I am disappointed that Nick Lane believes that the Society of Construction Law's delay and disruption protocol recommends one technique in all circumstances - time impact analysis (17 February).
I think a fair reading of the protocol is that, while time impact analysis is preferred, the best technique to use will depend on a number of factors.
Lane starts his article by asking why the industry cannot decide which type of delay analysis to use in delay claims. It was this question that motivated me to join the protocol's drafting subcommittee, because I had become frustrated with the lack of agreement within the industry on how claims should be dealt with after they had been accepted in principle. In my opinion these matters are best decided by the industry itself rather than by judges.
The protocol recommends that delays should be analysed when they occur rather than at the end of a contract, when it may be found that the records are inadequate and the key personnel involved have moved on. If the original programme is properly prepared and approved, if it is updated regularly and if adequate records are kept, then everything is in place - in place not only to analyse delay claims but also to allow the contractor and the employer to properly manage time in a cost-effective manner.
Construction does not have a good reputation for managing time. With Wembley stadium in the news for being late and the construction programme for the Olympics upon us this needs urgently addressing. There was a time when the engineer or architect administered all aspects of a construction project, but today it is common for the cost aspects to be handled by quantity surveyors. The same priority should now be given to managing the time aspects, using people with the skills and tools for the job.
Jim Pragnell, Otford, Kent