Question
Asked 5th Nov, 2012

Who is at fault client or contractor?

"A project was awarded under NEC3-ECC conditions of contract. the project duration was agreed to be 26 months and payment to the contractor through interim valuations. the project was delayed due to late payment, lack of workmen on site, work behind schedule and late project administrator's instructions. the contention between the parties was about payment, contractural standing of the contractor's programme and principle guiding claim and dispute resolution. the project ran into great difficulties after the 10th month, accusations were exchanged, agreed payments not made and the workmen were pulled off the site by the contractor which led to disputes"

Most recent answer

19th Jul, 2013
Mohammad Suprapto
Morris Capital Indonesia
When they ran into a dispute and they only relied on contract and fight for winning the claims the project would be a disaster. At this it does not matter to which party is to blame. All will lose eventually and not to mention they have to go through a painstaking litigation process. Their lawyers would win! Can they solve the dispute without going through the litigation process?
Yes, if they are willing to sit together and focus on finding the solution instead of arguing the problem or contract clauses. Senior management from both sides should be involved and all efforts should be focused to find the solution. Re-establish the common ground and if the contractor unable to perform because of lack of capability, the client needs to facilitate this. Of course the commercial interest should not be put aside. But my point is if the contract is the source of the problem, then you should not use it. Either forget about it or create a new common ground then refine the contract.
1 Recommendation

All Answers (8)

21st Feb, 2013
Charles G. Kamau
Technical University of Mombasa
I think both the contractor and the client were at fault, but the greater irresponsibility was by the client. if the payment was to the contractor through interim valuations then the client was bound to pay as soon as the valuation certificates are raised. delayed payments could have caused some strain on the contractor.
On the other hand, the contractor was not well prepared for the contract. even when payments are not forthcoming, the contractor should have put measures in place to ensure that work goes on as planned
2 Recommendations
22nd Mar, 2013
Richard David Reyes
Pontifical Catholic University of Peru
The client cannot delay the valuation payments, otherwise the Contractor will slow down their production, retire some workers from site and cause delay to the Project. Another thing is if the Contractor was able to afford the men enough to cover the Client's demands.
2 Recommendations
24th Apr, 2013
Sundar Mahalingam
IBM
It is clearly indicate the poor in terms and condition of execution of the project. There should be clear document for both parties in
a) delay in delivery
b) delay in payment
Service level agreement, Monitoring the progress, Penality will serve the both parties.
What will the next course of action - Both party can execute amend the order to include the above two points. ( win - win).
1 Recommendation
1st May, 2013
Ahmed Fouad Salman
Imam Abdul Rahman bin Faisal University
Client financial problems is a high risk factor that leads to project delay, clear documents about claim processing to allocate such risk and how to deal with it .
Risk contengcy in a contractor tool used to overcome one or two payements is essential in unstable economies. The client is at fault in your case, dispute resolution must be time extension and payment refund with interest.
2 Recommendations
21st May, 2013
Shishank Shishank
Birmingham City University
In this case majority of blame lies on the client. The evaluations at the early stages when the contractor was chosen were not carried out extensively enough to identify is the contractor was actually capable of delivering the project on time. A very common issue in contractual agreements when the selection of contractors is carried out purely on cost basis as opposed to enhanced evaluation of risks associated with the selection of the given contractor. Now since the project is in all sort of problems, the costs increased i.e. additional cost spent for searching a new contractor. Next course of action should be to ensure regular audit of contractor capabilities and if required assis to develop the contractors capabilities, rather to search a new supplier which would incur further costs.
1 Recommendation
1st Jul, 2013
Richard David Reyes
Pontifical Catholic University of Peru
Yes, we shouldn't hire Contractors by cost basis only, we have to also analyze the risks involved in our activity and find ones that mitigate the risk along with us. Not necessarily low cost Contractors means high savings for the project.
1 Recommendation
7th Jul, 2013
Francis Kwesi Bondinuba
Kumasi Technical University
Funds or money is the blood in construction projects no matter how small or big the project is.I quite disagree with colleagues who think the contractor must equally be blamed in the topic under discussion.90% blame must go to the client and 10% to the project consultant/managers or administrators.Some client would not head to consultant advice at any stage of the project.His actions can be a disincentive for both consultants and contractor.Again a lazy consultant in my opinion such as the one under discussion created part of the problem.The contractor is limited technically if the consultant doesn't approve what ever input this knowledgeable contractor may put across.Same if a client is not forth coming with payment but the most dangerous aspect is when both client and consultants are ignorant about both technical and contractual implications of their actions.In Ghana where under the district decentralization dispensation such situation do arise and it is the contractor who is always being blame unnecessarily.Projects carried out last year 2013 June are not paid how do you expect the contractor to still be on site doing what?
1 Recommendation
19th Jul, 2013
Mohammad Suprapto
Morris Capital Indonesia
When they ran into a dispute and they only relied on contract and fight for winning the claims the project would be a disaster. At this it does not matter to which party is to blame. All will lose eventually and not to mention they have to go through a painstaking litigation process. Their lawyers would win! Can they solve the dispute without going through the litigation process?
Yes, if they are willing to sit together and focus on finding the solution instead of arguing the problem or contract clauses. Senior management from both sides should be involved and all efforts should be focused to find the solution. Re-establish the common ground and if the contractor unable to perform because of lack of capability, the client needs to facilitate this. Of course the commercial interest should not be put aside. But my point is if the contract is the source of the problem, then you should not use it. Either forget about it or create a new common ground then refine the contract.
1 Recommendation

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Has BIM outlived its true value/promise (Please see my additional scene-setting in the question description or my 1st comment under this question)?
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  • Poorang PiroozfarPoorang Piroozfar
1. 7-8 years ago, I attended a National BIM symposium/seminar in Manchester in UK where one of the speakers who was the BIM manager for a leading multinational construction company used the phrase “BIM, BAM, BOOM” in her presentation which made everyone more laugh than think.
2. Couple of years later I attended a prominent conference where someone was introduced by the Head of School of the host university as a BIM guru/leading expert in the UK despite having no direct background in [building or construction] engineering. Just a few minutes after this introduction, the BIM guru, who was reporting to the conference organising committee, failed to zoom in on a MS Excel spreadsheet as per request of one of the audience who could not see the figures simply because he didn’t know how to do it! Someone needed to go on the stage to do it for him!
3. Today BIM experts, researchers and policy makers who have got no idea about the paradigmatic differences between BIM and what it has succeeded are in abundance.
4. We hear/see/feel/sense/witness that BIM has not been able to deliver its promise and this is somewhat evidenced by the feedback we receive from the industry.
My question is: ”Has BIM really outlived its true value/promise or is it suffering from being bastardised (sorry this is not an F-word but quite an academic term) and subject to misuse/abuse as a result of our misunderstandings or lack of complete picture it entails?”
Please join me in this open discussion with your opinions, stories and experiences on this topic.

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