NEC ECC: Option A - Activity Schedule: Can a Client ask a Contractor to change activities for their own benefit?

I am currently working on an Option A NEC3 ECC contract and the Client would like the contractor to split (or add) activities from submission to (1) submission (2) Acceptance.

I am under the impression that the AS is the Contractors document and the way in which the activities are broken down are of their own choosing unless stated in the works information, and once accepted by the Client the only reason for change is if the contractor changes their planned method of working and the activities no longer relate to the accepted programme and then they are to submit a revised AS to the PM for acceptance.

However the Client strongly believe they are within their rights to ask for this change, are they correct?

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No there is no where in the contract that expressly allows them to insist you change your activity schedule. The Contractor can propose to revise it under 54.2 and the Project Manager has to accept/not accept for reasons under 54.3. there is no where that says the Project Manager can insist they change it. Ask them to show you in the contract where it allows them to do this? (If all they have is “surely in a spirit of mutual trust and cooperation” then they really are clutching at straws.)

Having said that, by agreement you can. If they are asking you to split the amounts so that some payment is reliant on you getting acceptance rather than you submitting (rubbish!) then you can kind of see their point. Even still - contractually they cant force you to. This would be one that might be worth doing just to show willing and for relationships - with you showing some of the money reliant on acceptance (but you decide how much).

As you are on Option A and clause 11.2 (27) states the PWDD is the total of the Prices for each completed activity or each group of completed activities, I don’t see how this can benefit your client, as all you will effectively be doing if you agree to his request is splitting out an activity which will be certified for payment once each activity is complete. Which, you would be paid for at the same time if you don’t agree to his request.

I would speak to them to establish exactly what they want and why they want it.