NEC ECC: PM Communication

We are the contractor on a project which uses (amongst others) two key forms. A PMI form and a PMC form, for PM Communication.

The PM uses the PMC form to effectively instruct changes to the design but argues that these are not instructions and he will therefore not be issuing the same on a PMI form. The reason given is that we may raise a CE off the back of a PMI but we can’t do that off the back of a PMC.

Would I be correct in thinking that provided the text describes a change to the design / WI, that it doesn’t matter what form it is on, and we should notify the CE regardless. Or, should we not carry out the ‘instruction’ until it is on a PMI form?

An example would be a PMC noting that the technical brief for a room has been changed at the client request and asking us to update our design to reflect this.

We are coming across this issue on a number of projects with different PM’s, and the confusion I believe is that the PMC form is thought to hold no contractual weight, but I don’t agree with this thinking.

I would suggest you need to sit down with the PM and discuss this matter.

A change to the Works Information is a compensation event under clause 60.1(1). Changes to the Works Information are instructed under clause 14.3. The Contractor is required by clause 20.1 to Provide the Works in accordance with the Works Information. Therefore, if the PM changes the Works Information, the Contractor must comply with the instructed change while the process is under way to assess the compensation event - note that the contractor proceeds with the changed work irrespective of whether the effect on the Prices and/or programme have been assessed and the compensation event ‘implemented’.

If, however, the PM is arguing that he/she hasn’t changed the Works Information, then the Contractor does not need to change what it is building, so I would question why the PM is ‘communicating’ this information. As stated above, however, I would suggest you need to discuss this with the PM before incurring costs on the original work that the PM has (or hasn’t) changed.