NEC4 TSC COVID-19: Encouraging market engagement through use of secondary options and Z clauses

Context: Risk averse client has led to proposing a NEC4 TSC Option A with no X2 (at least 3yrs + potential extensions) to avoid CEs as much as possible through the currency of the contract (able to set and stick to budgets being key). Client is concerned that the market will not engage with the procurement exercise unless prevention (specifically C19 prevention) is noted within the contract. We’ve proposed options with how to engage but they would increase the tendering burden on an already wary market.

How would you encourage tenderers to bid but minimise client exposure in contract (the panacea!) ?

Options we’ve considered to generate discussion:

Option 1: Tenderers produce 2 Price List returns, one which includes their assessment of C19 and one that doesn’t (though the award mechanism for that would be incredibly awkward and the burden on tendering might put off people)

Option 2: Produce some kind of item coverage within a bespoke lump sum and produce a set of conditions that would entitle a Contractor to a pro-rata’d amount of an annualised amount in the event that those conditions are met (a lot of work in the contract preparation but the award mechanism is more straight forward)

Option 3: Leave contract as is. Contractors are now better aware of the implications of C19 (would mean paying for C19 impact throughout the contract even if conditions are lifted)

Option 4: State that prices should assume the current restrictions persist and add an additional compensation event to allow price movement up and down as restrictions ease/constrict.

Option 5: Anything else?!

Thoughts on the above and any other ideas very welcome.

You could do any of them.

My favourite is option 4, but I would want specific statements about how it is affecting them now. That gives a base to evaluate changes, positive or negative against.