Costs associated with administering an Option E contract

We have an Option A contract with a client but due to uncertainty on scope and unknown delays since it started, we are now operating on a cost plus basis. Can we add an item in this for additional QS time collating invoices and timesheets etc?

Firstly, if the intention of both Parties is that it is now an option E contract, then I suggest the Parties sign a Supplementary Agreement to change the main option so that contract option matches reality. It could save an awful lot of argument in the long term.

In answer to your question, I will assume it is an NEC4 contract and the answer varies depending on where the QS is working. If they are working within the Working Areas (WAs), then you absolutely can charge. However, if their normal place of working is NOT within the WAs - which presumably means they are spending less than 50% of their time in it - then you can only charge for their time whilst in the Working Areas. In contrast, if their normal place of working is within the WAs then you can charge for time outside of the WAs. This presumes that they are doing work on the contract and not another one. See the opening part of People 1 in the Schedule of Cost Components.

Having said all of this, with many QSs working from home most of the time due to COVID19, clients are relaxing these strict requirements.