NEC Cl17.1 Ambiguity in the Works Information


We are a Main Contractor working for a local authority under a ECC NEC3 Option A. We are of the opinion there is an ambiguity between Appendix 7/9 in the Specification document and the Earthworks drawings. The Specification document forms part of the Works Information.

Appendix 7/9 states “cold miling required to a constant depth”. The drawings referenced are the Earthworks drawings which show 20mm excavation on footways. No cold milling is shown on these drawings and no other drawings are referenced in App 7/9.

Our argument is this is an ambiguity between the said documents which needs to be clarified under Cl17.1. App 7/9 states one method but the drawings stated another method. Cold milling to a constant depth is also impossible in footways due to the amount of obstructions present such as ironwork, garden walls, bushes, street furniture etc.

PM counter argument is App 7/9 only refers to Series 700 therefore the statement in the appendix is redundant. PM does accept the Earthworks drawing has been incorrectly referenced in the appendix but still argues the statement is irrelevant as no cold milling is shown in the Earthworks drawing.

Can someone please advise?

@SQS1 the clause in question requires either the Contractor or the PM to notify the ambiguity or inconsistency as soon as either becomes aware of it.

So I would suggest you do that and then wait for the instruction that the PM is obliged to give to resolve the ambiguity (or inconsistency, whichever the case may be).

Hi Pete,

Thank you for the response.

The PM response to our notification was the below.

Appendix 7/9 relates to pavements (series 700) and not footpath works. Neither the 600 series (earthworks) drawings, the 1100 series (footway) drawings nor the written works information refers to cold milling of the footway.

No worries, I see.

The PM’s response has to be in the form of an instruction as per cl. 17.1. If you then consider that (through such instruction) the Works Information has changed, you can notify a CE under cl. 60.1 (1).

Not really sure if I addressed your query.

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