Sunday, January 26, 2014

Delay and Extension of time Application in construction project

Extension of time (E.O.T) is one of the contract clause which is helpful to all contractor to prevent the Liquidated and ascertained damages (L & AD) being imposed to them due to delay. Not to say that with the Extension of Time, contractor do not incurred losses, but in actual fact it did minimised it. With the granted of Extension of time, Contractor still need to extend the work insurances and other overhead cost such as rental of site office,site support staff and ect. but it do stop the L & AD being imposed.

Practical Contract Management

Application of  Extension of time, base on the contract clauses is always base on what does it allow for. Some of the reason that allow are as follows;

1. Delay due to Superintending Officer instruction which was issued under certain clause in the contract
2. Exceptionally increment weather,
3. By force majeure
4. Delay in giving site possession to contractor,
5 Delay by other contractor engaged by employer in executing parts of the work which for part of the contract
6. by the contractor in ability for reason beyond his control and which he could not reasonably have foreseen at the date of closing of tender of his contract,
7. by reason of  any action due to civil disturbance

and any reason allow in the particular contract.

However to make an application,  normally, there are clauses in the contract that contractor need to satisfy or follow. For example, Delay due to Superintending Officer instruction (which was issued not due to contractor negligence), in which a stop work order was issued due to design change for certain works which affecting other works and will resulted in delay of the project completion. This reason, for sure it is not due to contractor negligence. As such contractor is entitle for extension of time and also possibly entitle to claim loss and expense ( if allow in the contract).

Also part and parcel of the application is the supporting document. As contractor, all the significant event shall be properly documented and recorded. For example, some of the following document might be necessary.

1. Master and detailed work program (A work program in which shows the sequence and logic of works) before the event.
2. Revised work program ( Work program which show when will the new expected completion date for the project after incorporated the event)
3. Official instruction from Superintending officer (letter)
4. Notice from contractor with regard to the event which mentioned that the event will caused delay.( if the instruction is going to be issued after or few days before the date of start work for the particular work as planned or schedule in original master work program or original detailed work program)
5. The event chronology
6. Photos (if any)
7. calculation on number of days that contractor entitled for.
8. Site diary 
9. minutes of meeting
10. contract clause which mentioned that contractor are entitle for the Extension of time.

However, contractor need to be aware on the other clauses in the contract in which contractor need to fulfilled. For example; notice to superintending officer shall be submitted with-in 7 days from the date of the event.

Not all contract having the same clauses or requirements, thus. contractor need to know what is allow in their contract. For instant, time frame to submit notice to superintending officer due to an event. Some contract might specified that the notice shall be submitted with in 14 days from the even occurred, some might be 30 days but other might be 7 days. Hence we need to be aware of those clauses.

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, Third Edition (PMBOK Guides)
Enterprise Contract Management: A Practical Guide to Successfully Implementing an ECM Solution Practical Contract Management

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Construction Project: Subcontracting partial of the works.

Sub-contracting a road project to more than one contractor for the same scope of work but different location can be tricky and some time could resulted in disaster for the main contractor if things being dome base on assumption only. Why is this so?

Practical Contract Management

First let we asked our self. Do the whole stretch of road is design as typical cross-section? What being meant here is do the whole stretch of road was designed with the same dimension ( road width, Shoulder, sub-base and road-base thickness and ect.) regardless which chainage it is. The answer is Yes and No. Then, the next question is how long is the road? let say the road is 1(one) Kilometer. Now we come to the issue of sub-contracting.

This is the scenario.  At Beginning of the project we awarded the whole project to contractor A, however after a certain period the progress is to slow and we are far behind schedule. we decide to engage another contractor, that is contractor B and we wanted them to do the next stretch of the project which the length is 600 meters. By looking at the length we assume that the subcontract of the project is 60% of the total construction Project.Then we told contractor B that from the total construction project, 60% of the scope of works shall belong to them. However there is no proper agreement or contract was executed because we are now desperate to finish the work we ask them to start immediately. However the contractor B give the condition that the work shall be measured by quantity and the rates applied shall be as the rate between main contractor and the project owner. We agreed to the condition imposed by Contractor B and Contractor A also agreed that theirs contract is lump sum that is 40% of the original contract sum. As the project progressing we had being paying the contractor base on the factor of 60:40. The contractor B is not happy because they claim that they do more than 60% of work. and they prove that they are correct by doing all calculation and providing the actual evidence. However for contractor A, a proper contract had been executed after the division was done. Bingo!!!! we are now having problem in paying Contractor B. All of the earlier understanding with Contractor B is base on verbal discussion but there is an official letter being issue by Contractor B with regards to their condition before they start doing the work. we assume that the quantity is 60:40 and the original contract rates was applied. 

After a thorough check base on the drawing and verification on evidence provided by Contractor B, we discover that, their claim is valid, where the total quantity for contractor A is actually less and the factor of 60:40 is wrong. However we need to honour our contract with contractor A.

Practical Contract Management

Base on this scenario, The Main Contractor now have to subsidised the work done by Contractor B until all the profit that main contractor expected is gone by the wind.
What is the mistake that being done by Main contractor until they are loosing money? These is it.

1. All thing was done on a basis of ASSUMING.
2. Agreed to something that they did not really know.

As a contractor, lets take the above scenario as a lesson. Before we accept any contract in a construction project, We need to do our own estimation by do some quantity take-off work. By doing that even if we need to absorb some construction cost, we might still making some money but at a lower profit rate.

Practical Contract Management