NEC ECS main and sub-contract compatibility

Does the sub-contract option have to match those adopted in the main contract? i.e. could a SC Option B be used where the main contract is Option A?

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There is no reason why a Subcontract (ECS form) should be particularly aligned with the main contract (ECC form). It is common for a main contract to be let under main option C whereas the Subcontracts are let under main option A.

The subcontract should be the ‘obvious’ product which most appropriately reflects the liabilities and relational interactions, determined by a considered and intelligent risk management procedure. This may involve use of the ECSS form or perhaps a PSC (or PSSC) or SC (or SSC).

The Contractor is responsible for the risks under the main contract and needs to manage these rather than just pass them on through the supply chain with ‘back-to-back’ contracts. A form of the ‘back-to-back’ approach may be appropriate in certain instances, say with a critical subcontractor, but generally there are other issues, such as subcontract management, which are the Contractor’s risk and not a contract risk which need to be considered.


Many thanks for the response.

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