NEC ECC: Clause 13.7 Clarification

Clause 13.7 states that a notification required by the contract is communicated separately to other communications but what does this actually mean?

For example a scheme has a number of submitted quotations which have extended past the period for reply. Can the Contractor send one communication stating all of the quotations they are awaiting a response for or does each one have to be communicated separately?

NEC3 states ‘notification’ and NEC4 states ‘notification and certificate’, although in many respects that should probably also include ‘instructions’ and ‘acceptance’. What the clause aims to achieve is to not allow important communications to get ‘lost’ (overlooked) amongst other more ‘general’ communications.

Assuming these are quotations for notified CE’s, in response to a PM’s instruction, then clause 62.6 gives the Contractor the right to notify the PM where a response has not been given within the stipulated timescales. I see no reason why your singular notification cannot relate to more than one CE quotation, as the notification is communicated separately, in accordance with clause 13.7, albeit relating to several different quotations, although the notice is given for the same contract procedure.

Where you are notifying on different subjects, for example the lack of response to a CE quotation and also an early warning, then these should be separate as they would lead to different responses and there is the potential for one of these to get ‘lost’ or overlooked.

If you are using one of the online administration tools (e.g. FastDraft) this will kind of force you down the right road anyway. You have to submit an individual quote, and if they have not responded you would have to within the system individually state they have not responded if the “deemed acceptance” is to kick in.

You would like to think a degree of common sense would apply here. NEC4 softens “notify” to “inform” in terms of notifying test and inspections so that whilst it should still be in writing they do not need to be “notified” individually separately.

13.7 is about not having multiple different issues on the same communication as it would be hard to close some out and have others open. If there were 200 minor defects at the end of the project you would not need/want to notify each individually - you would notify one communication saying the attached list of 200 defects needs correcting.

In particular 13.7 is getting away from “minutes of meetings” being a form of notification. Any notifications, instructions and acceptances would be communicated separately so they clear and transparent rather than being left buried in a section of a set of minutes that may or may not be clear what they are saying.

For the issue you state about non-response to quote I would avoid any questions of subjectivity by notifying separately each quote that has not been responded to. It will not take you long and can not in any way then be challenged.