NEC AC: What are the limitations of using the NEC4 Alliance Contract as a Framework?

Can you get all the benefits from the ALC than you can get from a Framework, in terms of Collaboration?

In many ways the NEC4 ALC contract is designed to be even more collaborative than other forms of contract, as it is based upon a different contractual arrangement whereby the main parties to the project, including the Client, are Partners.

The NEC4 ALC contract reflects the general characteristics of an alliance, including; a collaborative and integrated team, a collective leadership (Alliance Board consisting of all the Partners), mutual risk sharing and a commitment to ‘no disputes’.

The Client is required to produce the Scope, Client’s Requirements, Implementation Plan and Performance Table. These documents, especially the Performance Table, provide for financial risk and reward to each of the Partners.

A framework arrangement does not guarantee collaboration, but the principle is that it encourages a better working relationship, due to the longer time period and likelihood of a continued pipeline of work, so by default should encourage a collaborative approach.

An NEC4 ALC contract requires careful planning and consideration at the outset and also a very professional Alliance Manager, who’s duties and responsibilities are far more wide ranging, than a Project Manager / Service Manager etc.

The Alliance Board decisions are subject to unanimous decision making, so agreement is required from all Partners (except for limited actions by the Client).

Ultimately, however, the level of collaboration comes down to the relationship between the parties which heavily relies on personal attitudes of key people which a contract can only go so far to encourage.