While I share the opinion of Frances Alderson (17 November, page 60) that London 2012 will obviously gain from the advanced planning of construction projects, I take issue with the idea that the NEC3 contract is appropriate, because of the excessively bureaucratic procedure for compensation.
The contract states that a compensation event is only implemented when either the project manager notifies his acceptance of a contractor’s quotation, the project manager notifies the contractor of his own assessment or the contractor’s quotation is treated as having been accepted by the project manager.
Five weeks is provided for the submission by the contractor of quotations and acceptance by the project manager, eight weeks for the project manager to notify the contractor of its assessment and seven weeks for a contractor’s quotation to be treated as accepted by the project manager. All these periods can be extended by other provisions.
Worse still, if a contractor believes that a circumstance constitutes a compensation event but the project manager does not, the contractor has no other recourse than adjudication. The work may not be undertaken until the conclusion of the adjudication (a minimum of five weeks, as well as time for compensation to be agreed and implemented).
It is usual, particularly in complex projects such as London 2012, for situations to arise that require urgent resolution. NEC3 is entirely unsuitable for this, and its adoption for Olympics projects does not bode well for their timely completion.
Steve Rudd, Construction Claims Consultants