A Series of Live Televised Debates on the NEC Form of Contract…Episodes 1 to 15

A Series of Live Televised Debates on the NEC Form of Contract…Episodes 1 to 15


Overview of the NEC – 1. What sets it apart from other contracts? 

This video discusses what aspects make the NEC3 form of contract unique?

Overview of the NEC – 2. Is the NEC always suitable?

This video discusses whether the NEC3 form of contract is always the best option for a project?

Overview of the NEC – 3. Do the NEC and Construction Act have common values?

This video discusses whether there was a joint thinking in the way that the Construction Act developed and the implementation of the NEC?

Overview of the NEC – 4. The impact of adjudication on the development of NEC3?

Adjudication is a process which is generally private and the decisions reached, subject to jurisdiction, are not open to appeal or challenge. Has that lack of testing through a court process during the development of NEC3 stunted its development?

Overview of the NEC – 5. Does NEC3 have too much process and procedure?

NEC3 contains a lot of process from early warnings through programme updates to compensation events but do all of these processes add unnecessary cost and saddle a project with unnecessary administration?

Overview of the NEC – 6. What would improve NEC3 in practice? 

NEC3 was published in 2005 and while there have been some amendments by updates, the industry has moved on considerably in that period. What are the key areas that could be addressed and improved for NEC4?

Obligations under the NEC – 7. Do clauses 13.1 and 13.7 really work effectively?

For most major projects, communications are a key ingredient for success. Do the definitions and applications of communications in the NEC enable or prevent effective communication?

Obligations under the NEC – 8. Provide the Works seems like a simple concept, is it?

The NEC defines to Provide the Works as meaning to do the work necessary to complete the works in accordance with the contract and all incidental work, services and actions which the contract requires. Is it simple to apply in practice?

Obligations under the NEC – 9. If the Project Manager instructs the removal of an employee who bears the risk of replacement?

Stability in a project team is important to long term relationship building and managing common goals to achieve optimum outcomes. If someone is removed at the instruction of the Project Manager, there is a risk to the project, but whose risk is it?

Obligations under the NEC – 10. Is there really a difference between ‘approved’ and ‘accepted’?

Approved and accepted sound very similar. One is used in the NEC, the other is not. Is this just a matter of semantics or is there an important point of principle underlying this choice of words? What does it mean to ‘accept’ under the NEC and are there any particular consequences?

Obligations under the NEC – 11. Who controls a risk reduction meeting?

Part of the Early Warning process under the NEC is the risk reduction meeting. Primarily it is a means to discuss and track the risks which have been identified and notified under the contract. Who is best placed to manage the meeting and the resultant risk register? What happens if someone refuses to attend and how can that be managed?

Obligations under the NEC – 12. Should early warnings be contractual obligations?

An early warning is a very practical tool to help a project run smoothly and generate the opportunity to identify problems and avoid them or mitigate their impact. Does that process work better when it has contractual teeth or should it be a tool to enable collaboration without risk of loss if it is not operated properly.

Obligations under the NEC – 13. Is there a Final Account mechanism under the NEC?

When you get to the end of the contract, a key question is the tally up of how much it has cost against how much it was planned to cost? How does the NEC achieve this? Is this one area where it is process light compared to other contracts? Why might that be?

Obligations under the NEC – 14. Why are options B and D not used much?

There is a clear preference in the UK market for Options A and C.  Is there a contractual, legal, technical, or practical reason for this? Do these forms offer alternatives that are being missed?

Obligations under the NEC – 15. The Schedule of Cost Components is very complicated, why not just use rates?

One of the innovative approaches of the NEC was to provide more definition around what amounts to recoverable “cost” under the contract in the form of a schedule of cost components. Is it really worth the trouble though?