NEC ECC: Should we notify early warnings during stage 1 ECI?

We are working under an option C contract with X22 ECI. We are currently during stage 1, and the Client is saying we should not be raising early warnings during this stage as we are helping them with the design which is very fluid and we are being paid on an actual cost basis anyway.

Is there an obligation and/or need to submit early warnings during Stage 1? I would say yes as the rules of the contract need to be followed during this period. What would your thoughts be? Do they have the same practical necessity during stage 1 as they clearly do after notice to proceed and Stage 2?

Your Client is wrong I’m afraid, Option X22 as with any other main Option or secondary Option works in conjunction with all of the core clauses, not as an alternative or as a standalone contract.

With X22 ECI, all of the core clauses apply where relevant to both Stage 1 and Stage 2.

Why on earth your Client wouldn’t want you to give them early warnings I have no idea. If they need convincing then ask them to think about the payment provisions, how could you be paid for your work in Stage 1 if core clauses 50 to 53 did not apply in Stage 1? You could make the same argument for any of the core clauses.