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.”
Much has already been written concerning the new FIDIC forms of contract published in December 2017. They are approximately 50 % longer and sought to set out the various procedure in much greater detail with the object of both encouraging good practice and reducing the scope for disputes. Numerous minor amendments have also been made. The purpose of this article is to look in more detail at the provisions dealing with Variations, these being amongst the most frequently scrutinised in practice.
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 17 - Care of the Works and Indemnities by
Clause 13 - Variations and Adjustments by George Rosenberg.
The substance of this provision was already in Sub-Clause 17.6 in the 1999 edition and has now been separated from other provisions dealing with Risk and Responsibility. As before it generally exempts parties from liability to the other for “loss of use of any Works, loss of profit, loss of any contract or any indirect or consequential loss” except in respect of a list of identified Sub-Clauses. The list has been extended and several of the changes are very significant. It also limits liability to certain levels in some circumstances. Finally, it excludes parties from cover by the exemption and limits in certain circumstances. All three elements have changed.
Clause 19 deals with two distinct events: (1) Force Majeure; and (2) release from performance under the law. Force Majeure is often narrowly defined under the laws of many countries; however, within the FIDIC 1999 forms of contract it has a much broader meaning. The terminology used by FIDIC has therefore sometimes been criticized as being misleading.
Click through to read Corbett & Co.'s helpful commentary on FIDIC 1999 book Clause 15
Clause 4 sets out various obligations which fall on the Contractor under the Contract and which cannot easily be classified elsewhere. The obligations under Clause 4 are of a wide range covering 24 different topics. Sub-Clause 4.1 sets out the Contractor’s general obligation to carry out his duties in accordance with the contract. Clause 4 of the FIDIC Red Book 1999 amalgamates various Contractor obligations under one provision. However this Clause 4 is not exclusive as there are also other Contractor obligations scattered throughout the Contract. Other significant general obligations which could equally have been included in Clause 4 (and which should be read in conjunction with this Clause 4) are as follows: • Sub-Clause 1.3 [Communications] • Sub-Clause 1.7 [Assignment] • Sub-Clause 1.8 [Care and Supply of Documents] • Sub-Clause 1.9 [Delayed Drawings or Instructions] • Sub-Clause 1.10 [Employer’s Use of Contractor’s Documents] • Sub-Clause 1.12 [Confidential Details] • Sub-Clause 1.13 [Compliance with Laws] • Clause 6 [Staff and Labour] • Clause 7 [Plant, Materials and Workmanship] • Sub-Clause 8.2 [Time for Completion] • Sub-Clause 8.3 [Programme]
Sub-Clause 13.1 deals with the right of the Engineer to vary the Contract. This right can be exercised at any time up to the issue of the Taking-Over Certificate. Sub-Clause 13.2 deals with value engineering and permits the Contractor to propose a change which will benefit the Employer. The proposal is prepared at the cost of the Contractor, who designs the change. Sub-Clause 13.3 deals with the procedure prior to the Engineer instructing a variation. The Engineer may request a proposal from the Contractor. However, while the Contractor is preparing the proposal it must proceed with the works. Sub-Clause 13.4 deals with payment in applicable currencies. Sub-Clause 13.5 deals with Provisional Sums and ought to be read with Sub-Clause 18.104.22.168 which defines Provisional Sum as follows:- “a sum (if any) which is specified in the Contract as a provisional sum, for the execution of any part of the Works or for the supply of Plant, Materials or services under Sub-Clause 13.5 [Provisional Sums].” The Provisional Sum can only be used where there is an Engineer’s instruction and the Contractor receives payment for only the work done to which the Provisional Sum relates. Sub-Clause 13.6 deals with daywork. This is where work of a minor or incidental nature is to be carried out. The work is then valued in accordance with the Daywork Schedule in the Contract or if there is no Daywork Schedule then the alternative method of payment as prescribed in the Contract. Sub-Clause 13.7 deals with the Cost arising from changes in the Laws of the Country which affect the Contractor in performance of his obligations under the Contract. Where the Contractor suffers delay or additional Cost then it must give notice under Sub-Clause 20.1 of the Contract. Sub-Clause 13.8 deals with adjustments for changes in cost. This Sub-Clause only applies where the “table of adjustment data” included in the Appendix to Tender has been completed. If the Sub-Clause does apply then the amounts payable to the Contractor for rises and fall in the cost of the Works are adjusted by a formula.
FIDIC 1999 is a re-measurement contract so that the Employer takes the risk of variations to the quantities and, in certain cases, to the rates and prices which may be applied for the work executed. If the Employer wishes to employ a Contractor on a lump-sum or cost plus basis then this clause needs to be deleted. Sub-Clause 12.1 deals with the measurement of the works. Sub-Clause 12.2 does not include a reference to any standard method of measurement but states that the works are to be measured in accordance with the Bill of Quantities or other applicable Schedules. The lack of reference to a particular standard method of measurement has been criticised. Sub-Clause 12.3 deals with evaluating the appropriate rate or price for the works. There are three methods of evaluating the works:- a) The rate or price specified for such item in the Contract; but if there is no such item b) The rate or price specified for similar work. c) However, in certain specified circumstances, a new rate or price shall be appropriate. Sub-Clause 12.4 deals with the valuation of omissions from the Work. As this is a re-measurement contract there is no warranty that the quantities measured in the Bill of Quantities are accurate. Nael Bunni suggests that when quantities within the Bill of Quantities are exceeded then payment should be at the rates set out in the Bill. There have been some cases where the courts have adopted differing approaches; however, in those cases the wording of the remeasurement clause differed to that within FIDIC. These decisions have been described by Dr. Bunni as being controversial.
Clause 10 deals with the Taking-Over of the Works, Sections, or parts of the Works. Sub-Clause 10.1 deals with the Taking-Over of the Works and Sections. Taking-Over by the Employer happens when the Works (a) pass the Tests on Completion; (b) are substantially complete; (c) any contractual requirements relating to Taking-Over have been met; and (d) the Taking-Over Certificate has been issued or is deemed to have been issued. Sub-Clauses 10.2 and 10.3 deal with deemed Taking-Over where the Employer uses part of the Works or interferes with the Tests on Completion for more than 14 days. The failure to issue a Taking-Over Certificate by the Engineer, where the Employer has taken into commercial use the Works, will amount to a breach of contract.
Clause 9 deals with the Tests on Completion. Sub-Clause 9.1 requires the Contractor to give notice when it is ready to carry out the Tests on Completion. Tests on Completion are a defined term at Sub-Clause 22.214.171.124. Sub-Clause 9.2 deals with delayed testing caused by either the Employer or the Contractor. Sub-Clause 9.3 deals with retesting after a failure to pass the Tests on Completion. Sub-Clause 9.4 deals with a failure to meet the requirements of the contract after retesting.
What is the point of a variations clause? It is
Read the full article here.