JCT: SB 2016 is the contractor not providing a quotation in a timely manner reason for the employer to apportion blame on the contractor for project delay

The Main Contractor is asked by the CA to provide a quotation for a potential variation. This variation has not been formally instructed but information has been issued to the MC.

If the CA will not instruct the works without a quotation upfront and the Contractor is slow to provide the quotation, who is liable/responsible if the project falls into delay?

The Contractor has 21 days in which to submit the Variation Quotation under the procedures set out in Schedule 2 of this form of Contract. It remains open for acceptance 7 days after it is sent to the Contract Administrator. If the Contractor refuses to provide a quotation then he is in breach of Contract but not until the 21 days has expired.

In the absence of a Quotation you can issue an Variation Instruction and it will get valued under the normal valuation rules 5.6-5.10.

So for 21 days the Contractor cannot be blamed for any delay. It may be best to abandon use of the Schedule 2 procedures as this will allow you to instruct Variations without pre-agreement.