NEC3: TSC Can the Term Service Contract include contractor design and if so where is it to be included?

I notice that secondary option X15 is not included within the TSC does this mean that design is excluded or can it be included under, say, the Service Information?


There is nothing to stop design being included in the TSC Service Information.

X15 reduces the level of liability for Contractor’s design down to reasonable skill and care as opposed to a fitness for purpose liability.

The question I ask is “when would design be needed ?” so we can determine if an X15 type clause is needed / desirable.

It is unlikely it would be needed in maintaining the status quo / maintenance services, as the Contractor will be repairing what is already there.

It may be needed to put in place something prior to the service being delivered. As this enables the service to be delivered, such as in IT system or other Equipment, but as it is not a direct deliverable under the contract, it is the Contractor’s responsibility : if it does not work, it may lead to a failure later on.

If, however, the Contractor is instructed under a Task Order (assuming X19 is included) to design and deliver a reasonably major improvement, then tendering contractors might start to get nervous about not having an X15’ish type clause and this might well be reflected in their rates in the Price List, arguments of their risk allowances for each Task Order or just refusal to bid.

On the positive side, for the installation of smart meters in domestic households as Task Orders, the Contractors were perfectly happy to accept ‘design’ with an X15 as the sort of design that would be done was a qualified electrician or gas fitter turning up and designing it in his mind i.e. simple design.