NEC ECC: Works Information Abuse?

It appears that employers at tender stage find the Works Information (WI) folder as a dump for all documents they feel ‘covers all bases’ as far as risk is concerned, environmental reports, pre-construction information, traffic assessments etc, etc, all lengthy reports in addition to what I would class as the real WI (drawings and specs etc). Should the contractor ensure he treats these as WI? or is there scope that at the end of the day, as they don’t clearly describe the scope of work to be done, they would not actually be classified as WI? In this instance, in the depths of one 600 page Environmental Management Plan it states a further ecological survey would need to be carried out, not mentioned in the structured WI report (under say WI.700). Should the estimator allow for this report or, in contract, state that it wasn’t actually WI and certainly wasn’t clear? It appears employers don’t fully understand the purpose of Works Information and so just classify everything as WI. What would happen if the borehole logs were put in the WI folder? It goes on…

Firstly, Works Information is in the documents that the Contract Data states it is in, so if it is not stated as Works Information in the Contract Data then you are not obliged to treat it as such.

It is quite common for documents to be inserted in the way you describe and also for information that is actually Site Information to be described as Works Information (and vice versa). It also depends on what Main Option you are using, whether an Activity Schedule or BoQ, which would also influence the risk allocation for inclusion.

Unfortunately the fact that a requirement may be ‘hidden’ in a 600 page document may not help your cause if the document is stated as Works Information in the Contract Data and you are using main option A. Not a satisfactory situation, especially if you have a tight deadline to submit a tender and you need to read through significant amounts of information (possibly even a poorly scanned pdf version). If you are at tender stage then notify this matter as a Tender Query to clarify the requirement.

They should be very careful putting what is intended to be Site Information as Works Information, as any instructed change to the Works Information would then be a compensation event. Ambiguities within Works Information and Site Information the Contractor is deemed to have allowed for the one less onerous or less expensive - so again important for the Employer/Client to make sure there are as few ambiguities as possible. If you spot these at tender stage - point them out as TQ 's and get them resolved or clarified at tender stage (for all tenderer’s).