Ambit of PM authority in NEC3 from a time perspective

Some of our local contracts terminate the PM/PA authority on Practical Completion.
Is there any stage of a project under NEC3/4 that the PM’s authority terminates?

Thats an odd thing to do given that the PM has many functions to perform after Completion. For example if the PM is not valuing the accounts after Completion then it is not something that the Employer can do. The valuation of the Works can only be done by the PM so it seems to me that you could easily argue that you were entitled to be paid on a smash and grab basis. You would need to take special advice on this and we would be happy to assist…

Big_Al, I agree with Mike, it is an odd thing to do, I presume a Z clause has been drafted that terminates the PM’s authority? There is a solution, the PM can delegate actions under clause 14.2 before their authority is terminated, nothing stopping them delegating to the employer. The Employer can replace the PM under clause 14.4 by notifying the Contractor of the Replacement, again nothing preventing that from being the Employer.
I would be interested to see the Z clause if you are able to share it?

Hi Steve,

I put the question somewhat too broadly.

I have a client who is involved with the PM from hell – mutual trust and cooperation has become mutual loathing and obstructiveness (:blush:

That said, the works are not at completion and pending the outcome of several CE’s in respect of time, client is in penalty time and I was asked if NEC3 had a concept similar to the following item in one of our homegrown standard contracts, ( JBBCC):

“17.4 The contractor shall not be obliged to execute contract instructions for additional work issued after the certified date of practical completion.”

Regardless of the interpretation of above, I find nothing remotely similar in NEC3 ( logically so, as Mike pointed out.)


Hi Al, I understand and it’s a good question. You are right there is not an express provision such as you describe that says the PM does not or cannot issue instructions after Completion; they can. Clause 61.7 for example is clear, a compensation event is not notified after the issue of the Defects Certificate but no such restriction is placed upon the PM under clause 14.3; they can instruct changes to the Scope after Completion. It has been the subject of a number of debates in the past and I do not think there has been a satisfactory conclusion to the question, some people say the PM can and should be able to keep instructing, others say they shouldn’t unless it is in order to resolve an issue or comply with a procedure, I am with the latter.
The problem as I see it is that if the PM changes the Scope after Completion what provisions of the contract govern it? For example clause 32.2 which governs the revision of the Accepted Programme says very clearly that the Contractor submits revised programmes from the starting date to the Completion of the whole of the works. So how do we manage programme of any work instructed after Completion. Indeed the definition of Completion at 11.2(2) refers to the Scope and or when the Client and/or Others can use the works. If Completion has been achieved and new work is instructed, when is it to be completed, what if it’s not completed?
There are certain provisions which require the PM to keep instructing after Completion but these do not relate to the Contractor carrying out new Scope and I believe should not unless the Parties (Client and Contractor) agree and negotiate a package of work, etc.
In the first part of your latest post you say that the works are not at completion and pending the outcome of CE’s. First thing to note her is that there are strict timescales for assessing CEs which can be imposed through various sanctions invoked by the Contractor, 61.4, 62.6 & 64.4; so things shouldn’t be outstanding, the Contractor should be able to force an outcome by forcing the PM to do what they are supposed to do under the contract.
Secondly, you say the client is in penalty time, I don’t understand this, do you mean that that the project is past the Completion Date and therefore the Client should be imposing the delay damages but can’t because of the uncertainty around the CEs?
Thirdly, if Completion hasn’t been achieved then there is no question about whether the PM can instruct changes to the Scope, they can and each such instruction will be CE; until Completion the CE and other contract processes work perfectly if they are administered correctly in accordance with the contract. Hope that helps?

Yes, indeed it does – but then we go down a rabbit hole with the following Z clauses as well

Z5 Clause 62.6 ia amended by replacing the word “acceptance” with the word “ rejected” in the last sentence of this clause.

Z7 same as bove for clause 64.4

And the cherry on top

Z6 The following sentence is added to clause 64.3

The Project Manager does not notify the contractor of his assessment prior to obtaining approval from the Employer.

How to destroy the spirit of NEC 3 without really trying?


I have seen the ‘z-clause’ amendments Z5 and Z7 in quite a few (sub)contracts I have reviewed. The best course of action is to not formally notify a reminder, although I appreciate that doesn’t help with the progress of a CE through the CE procedure.