NEC3 ECC: changes to the Contract Data - what is in the power of the Project Manager to instruct?

During a recent occurrence, it was deemed necessary to make changes to the Contract Data ( notably in regard to Delay Damages, but this is by the way) which were then incorporated as an Addendum to the Contract Agreement. The wording and the conditions of the Addendum were mutually agreed and signed off by the Employer and the Contractor. Both parties were happy and life goes on.

It left me however, pondering on a possible contractual ambiguity.
In the 2012 edition of The notes for Guidance , I notice that it states that the Contract Data cannot be changed by a Compensation Event, presumably meaning that the data contained therein is permanently fixed and thus only able to be modified through a formal mutually agreed Contract Addendum. The guidance notes 2012 Page 4 refers

“…a Project Manager can instruct a change to the works Information but [he] cannot change Contract Data once the contract has been formed.”

This makes certain sense to me regarding items such as the “Works” , “Employer” “Language of the contract” for example, and also gives credence to the situation described above over making changes to the agreed delay damages.

I have my doubts however, where commonly changeable items already stated in the Contract Data such as the “completion date” are concerned. The Compensation Event system regarding changes to the completion date are unwieldy enough without resorting to a contract Addendum as well. It would seem that, you would need to have a CE implemented which in turn would not become valid until formally put into a contract Addendum, despite what clause 65 says. Indeed, on face value, the PM is not even authorised to issue a CE if it is going to lead to an extension of time and thus change the completion date.

This is surely nonsensical? Am I being over sensitive here, or have I missed something basic?

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What the contract is correctly saying is that there can not be an instruction issued to change anything in Contract Data - like you say change Delay Damages form £10/day to £1000/day.

When it comes to compensation events - these can obviously affect planned Completion and thus Completion Date. If you look at the definition of Completion Date, it states that it is the date stated in the contract data unless changed in accordance with the contract. The contract states that implemented compensation events can move it later, and acceleration once agreed can bring the date earlier. This now contractually supersedes the date stated in contract data. There is no requirement to physically go back into contract data and change the date there.

Many thanks - yes I see I had missed something Basic.

There are numerous items within the Contract Data which may be ‘changed’ in accordance with the contract, including;

Completion Date,
Key Dates,
The programme,
The working areas,
The Prices,
Key People,
The Project Manager,
The Supervisor

However, others can’t be changed in the normal course of administering the contract, (requiring a supplemental agreement) including;

Retention percentage,
Fee percentages,
Delay Damages amounts,
Place where weather is recorded
Defects correction period

In what form would a supplemental agreement / addendum take?