NEC PSC: Can we procure any goods through NEC4 PSC?

Can we procure any goods through NEC4 PSC?

The background is that we have offered NEC4 PSC Option E for an Early Engagement Phase, but the programme requires that they procure some long lead time goods during this phase. The strategy is to switch to NEC4 ECC Option A or C once we are ready to start the Works phase.

From my understanding NEC4 PSC seems much better set up than NEC3 for the procurement of goods, NEC4 being based on Defined Cost rather than the Time Charge. It has item 21 in the Schedule of Cost Components for ‘Payments to Subcontractors for work which is subcontracted.’ Therefore if we were to procure goods, they would just add the amount they have paid to the subcontractor to the Application as Defined Cost and apply the appropriate Fee, but not the overheads associated with the People components.

The PSC was not intended for the use you are proposing however as you say the NEC4 version does appear to allow it provided the the Scope requires you to procure the long lead items.

The bigger issue for you and the Client is about who pays if the “goods” procured from the Subcontractor are lost or damaged? Under the ECC this would be an insurable risk for the Contractor under the first insurance in the Insurance Table (clause 84), however the PSC does not require the Consultant to provide similar insurance. It might be caught by the second insurance in the Insurance Table (clause 83) however I suspect that should an insurable event occur it will be the meaning of these words that you are arguing about.

Further, the ECC deals with the transfer of legal title under clauses 70 and 71, whereas the PSC only deals with rights to use material which is a different concept altogether.

I’d warn against using the approach you have described as there may be other unintended consequences of using the PSC for a purpose it was not meant for. Why not just use the NEC4 ECC with X22 as this is what it was designed for?