If there are CEs and EWN still under discussion, can a programme that takes those into account be accepted by the PM. eg, can the programme be accepted regardless of the cause of the delay and ultimate responsibility. .
No - acceptance of a programme does NOT mean that they have accepted liability of a CE that has been shown OR its associated duration. The acceptance of a programme means they accept that it is a reasonable practical representation of the Contractor’s planned works going forward. It also means that there was not a reason within clause 31.3 to reject it. The liability associated with any CE’s will e agreed through the quotation/assessment/implementation elements to a compensation event life cycle.
If planned Completion on the new programme is two weeks beyond the Completion Date due to what the Contractor believes is a two week CE, the programme being accepted is not the point the Contractor can move the Completion Date. As and when the CE is implemented and agreed at two weeks entitlement, at that point the Contractor can move Completion Date and hopefully for them catch es up with planned Completion again.
Clause 14.1 clarifies what acceptance of programme or design etc actually means, and it probably does not mean as much as the Contractor would like it to mean. Acceptance is not the PM signing their life away and any errors/liability now become there problem.