A client refereed to certain utility works as ‘provisional’ in an NEC3 option A contract.
The works did not form part of the price & activity schedule, are not mentioned directly within the works information although they do form part of the M&E specification which is referenced within the WI appendices.
The works were not appropriately ‘instructed’ by the client but the Contractor did initially progress with the works.
The utility connection was initially deemed to be not required when the contractor held discussions with the utility provider, but upon further review this was deemed inaccurate and was a new connection was required.
A CE was raised and the costs accepted however the impact of time is largely being rejected by the client. There are consequential changes that would have been made if the initial connection had gone ahead as the plant room transpired to not be big enough.
The client has muddied the water through using terminology and approaching the contract in a manner that is not in line with NEC but in principle would you consider that the works did not form part of the contract and as such the contractor should be entitled to the entirety of the time impact?
Is there a separate competent contractor should have known better argument that would trump the issue of its inclusion within the scope?