Giving Notice – Project Lifecycle 13

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On almost every project, whether you’re a Main or Subcontractor, you’ll have experienced a delay to your works due to a lack of access on site. The Contract states you’ll be granted unrestricted access in an area but that isn’t the case – you’re sharing the area, or the conditions in the area are not as anticipated under the Contract.

Situations like this cause major problems in terms of productivity on site, which often lead to claims from your Subcontractors. What’s more, they also expose you to the increased risk of claims from your client at the end of the project. So, how do you protect yourself?

One of the easiest places to trip up, is notice giving.

In the majority of contracts, you’re obligated to provide notice of either a delay (Relevant Event) or a cost issue (Relevant Matter) “as soon as it becomes reasonably apparent.” At the start of every project I therefore always implement a procedure for recording Delay & Disruption as below:

  1. Event Occurs – Site Manager records issue with the client and copies the QS in.
  2. Log Event – The QS gives the Event a reference number and logs it on the Delay and Disruption tracker.
  3. Event Closes – Site Manager emails the client to confirm when the prevention is no longer an issue
  4. Log Close – The QS logs the closure on the tracker which gives a total number of days lost.
  5. Weekly Issue – The QS sends the Delay and Disruption Tracker to the client weekly

In doing the above, you meet your notification requirements for both time and money and will therefore be able to recover everything you’re due.

What does the Notice in Step 1 need to include?

Notices don’t need to be complicated – keep them simple. Record the event (ideally with a photo); when it happened and the fact that this will likely delay your Works – an example is provided below:

We write to provide notice that, the delayed access to Area X, which according to the Contract was due to be provided on Date Y, it is likely there will be a delay to the progression and completion of our Works. We anticipate this may result in the incurrence of loss and/or expense.

What does the Tracker in Step 2 need to include?

If all the events are notified, recorded and tracked on a single document at the end of the project, you can understand the cumulative effect of the delays very easily which makes your Extension of Time simple.

That is the beauty of the Delay and Disruption tracker. Send the tracker to your client weekly with the following wording:

Please find enclosed our Delay and Disruption Tracker which confirms the various events on site which have delayed or disrupted our works. We anticipate these will result in the incurrence of loss and/or expense and the details of these expenses are either included on the document or will be provided shortly.

A system for tracking Delay and Disruption Events will act as both a shield to fend off claims at the end of a project, but also as a sword to deliver your own Extension of Time Claim. The importance of setting up a system, to track and record events from the outset, shouldn’t be ignored.

If you have any questions or would like to receive a Delay and Disruption Tracker Template, please get in touch via email and we will send you one.

About Paul Heming

Paul was a Quantity Surveyor who gained 10 years experience of managing £200 million worth of flagship UK projects, including 20 Fenchurch Street and Battersea Power Station. In 2015, Paul founded C-Link with the intention of sharing his expertise of managing major projects with the SME market.

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