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NEC ECC: Can PM extend period to assess quote once they have been notified of non-response?
Can a Project Manager request an extended period of reply once they have been reminded they have not responded to a quotation within the time-frames set out in the Contract?
Project Manager could ask for an extension to review a compensation event quotation, but once they have failed to respond and the Contractor has notified them of this non-response they only have two weeks to respond. At this point contractually can they ask for an extension beyond this two weeks?
Clause 13.5 states they may extend the period of reply if agreed by the other party, but this two weeks response once notified of non-response is not a "period for reply" element it is a defined timescale!
Clause 62.5 states that the PM extends the time allowed to reply to a quotation if the Contractor agrees to the extension before the submission or reply is due .
By agreement the Contractor can obviously agree to the extension, but contractually based on the clauses above is this even one the PM is specifically entitled to ask for an extension to?
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Thank you for giving me a nudge to re-examine this question in more detail and I have substantially edited my response as a result.
Under NEC3 ECC, clause 13.5 only applies to the 'period for reply' (in italics) i.e. the timescale stated in CD part 1 as it is in italics, so does not allow replies where a specific time scale is stated in the clause as is the case within the whole of the compensation event procedure.
Under NEC4, the situation is a little bit more nuanced though because clause the 13.5 says "The Project Manager may extend the period for reply to a communication if the Project Manager and Contractor agree" but the 'period for reply' is not in italics. Consequently, there is a very good argument for saying it has a broader interpretation i.e. it applies to any communication including ones where a specific timescale is stated.
As you point out, clause 62.6 does not allow expressly state the that the PM and Contractor can extend the 2 week timescale following a reminder notification. But as you also point out, clause 62.5 certainly does allow them to agree an extension to the original two weeks that the PM has to reply. Does this apply to the 2 weeks following the Contractor's reminder notification?
I think it probably does as, while the wording has been tweaked in NEC4, 62.6 talks about "reply"ing to a quotation and 62.5 explicitly allows time allowed for the PM's 'reply to a quotation' - and NEC4 has this exact wording in 62.6 - to be extended.
So my answer is now 'Yes' and an even bigger 'YES' under NEC4.
However, two related points:
- why is it taking them 3 weeks from the submission of the quotation + a further 2 weeks from your reminder notification + further time to evaluate the quotation? This suggests to me that either the PM's office is chronically understaffed &/or there is a breakdown in communication between you and them; and
- the whole point of the 'treated as accepted' sanction, subject to a reminder notification, was to get PM people to do what the chuffin' contract says.
How about calling an early warning meeting to address root causes ?
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