NEC ECS: Subcontractor Programme Alignment

I’m working on a project currently, where the Contractor is trying to deliver the job in a particular order. The issue I’m having is, the Subcontractor is submitting their programme each period showing a different sequence of works. I suppose the question is, what obligation does the Subcontractor have to align themselves to the Contractors priorities? And if it is none, what are the steps required to request they toe the line?

The Subcontractor’s programme - and the way they actually work - has to comply with any constraints stated in the Works Information. If sufficient constraints are not stated in the Works Information, then it needs to be changed. That of course is a compensation event.

The methodology for delivering the works is entirely up to the Subcontractor themselves unless there are specifics set out within the Works Information/ Contract. If there are key dates (etc) that cover the issue then an Early Warning should be raised and a Risk Reduction meeting held. If however, they are just working in a different sequence to the desired one of the Contractor, then there is technically nothing that can be done. If however, they are working to a different sequence to that shown on their programme, obviously this would be grounds for a programme rejection.

(reply from James Parker:)
Thanks Jon. In the Works Info, the following statement is included; ‘The Subcontractor is responsible for planning, programming, coordinating and integrating the performance of all its activities to ensure that all the requirements of the Contractor and Others are fully accommodated to ensure a fully complete, commissioned and operational Plant reflective of the Contractors design.’ Bearing this in mind, would a request to the Subcontractor to align their program to the Contractors priorities be considered a CE?

Remember that if the Contractor Subcontracts the works, he is responsible to Provide the Works as if he had not subcontracted. Therefore, the Contractor must ensure that all schedule of works, subcontracted or not, is aligned with his Programme submitted to the Project Manager.

He shall update his Programme to align with the subcontractor’s sequence of works or instruct the subcontractor to revised his programme to align with the Contractor’s Programme. If the two are not aligned, then the Contractor’s Programme does not represent the Contractor’s plan realistically. This can be a ground to instruct the Contractor to revise his Programme.

An initial reading is ‘Yes’ but then there is the nuance : if the sentence had stopped at “activities” then I think it would, but it continues with “to ensure a fully complete, commissioned and operational Plant reflective of the Contractors design”. I.e. it has to do the planning etc so that the end plant works, but not to integrate with the work of the Contractor and Others whilst it is being built. That would be my get-out of jail as the Subcontractor.

So currently, the Subcontractor is not working to their accepted programme, as the Contractor is directing work according to their own priorities. Does this entitle the Subcontractor to a CE? And would this every day they are prevented from working to their programme?! Thanks.