If a revised programme shows a later completion date than that agreed at contract award, would accepting the programme change the contract completion date?
Works completing later than planned are usually caused by both contractor and employer delays. Therefore the later completion date on the revised programme is not always solely caused by the employer’s actions / inaction.
Does accepting the revised programme, result in delay damages only being applied from the completion date shown in the revised programme?
Accepting a revised programme does not change the Completion Date. This is why the contract calls for a separate planned Completion and Completion Date(clause 31.2), which allows the Contractor to show the reality (planned Completion) versus the potential liability (Completion Date). The Project Manager can then accept the programme (as a logical sequence of activities and duration’s that fully complies with the contract) but not worry at that point about the liability of why planned Completion has changed. This will be assessed as part of the compensation event process. Clause 14.1 makes it pretty clear on what the acceptance of anything by the Project Manager means in terms of liability and is a very important clause.
For example, a Contractor issues a programme with planned Completion two weeks beyond the Completion Date. This may be as a result of Contractor problems which are their own risk, or due to the affects of Project Managers Instructions that are compensation events which have been instructed but not yet been implemented (i.e. agreed in terms of time and/or cost). Either way, the Project Managers acceptance of the programme does not accept any liability and there is no change to Completion Date at that point. The only time the Completion Date moves is if a compensation event is agreed as having time as well as cost when implemented. In this example if a compensation event gets implemented(agreed) at £XX.00 with a two week affect on the critical path, then at that point the Contractor can move the Completion Date by two weeks which then hopefully catches up with planned Completion.
Any project will invariably have both Contractor and Employer delays. The key is to be regularly updating the programme with progress and change as it happens so that you can see the cause and effect of delays as they occur, and how they contractually therefore affect the two milestones highlighted above. In very simple terms you assess the delays in the order that they occur, and the affect they have on other activities should be relatively clear. That does of course assume/depend that you have a good well thought out fully detailed programme that is regularly updated to capture things as they occur, which is exactly what the contract is trying to promote particularly with the programme clauses.
Delay Damages become applicable when the Contractor exceeds the Completion Date – which can only be extended from that identified in contract data part 1 by implemented compensation events.
Hope this helps.
Great advice Glenn as per usual