NEC 4 - Option B - Prelims Remeasure

Hello everyone,

I’m working on an NEC4 Option B contract currently. Within the BoQ the preliminaries are set out with what it’s for e.g. Project Manager with then the number of weeks, the rate and the total.

During the interim application I have applied for every item in my prelims for the number of weeks we have been on site, so just drawing down on the total amount.

The client is measuring it against each person, and their start/end dates on the project.

I always thought preliminaries were more of a ‘lump’ item and they can only be changed via the CE mechanism?

Thanks in advance.

It depends on how the people are presented in the BoQ as to what is paid, as that is the starting point of an assessment. If each person is added individually then presumably there is a rate per week and a unit of measure in weeks. The payment assessment would consider the quantity (weeks) of work completed for each item multiplied by the rate.

The issue appears to be determining when the quantity of weeks for each individual actually starts and finishes. If this corresponds with a formal document, such as a tender programme, then that should be sufficient evidence to confirm what each start date should be. This may have changed for many reasons, including a compensation event, although as a ‘lump sum’ form, main option B is not based on ‘re-measurable’ principles.

Where an item is measured as a period of time, actual completion should also be assessed in terms of the ‘passing of time’.

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Hello, we are working on an option B NEC3 bridge job which has preliminaries one of which is an item for the TM required to access the bridge parapets.

This item of TM related to one activity i.e. accessing the bridge parapets and was measured as a single item (not duration). There was a second phase to the contract work that was initially amended by a CE. The CE in question affected the timing / duration of the secondary activity due to a third party (EA) requirement for it to be done separate to the parapet works. The programme was amended to show this secondary activity separate to the parapet work which extended the programme duration and a CE cost was agreed along with the programme.

As the CE did not affect the bridge parapet works the associated TM cost item remained unchanged by the CE. The parapet / TM works have now been completed as per the accepted programme and this activity on the programme was not affected by this or any other CE. However in the end the contact works were curtailed due to funds so the second aspect of the contract (the one that required the CE) was not carried out so the contract was shortened.

Now the client is trying to reduce the TM item in accordance with weeks worked and / or demonstration of costs by Defined Cost. The client is attempting to reduce the prelims for the TM Item and pay it in weeks worked, as they say the accepted programme was changed due to a CE. However this CE referred only related to the secondary works not the parapet work which the TM related to.

As the TM item and associated activities have been completed in the agreed timescale and the item it is not measured in weeks, this does not appear to be fair or in accordance with the contract, as the scope of work has not changed and the Item for TM has not be changed by the CE in question.