The use of standard forms of contract such as FIDIC® and NEC®3 or NEC®4 are widely used and it is crucial to be aware of the administrative requirement of the contract conditions, and to implement effective processes and procedures to address the responsibilities and liabilities.
The Reactive approach involves inadequate awareness of the contractual procedures and only relying on the contract when there is a problem. The main issue with this approach, centres around being inadequately prepared to deal with actual problems when they arise.
The Proactive approach involves complying with the requirements of the contract, issuing notice provisions when required to do so, and effectively administrating the contract to comply with your responsibilities, protecting your entitlement, and acting in the best interests of the project. This approach is organised, structured, and effective in managing your responsibilities and liabilities under the contract and is good business sense.
For effective contract administration:
- Use personnel with a proven capability and specialism in the specific form of contract, and who have experience and competence in dealing with contract administration and claims.
- Develop processes and procedures that comply with the contract provisions, so an effective system is in place that defines the what, how, when, and by whom.
- Applying effective risk and issue management.
- Use a time schedule / programme as the primary tool for forecasting and managing works, and regularly update as works progress and when key issues occur, and always make submissions in accordance with the contract provisions.
- Maintain excellent site records. It literally is records, records, records. This will greatly assist you with recording factual events and being able to demonstrate your position on any matters as they arise.