NEC3 ECC: Can the (a) Project Manager delegate his authority ad infinitum?

Option A clause 14.2 - The Project Manager …may delegate any of their Actions…

A unique occurrence has arisen. The Project Manager has gone on leave for 3 weeks and informed the contractor that his deputy is delegated to act on his behalf. This deputy then became ill and delegated similarly to another colleague in his absence who, due to bereavement then had to delegate again. All in a space of 4 days! It would seem theoretically possible for this practice to continue for ever until only the tea boy is left but this does seem to be absurd.

The original PM will be back on site in 2 weeks - does he have the authority over the delegated Delegation etc to be PM again? This is somewhat theoretical and is not really causing any Problems, but does the NEC3 make any provision for such an Event?

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Antonia - I don’t think you need to worry too much who they are delegating to, just who is authorized under the contract. If it ends up being the tea boy (or girl) as well then so be it. You just need to know who is authorized to give instructions and that is their call as to who is suitable/experienced.

Don’t forget delegation is as well as, not instead of. The original PM is not giving up their own power, just spreading it. Whenever they are back they will instantly have the same power than before they left.

I hope the PM had a really good holiday, as it sounds like they are going to be busy when they get back!

You just need to make sure that the delegate has the Employer’s authority, technically the PM had the right to delegate, but the first delegated PM may not have had depending on what delegated authority he was / wan’t given. Sounds like something you should give an early warning about as not only do you need to think about following instructions from somebody without authority, but there’s also likely to be a problem caused by the new person(s) not having prior knowledge of the project which will hinder their ability to administer the contract effectively and efficiently.