NEC ECC: Entitlement to a CE if the duration of works undertaken by Others is unspecified in the Works Information

The Contractor tendered for a project in competition. The project was procured under ECC Option C. The Works Information provided included details of work to be undertaken by Statutory Undertakers (Stats) within the Working Area during the project. The duration of the works undertaken by the Stats was unspecified in the Works Information e.g. one of the service diversions will be complete within 8 to 32 weeks. The Completion Date in the Contract Data is not achievable if the stats take 32 weeks to complete their works. The Contractor was unable to qualify their bid and can demonstrate that this ambiguity was queried during the tender process.

In a competitive tendering situation, the Contractor based their bid on the minimum duration of stats work (8 weeks) for obvious reasons. The question is, is the Contractor entitled to a compensation event if the statutory undertaker takes any longer than 8 weeks to complete their works? Thanks.

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I will let someone else add to this answer from a legal perspective but what I will say is that this HAS to be resolved at tender stage. You could/should put in a TQ at tender stage asking what the Contractor is to assume for this 3rd Party activity. It sounds like you did do this - so now the question is what was the response?

The problem is that WI told you it could take 32 weeks, and it has. If you have not qualified your bid in any way, there is no change to the Works Information and therefore arguably no CE unless it fits one of the other reasons.

The test always for any compensation event is why under clause 60.1 is it one - and if it doesn’t fit then it isn’t.