if a dispute or claim arises, you will have quick access to the correct records and be able to resolve it quickly. However, if the dispute is not easily resolved and a claim continues, we can also provide support in claims preparation.
If you would like further information, or an initial discussion, please call us on 01727 861510 or email [email protected]