NEC3 ECC: Can a Contractor issue a new clause 31 baseline programme half way through a project?

We us ECC Option A. Our Contractor wishes to issue a new baseline clause 31 programme half way through a project due to a change in the scope of works. The latest accepted programme shows the Contractor in slippage and likely to incur costs for late finish. The proposed programme shows the contractor finishing on time but with a CE for the change of scope.

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I have to confess I do not quite understand the question as what is a new “baseline clause 31 programme” is.

The Contractor initially provides a programme in line with clause 31.2 which (hopefully) gets accepted to become the first Accepted Programme (notice the deliberate capitalisation). In line with clause 32.2, the Contractor submits revised programmes as a minimum at the interval stated in Contract Data part 1. Typically this is every four weeks on many projects. The revised programme has to comply with both clauses 31.2 and 32.1. This revised programme has to be accepted or not accepted. Once accepted it becomes the new Accepted Programme which in affect is the new baseline that future change (compensation events) will be measured against.

If there is an instruction to change the Works Information then this is a compensation event and will be assessed against the last Accepted Programme. If their planned Completion was beyond the Completion Date then they were liable for delay damages. If the revised scope brings back the planned Completion level with Completion Date - then the Contractor has been lucky in as much that they are no longer liable for delay damages. However, the saving in the compensation event will be the Employers benefit and adjust down the Contractors total of the Prices.

Not sure how much this helps - as I am not totally sure what the question was but hopefully it will add a bit of clarity. There is no such thing as “the original baseline” under NEC3 contracts - you only ever measure against the last Accepted Programme, which is different from other forms of contract.