As a project manager associated with a £50m building project administered under option F of the ECC, I was fascinated (and at times a little horrified) by Rachel Barnes' recent article on the Society of Construction Law's Delay and Disruption Protocol (28 February, page 49).
While I consider that the protocol can – and in my view should – be used to assist in the resolution of claims and disputes, there is a wider issue here that needs to be addressed by the industry in general, and contract administrators in particular, namely the status of the contractor's programme. Unlike the JCT forms, both ECC and GC/Works 1 contemplate the use of a shared or accepted programme, and I can assure Rachel from personal experience that the problem with such an approach does not lie with the initial review and acceptance of the contractors' proposals, but rather the continual need to update the document as project circumstances change. This is the issue that frustrates clients and administrators, and must be addressed if the industry is to progress.
There is also the fact that contract administrators involved with construction are often not aware of their obligations under the contract, which merely provides more work for lawyers not the construction industry.
Malcolm Roberts, James R Knowles, via email.