Can the PM delgate or remove duties from the Supervisor

The client wants to limit the opening up and inspection duties of the Supervisor to control the cost and time risks and believes that the best way is for the PM to issue a PMI limiting the duties?


Both the Project Manager and the Supervisor are agents of the Employer and report directly to the Employer. If the Employer wishes to change the duties of either the Project Manager or Supervisor then this should be through their their respective appointments.

It is not entirely clear from the question what the status is of the Project Manager and Supervisor have they both been appointed under a professional services contract to perform the roles and named in Contract Data part one?

The Project Manager has no authority to delegate or change any of the Supervisor duties under the contract.

Some Employers delete the Supervisor role from their contracts completely and all the Supervisor actions are then performed by the Project Manager as a single point of contact.

The principal in nec is that the Supervisor performs an independent role in regard to the quality of the works.

The Supervisor can instruct a Contractor to search for a Defect. Before he issues such an Instruction he would surely speak to the Project Manager? and of course if such an Instruction was issued and no Defect found it would be a compensation event under clause 60.1(10)

There is no reason why the Employer under clause 14.4 cannot replace the Supervisor and replace with the Project Manager perfroming the duties of the Supervisor under the contract and the Supervisors appointment with the Employer amended such that he acts in a supporting role to the Project Manager.

The question is if you do that does it cause any assurance, political issues with any stakeholders? especially those who may be concerned with the quality of the completed works?

Barry is right in all that he says and identifies various options open to the Employer. Having said this, the tests and inspections to be done by the Employer are stated in the Works Information and the Project Manager can change the Works Information either for nobody to do the tests and inspections or for the Contractor to do them underr the contract. The latter would be a compensation event with cost consequences.

Neil - Barry and Jon have given good answers, just one additional thought from me. If it is the opening up and inspection that is a concern then, as Jon says these can be limited by changing what is required by the Works Information. However, there is a parallel obligation on the Supervisor (and the Contractor) to search for defects. This is superficially outside the scope of the tests and inspections etc envisaged by the Works Information. Here Barry’s point comes back that the PM has no right to interfere with the role of the Supervisor and neither can he countermand instructions to search given to the Contractor. It is of course open to the Employer and Contractor to vary the contract to remove this but, obviously, with great caution as you are removing/changing the quality control provisions.

Rob - good points. The PM and Supervisor interface is a very interesting one. They clearly (although not stated in the contract) have to work together