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You are a contractor who has been appointed to carry out the construction of a new section of the N16 National Primary Road

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES
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Scenario of Contractual Claim

 

You are a contractor who has been appointed to carry out the construction of a new section of the N16 National Primary Road between Sligo and Manorhamilton (approximately 3km of works) between the townlands of Drumkilsellagh and Lugnagall .

The contract involves the following:

 

The ground conditions have been identified in a geotechnical report supplied by the employer, which have been provided to you, without interpretation.

The works are being constructed under the Public Works Contract PW-CF3, for Civil works designed by the Employer.

The programme contingencies have been identified in the contract as T1 = 20 Working Days, T2=20 Working Days

The works were due to start on the 1/1/2021, however due to a number of issues with residents, the contract did not get started until 8 weeks later. Overlapping this problem, the works were suspended due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Construction works were allowed to begin again on 8/3/2021

 

This delay suited you, as you had a significant amount of other work in the completion phase at that stage, and allowed you to get plant and machinery mobilised for the works.

It also transpired that the employer had not completed all of the specifications by the 1/1/2021, and therefore it would have been impossible to start on site until the later date.

The overall programme of the works is due to take 104 weeks, and is due to be completed by the 31/12/2023

Liquidated Damages have been set for the whole of the project at €10,000 per week.

 

Subsequent to starting works on site on the 8/3/2021 a number of issues have occurred. It transpires that the geotechnical report has a number of significant inconsistencies contained in it that have caused significant delay to you. The issues relate to rock that has been located along the route that was not identified in the GR. The rock hardness is 5-6 on the Mohr’s Hardness Scale, which will require significantly larger rockbreakers to be used, which incurred a greater cost of approximately 50% over what you have budgeted. The hardness of the rock will has also lead to a slower pace of breaking on a critical element – leading to a delay to the critical path of 3 weeks.

 

 

Some peat soils have also been identified in the GR which the employer design has shown as being removed in its entirety, and replaced by imported material. You have made a proposal to alter the design to allow the peat to be left insitu and for the road to be piled. This change has been proposed by you as a value engineering proposal, however, in consultation with the employer’s representative, you have indicated that there may be extra cost involved, and that you will require specialist designers for the work. There will also be a longer lead in time. This overall change will lead to a 4 week delay to the programme.

During the works an archaeological site of national importance is identified. This had not been identified on any documentation, and archaeology found in this way is designated as a Compensation Event in Schedule 1K. The excavation and removal of the artefacts results in a delay of 3 weeks.

At the same time as the delay relating to the burial mound, it transpires that some of the operatives on site have not been paid in accordance with clause 5 of the contract. These people are working for a domestic sub-contractor with whom you have not worked before. This sub-contractor was brought into the work because of your own lack of labour. The sub contractor’s workers have gone on strike, causing other workers to refuse to pass the picket. The standoff between the sub-contractor and his staff lasts for 5 working days. Eventually they all go back to work, however, you have reminded the sub-contractor of his responsibility under his sub contract.

 

The employer has asked for extra entrances to be accommodated in the works, causing disruption to the schedule of the works. Unmarked services are located during some of these extra works. Working around these services has led to significant disruption in the progress of the works. The original programme had shown this section of the work to be complete within a 16 week period, however during the progress of the works, it has become obvious that the rate of progress is 80% of what was originally programmed.

There was a watermain to be relaid alongside the new road, which the original design required approximately 200 slight bends, including thrust blocks to be installed. Your estimator at tender stage identified this as a possible saving. By using Medium Density Polyethelne pipe, it was possible to avoid the installation of the bends and thrust blocks by pulling the pipe through the trench without any difficulty. The ER has accepted that this will meet the employers requirements and has also agreed that the change will improve the integrity of the pipeline. Subsequently the employer initiated an employers claim against you under Clause 10.9 of the contract in order to reduce the contract sum, as you have managed to save the cost of the installation of the pipe fittings and thrust blocks.

The Health and Safety Authority has also visited the site, and, subsequent to an accident, where a trench in which a man had been working a few minutes earlier collapsed. This resulted in a prohibition notice for part of the works, until a safe system of work is instituted that protects any worker in that situation. This has led to a delay of 5 working days, to a critical item on the programme.

 

 

You are required to write the overall contract claim for the delays to the works as outlined. You may use fictitious personnel, and occurrences to further flesh out your claim.

Please submit your claim, as if you were the contractor.

 

Please submit a programme (Gantt Chart or similar) for the works with your claim, outlining the original programme, and the disrupted programme. You may also wish to show particular interventions from the employer that has caused the delays you have encountered.

At the end of the claim document, please submit a separate conclusion, including a comparison of how differently the claims could have been dealt with under other forms of contract.

This overall project should probably contain 3000 – 3500 words, however there will be no penalty for going over this suggested amount.

 

 

The Structure of Contractual claims are not set in stone, however some standard presentations have become best practice over the years.

The following are suggestions as to what might be included

 

1. Title page

2. Table of Contents – with pagination

3. Executive Summary

4. Table of Causations

5. Chronology of the events – include items of Fact, Contract Clause leading to Entitlement, Notices – when they have been issued, and Quantum (both time and money) – this could also include correspondence from each of the fictitious parties on site at the time.

6. Appendices

See ‘Contractual Claims’ Section of the Moodle Page for further guidance

 

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