'Smash and grab' payment applications ad infinitum

For months after Completion, the Contractor continues to submit monthly payment applications to the Client for an NEC4 Option A contract. Each application is solely for additional sums against CE’s that the Contractor believes it has entitlement to but which the Client has either already assessed and implemented at a lower value than quoted by the Contractor or it has previously rejected the CE altogether.

The Contractor has not referred any of the Client’s assessments to dispute resolution. Instead, by continuing in this manner, the Contractor believes it can win a ‘smash and grab’ adjudication if, on one of the months, the Client fails to issue a payment notice within the correct timescale.

The Client meantime continues to issue payment notices at nil value as a safeguard despite having implemented everything, noting the language of the Housing Grants Act which effectively says the Contractor’s application becomes payable if no notice is issued by the Client.

What is the correct response from the Client?

I think the correct response from the Client is to invite the Contractor in for a coffee, and ask them what they think they are playing at. If they don’t like the assessment of CE’s they need solve that, not try to goad the PM into an administrative error. This is why there is a dispute process.

But in the meantime, keep responding to each application in time and in accordance with the Contract. Which would appear to be an assessment of £0.