Welcome to the first in our series of educational articles, providing practical insight into the various mechanisms in standard form contracts, helping businesses to navigate the complexities involved in administering those contracts.
One of the fundamental aspects of the management of works under the NEC4 engineering and construction contract is that the programme of works is regularly updated to reflect the current progress of the works. The programme is prepared by the contractor and approved (or “accepted”) by the Project Manager. Once a programme is accepted it becomes an “Accepted Programme”.
The first programme is usually produced prior to entering into the contract and will be referenced in the Contract Data, part two.
If there is no programme identified in the Contract Data, then the contractor must provide a programme within the period stated in the Contract Data, part one (clause 31.1).
After the first programme, the contractor is required to submit revised programmes at regular intervals throughout the whole period of the works – from starting on site, to Completion of the whole of the works. The interval for submitting revised programmes is stated in the Contract Data, part one (clause 32.2). Typically, this would be monthly.
In addition to the submission of revised programmes at regular intervals, if the Project Manager instructs the contractor to submit a revised programme, the contractor must do so within the “period for reply”. The period for reply is stated in the Contract Data, part one (clause 32.2). This is typically 7 or 14 days.
If for any reason the contractor considers it appropriate to issue a revised programme more frequently than the regular intervals, it may do so (clause 32.2).
When a compensation event occurs, the contractor will give a quotation for that compensation event. The quotation must include not only any changes to the Price, but also any changes to the programme: if there are changes to the programme for remaining work (e.g., the Completion Date changes), the quotation “includes alterations to the Accepted Programme” (clause 62.2).
While this appears to require a description of any alterations to the Accepted Programme, rather than the provision of a revised programme that incorporates those alterations, in practice it is preferable to provide a revised programme in these circumstances.
Thus, in short summary, a contractor must provide a programme or revised programme as follows:
- When the contract is entered into or shortly thereafter (clause 31.1)
- At regular intervals, typically monthly (clause 32.2)
- When the Project Manager instructs the contractor to provide one (clause 32.2)
- Any time the contractor considers it appropriate to provide one (clause 32.2)
- With a quotation for a compensation event, when the programme for future works is affected (clause 62.2).
Standard contracts explained
Look out for more in our series in the coming weeks and months where we will be providing practical insight into the various mechanisms in standard form contracts, to help businesses navigate the complexities involved in administering those contracts.
If you need any further information or specific advice, please contact us.
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As with all our blogs, these are intended to share general information. If you have any specific contractual issues, you should take specific legal advice.