Even the best managed projects need to be monitored to ensure that a potential dispute is addressed early.
By ignoring disagreements or uncertainty around time and cost, small issues can grow into much larger disagreements or disputes. This can be detrimental to 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 only triggered by one of the parties doing something pro-active. This could be that the Employer must issue a written Instruction if he wants a change, or that the Contractor must issue a programme at four weekly intervals. These Contract Administration procedures ensure the contract is being effective and also in many cases are a condition precedent to entitlement. That entitlement might, for example, be payment, or an extension of time.
Having a robust contract administration procedure in place can often avoid any claims. It can keep momentum in the project and maintain a positive status quo 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.
So 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, depending 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 and contract analysis through legal seminars.
Essentially, 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 project documents and records are maintained and issued correctly
- Dealing with certificates of completion, interim payment certificates, making good and final certificate
- Defects liability
Our role is to ensure projects run as smoothly and effectively as possible. In the unfortunate circumstance a dispute or claim arises, you will have quick access to the correct records and be able to resolve it quickly. 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]