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NEC ECC - Timescales for Contractors CE quotations and Project Manager assessments
I'm currently working on an NEC3 ECC option A under the Employer's PM.
Both the Contractor and PM are doing the best they can to use the Early Warning process to mitigate risks and then issue CE's as soon as they occur.
However, the scale of the changes mean that both parties have failed (on occasion) to meet the time requirements for issuing Compensation Event Quotations and Project Manager's Assessments.
The contract is clear on timescales for CEQs, and once these are exceeded the PM is required to make an assessment within the same time requirements.
However, what happens when the latter is exceeded? Can the Contractor still issue a CEQ (as both parties have failed to follow the contract)? If so, will the acceptance process to remain the same? Or does the responsibility remain with the PM to assess all those CEs that have not received a CEQ? Will there be any considerations for the PM to make? Presumably as they are accepted CEs / NCEs these will not be time barred regarding costs?
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As you say the contract is clear that the Project Manager assesses if the Contractor has not submitted a quotation within the timescales. However, if they haven't, there is no harm in the Contractor submitting a quote and they are certainly not restricted to do so. What the Project Manager chooses to do with that quotation is another question - although they would be pretty foolish not to look at it and consider it. I always say it is much easier for the PM to start with a Contractors quote and cross out what they don't agree with, rather than starting from scratch from first principles.
If either party know they will be late in producing a quote or assessing it then they can notify a request for an extension, and as long as it is for good reason likely to be accepted by the other party. This is much better than just letting the timescales lapse.
I suggest here a bit of a meeting or workshop is called here for all Parties to understand where they are with all CE's to date and agree an action plan to resolve historical issues, and more importantly agree an action plan that future CE's will not slip into the same delay in assessments. Resource levels should be considered as well as it would appear that they are not sufficient to keep on top of the amount of change. Projects need to adjust resource levels accordingly than fix the resources and deal with the issues the best they can in the timescales they can achieve.
Never an easy situation to keep on top of - but the alternative which is assess everything at the end which will be VERY time consuming and VERY subjective is far far worse for both Parties and no one has a clue on their relative liability.
Thanks Glenn, we are working together to get through the back log and making progress, but as you'll appreciate it takes time, which means newer CEs are timing out.
So for clarity my reading of the above is that once the contractor's time to issue the CEQ and the PMs time to issue the assessment has elapsed it will remain the remit of the PM to make an assessment?. That the PM can/should use any CEQs that come in after that time but it would still be defined as a PM assessment and dealt with as such?
Broadley yes, although I think the contract is silent on what happens if the Contractor does submit a quote late. Does the PM have to respond to that within two weeks, and if they don't respond after a reminder would it be deemed accepted? Potentially yes, so as PM I would not run the risk and respond to the quote even if it is late to avoid such a loop.
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