NEC ECC: Can a CE be notified without a PMI?

We are the Contractor on a project where the PM is notifying Compensation Events that change the Works Information but there is no associated Instruction.

Should they be communicating an Instruction for the proposed change, in addition to notifying the CE?

In effect they are using the form for a CE to raise an instruction but we are not clear if we can proceed with the work or wait until the quotation is accepted as no instruction or proposed instruction has been communicated separately from the CE.

A CE can only exist if an event has actually (or is expected) to occur. In your case it looks like a CE has been notified, although it is unclear whether a valid instruction has been given to change the Works Information.

It may be that the notification form includes a box that has been ‘ticked’ to effectively instruct this change. There is no requirement to issue a formal ‘Project Manager’s Instruction’ form to validate the instruction, although the communication requirements at clause 13 have been written with the intention that contract communications are clear and obvious, including the requirement for notifications to be communicated separately from other communications,

I would suggest confirming the status of the instruction with the PM to ensure that any consequent actions you take are compliant.

If you were using one of the established cloud based systems to manage flow of communications (e.g. FastDraft) then this would sort itself out and encourage the correct behaviours in the first place.

In theory there is nothing to notify until the instruction is given, so it is not quite right to instruct within the notification. Having said that, I think the intent is pretty clear and the Contractor would be relatively safe if that is how it has been communicated.

61.1 states that if the Project Manager issues an instruction that changes the Works Information (or Scope in NEC4) then at the time of giving the instruction they should state it is a compensation event, and request a quotation. In theory that could all be done efficiently on one piece of paper - and I do not think that contractually contravenes clause 13.7 (communications have to be notified separately from other forms of communication). 61.1 also makes it clear that the Contractor should proceed with the works once instructed. In this instance you cant wait to agree the quote before proceeding - that would only ever be if the quote was instructed/requested under 61.2 for a proposed quotation.

Much better that they state the instruction on a Project Manager instruction form so both Parties know the intent/where they stand. Compensation event process then plays out in parallel.