Public Works Contracts For Minor Works – Some Key Points to Watch


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These are some of the points I believe that Contractors should be aware of when tendering or starting a contract. Much of this key information is contained within the Contract Schedules

 1.       Contract Date

This is the date of Issue of the Letter of Acceptance by the Employer. The contract takes effect from this date.

 2.       Date for Substantial Completion & Liquidated Damages

These are contained within Schedule 1G. Sometimes the Date for Substantial Completion can be a specified number of days / weeks from the Contract Date.

 3.       Programme Contingency

This is detailed in Schedule 1K. The Contractor is deemed to have included in his programme and built into his costs for this delay.

 4.       Tendered Rates for Cost of Labour, Plant & Materials

In Schedule 2D the Contractor fills in what are effectively his Dayworks Rates. This is a challenge for the Contractor as these rates will be used to determine the final tender sum. A Contractor who inserts nil rates may have to end up doing additional works and variations for free.  In Schedule 2D the Contractor also tenders his daily rate for delay costs. There is no scope for further recovery of delay costs and again, the Contractor will be stuck with a nil rate.

 5.       BOQ / Pricing Document Discrepancies With Works Requirements

Schedule 1K item 17 will state whether errors in the Pricing Document over €500 value are Delay & Compensation Events. For example if the Pricing Document has under measured the excavation quantity, the Contractor will not have a case for additional recovery unless the schedule permits.

 6.       Unforeseeable Ground Condition & Utilities

Schedule 1K items 20 & 21 will state whether these are Delay & Compensation Events .

 7.       ER’s Limitations in Relation to Change Orders

Schedule 1A will stipulate the maximum value of a Change Order unless approved by the Employer. It will also state the maximum cumulative value of change orders in any three month period, unless approved by the Employer.

 8.       Key Definitions

Reference to a Day means a calendar day.

Reference to a Working Day means not Saturday, Sunday, Public Holidays & Good Friday .

Site Working Day is a day deemed to be a working day on the last accepted programme.