NEC ECS: Is main Contractor contracharge against a Subcontractor's CE on Supervision valid/fair?

As a subcontractor working under NEC3 subcontract we were asked to provide a quote to get a previously approved specialist supplier to carry out works as a CE to our main subcontract which our main contractor did not want to undertake themselves. For our part we provided a direct quote from the specialist supplier with a standard fee on our part. No Risk was included for in the quotation. ( none was asked for by our main contractor)
Early in the works one of the specialist suppliers installation team made an error in one of its installations which was rectified with no damage to the infrastructure. However our Main contractor has since issued us with a contracharge to almost the full value of our fee for supply of an additional External CRE to oversee our specialist supplier under clause 25.2 failure to supervise.
Should the main Contractor not have asked us to allow for any risks commercial or otherwise in our quotation?


It looks like the Contractor requested you to provide a quotation for a proposed CE, which would be assessed in the same way as an instructed CE, including risk allowances, where appropriate. There is no separate requirement for you to be instructed to include this as it is part of the assessment process under clause 63.

To my mind, however, the main issue here is whether the supervision services were stated as being part of your ‘scope’ requirements and whether you actually provided these. It seems that the Contractor has linked the ‘error’ made by the specialist supplier installation team with an assessment under clause 25.2, however, this clause is specific to ‘not providing’ any stated services, rather than the manner in which they were provided. If a Defect occurred then this is dealt with under the corresponding, separate procedure under the contract.

As much as the Contractor may feel justified in applying this ‘contra charge’, it appears that they have linked the matter to clause 25.2 ‘for convenience’, rather than having any genuine entitlement.