You have hit the nail on the head with any contract strategy whereby the Contractor / Consultant / Supplier knows they are in poll position in any competition. Under ECI, they naturally want the Prices for Stage 2 to be as high as feasibly possible to maximise the subsequent gain share.
Theoretically though, if the Price for Stage 2 is too high, then the Employer (NEC3) or Client (NEC4) could revert to another Contractor. However, practically that may not be feasible (in part because there is no express termination provision !). So things you can do are :
- make sure there is sufficient float in your overall programme for the project to be able to appoint another contractor;
- state specific rules by which the Prices for Stage 2 will be built up e.g. subcontracting for Packages over £X is subject to 3 quotes all of which must be available and seen by the Client etc…