A Cl.32 Plan was issued to the Service Manager (SM) for acceptance, following which the period for reply elapsed. In parallel with informal reminders, the Service Provider (SP) then issued the SM with an early warning as a reminder that a reply had not been received. The SM then subsequently responded and stated that the plan was not accepted due to it not being realistic. Conversations were then held to ascertain the specific reasons for this, which turned out not to be justifiable with the reason for non-acceptance; long story short, in the time it had taken for the SM to to review the submitted Plan, the works had progressed and future change had occurred beyond the data date of the submission that they wished to be taken into account. The SP would cover those changes in the next submission, or sooner if instructed separately. At that stage, the status of the Plan was that it was not accepted.
The SP then notified the SM through a general communication that following those discussions, the submitted Plan should be re-considered for acceptance as there was no other reason not to accept this. A further period for reply elapsed and the SM maintained that the programme was not accepted for the original reason stated. The SP then notified a CE against 60.1(9) The Service Manager withholds an acceptance (other than acceptance of a quotation for not correcting a Defect) for a reason not stated in the contract. The SM then accepted that this was a CE and has instructed the SP to submit a quotation. Rather bizarre as it would appear that the SM then agreed with the SPs argument and the whole thing needn’t have gone that far. Indeed, in all my years as a planner, I have never had to notify this CE against programme and have resolved things through further explanation or revision.
I therefore have two questions:
What is the status of the submitted Plan, given that the response (within the reminder period) from the SM was ‘not accepted’ but it would appear this was not the correct decision. Is there deemed acceptance for the Plan?
What, if anything, does this CE entitle the SP to under the TSC? I would struggle to demonstrate a delay to the critical path, or a direct cost, which leads me to question the value of the CE and whether this process in the contract is fully thought through.