I must take issue with Steve Rudd’s letter (12 January) regarding compensation events under the NEC3 contract. His comments only serve to perpetuate a fallacy that I have heard many times before.
The periods quoted by Mr Rudd are in some instances incorrect but more importantly he has failed to state that they are all maximums. There is every encouragement for the parties to act quickly when the circumstances require and thereby reduce these periods.
The basic philosophy behind the NEC family of contracts includes the need for early warning/notification of all matters affecting the project, including compensation events, followed by the agreement of such matters. This maintains as much foresight as possible in the management of a project rather than allowing hindsight to take over.
There is no reason why this cannot happen with the London 2012 projects. What appears to be common among all successful projects using NEC is that the employer, project manager and contractor involved have all taken the trouble to provide sufficient training for their staff so that they are properly equipped to develop the necessary working practices.
It is a fallacy that the quotation procedure must be completed before the contractor carries out the change. Clauses 27.3 and 61.1 expressly require that the contractor obeys/puts into effect change when it is instructed. The implementation procedures in my view simply involve the formal change to the prices and/or completion date. They do not override the requirement to obey an instruction and therefore carry out work as necessary in order to maintain progress.
Michael Rowlinson, Alway Associates