NEC ECC: Pre-Construction Information - should this go in Works Information?

I have received a request from the Employer to include within the Works Information contents list the Pre-Construction Information.

The Works information as defined in the Contract is information which either
• Specifies and describes the works or
• States any constraints on how the contractor provides the works

My position on this request is that the Pre-Construction should not form part of the Works Information, and that it be separate given this is a CDM / H&S related document.

I would like to put this to the forum for their views on this request?

In my experience Pre-Construction Information (PCI) can be both Works Information (often constraints) and Site Information (descriptions of the Site and details of surveys etc). It seems to be because it’s drafted by people who’s focus is health and safety and not contracts. My solution is to include in both the Site Information and the Works Information a table that makes clear what the status is of each section / clause of the PCI.

You are right that the PCI is a CDM requirement, however you risk omissions, ambiguities and inconsistencies in or between the documents forming the contract if you include the PCI in the contract without categorising it as I’ve suggested. NEC3 ECC clauses 17.1, 60.3 and 63.8 are all relevant to this situation, which if it arises will rarely (if ever) go in the Employer’s favour.

Patterson et al wrote a good article on this subject, link below:

Thanks Neil.

I would like to draw your attention to an extract taken from the NEC contract website regarding Pre-construction information.

CDM requires the client (ECC employer) to pass on to bidders ‘pre-construction information’, which includes residual risks known to those preparing the bid documents. Under CDM 2015 the principal designer has to ‘assist’ the employer with preparing the pre-construction information. At this stage it is likely that the principal designer will be the employer’s lead designer.

The pre-construction information will contain some information that should be in the ECC works information and some that should be in the ECC site information. Good practice is to put the information that should be works information or site information in the relevant ECC documents and refer them from the pre-construction information document.

The ‘referring back’ statement above in my opinion is what supports the PCI document not constituting it being considered as Works Information, however that it should contain references back to the WI (i.e. TM constraints set out under Appendix 1/17 of the Specification) and the SI (i.e. STATS plans for existing service locations)

From a technical point of view it doesn’t matter which way round you do it provided it is clear from an NEC point of view what the status of the information is and the references are correct. How you achieve that is the drafters preference and will often depend on who is drafting the PCI and when that happens in the procurement process. If you already have the PCI when you’re preparing the WI and SI it makes little sense to take the information out of the PCI and put it into the WI and SI then to go back to the PCI, delete the information and replace it with references back to the WI and SI. Further, if one consultant is drafting the PCI and another one drafting WI and SI there is a risk of dispute between them regarding liability for errors and omissions in the documents.

To be absolutely clear what both NEC and myself are saying is that the PCI should never be wholesale incorporated into the WI or SI as it will usually contain information that belongs in both. Drafters should either identify what information in the PCI should be included in the WI or SI, or identify what information in the WI and SI should be included in the PCI, either way this information should be incorporated into the relevant document by reference.