Although Clause 17 is titled ‘Risk and Responsibility’ it also sets out other provisions relating to indemnities, limitation of liability and, unusually, the specific topic of intellectual and industrial property rights. The clause provides that the Contractor assumes responsibility and bears the risk for the care of the works during execution and for remedying any defects during the Defects Notification Period. Risk transfers to the Employer on issue of the Taking–Over Certificate to the extent of works defined as being completed. Generally, in construction contracts ‘risk’ is understood to mean an event or circumstance which causes delay, loss or damage to the Works. A risk can be said to be Employer caused, Contractor caused or neutral. The purpose of risk allocation is to determine which party bears the risk for such events. The Contractor may be required to remediate the damage at his own cost or the Employer may be required to pay for the damaged works. It has been stated that the “FIDIC standard forms are generally recognised as being well balanced because both parties bear parts of the risks arising from the project.”
Clause 3 deals with the duties and obligations of the Engineer and his assistants. Sub-Clause 3.1 deals with the role and duties of the Engineer. The Engineer is deemed to act for the Employer. The Engineer has no authority to relieve the Contractor of his duties, obligations or responsibilities under the Contract; nor can the Engineer amend the Contract. Under Sub-Clause 3.2 the Engineer can delegate authority to any assistants; however, the Engineer cannot delegate the responsibility to make Determinations. Under Sub-Clause 3.3 the Engineer may issue instructions or modified Drawings at any time, which are necessary for the execution of the Works. If the instruction constitutes a Variation, then it is dealt with under Clause 13 [Variations and Adjustments]. The Contractor is required to comply with any instruction given by the Engineer or delegated assistant. Sub-Clause 3.4 deals with the replacement of the Engineer. The Employer must not replace the Engineer with someone against whom the Contractor raises reasonable objection. Sub-Clause 3.5 deals with Determinations. When making a Determination the Engineer should consult with each of the Parties and, if agreement cannot be reached, make a fair determination in accordance with the Contract, taking due regard of all relevant circumstances. Both Parties are required to give effect to any Determination unless, or until, it is revised under Sub-Clause 20.1 [Claims, Disputes and Arbitration].
Clause 7 deals with a variety of issues relating to Plant Materials and Workmanship. All sub clauses have been subject to some change – in several cases of significance.
Clause 11 requires that the Works shall be in the condition required by the Contract at the end of the Defects Notification Period. Where the Contractor carries out work in the Defects Notification Period, it is not entitled to receive payment if the work was a result of a defect in the design for which the Contractor was responsible. Similarly, if the Plant, Materials or workmanship are not in accordance with the Contract or there is a failure by the Contractor to comply with any other obligation then it is required to remedy the problem without payment. The Employer may obtain an extension of the Defects Notification Period if the Works, a Section or a major piece of Plant cannot be used during the Defects Notification Period. The Contractor is required to remedy any defect during the Defect Notification Period and, if it does not, the Employer may claim against the Contractor. Rights are given to the Contractor to undertake this work subject to the Employer’s reasonable security restrictions. Once the Defects Notification Period has expired the Engineer is required within 28 days, subject to receipt of the Contractor’s Documents and the completion of any tests, to issue a Performance Certificate. It is the Performance Certificate that is deemed to constitute acceptance of the Works. Sub-Clause 11.10 provides that after the Performance Certificate has been issued, each Party will remain liable for the fulfilment of any obligation which remains unperformed at the time. The extent and meaning of this clause is open to debate.