NEC ECC: When should the CE have been instructed?

An element of excavation in rock was undertaken by the Contractor, which was measured as the amount of rock removed. The PM reduced the measure stating that it should only have been measured to the lines & levels indicated on the drawing and that overbreak should have been included in the rate. After two months it was conceded that the existing bill rate wasn’t the correct rate, and an instruction asking for a revised rate was issued.

Reading in Glenn’s article 31st July 2015, as it is a new rate it should not have been programmed, so any time taken carrying out the works should form part of the CE.

My question is: if the PM instructed the new rate, but due to delay by both parties, it wasn’t instructed until after that element of work was completed, at which point should the PM have instructed the rate? Should it be: when the works were started, as this point would render the bill rate inadequate; or when it was decided by the Contractor the original rate wasn’t relevant; or when the PM agreed there should be a new rate; or is it the date of the issued instruction; or another date, because the original bill was always incorrect?

The relevance of the date being for the calculation of delay.

I am not sure I really follow the point here. Changing a rate doesn’t always mean you will change the time allowance as well.

However, if the point is that the parties are really agreeing that there was a mismatch between the work and how it was described leading to a need to change the rate then I think you would look at the activity as a whole and consider whether the same description deficiency had a time impact as well. If it did you alter the whole activity bar and assess, once the programme is updated, whether planned Completion changes.

Thank you for answering Rob, however it appears that I have not provided enough detail for you to answer in the way I had perceived the answer to be; it does not concern the legitimacy of the rate itself but the time of which it should have been instructed and possibly by whom in order to determine the effect on planned Completion. Unfortunately I can’t upload a timeline file so I shall have to summarise as follows:

April - Work Carried out
Early May - Additional Work Identified
Mid June - Valuation reduced

Conversations surrounding validity of rate between mid June and Early July

Early July - Existing Rate identified as incorrect
End July - PM instructs new Item descriptions to be priced

We are all in agreement that it should be a new rate, the question is when should the new item description have been instructed? Due to the long delay between the work being carried out and the instruction, is there not a case to say the instruction should have been made sooner? If so when? The rate has always been incorrect so at what point should the parties have known?

The issue arose when the PM wouldn’t pay for the work carried out due to overbreak, he stated that it should have been included in the rates, that’s when the existing rate became insufficient. However the rate has always been the wrong rate.

I need this date to determine which Accepted Programme I use in order to assess impact on planned Completion.