Better allocation and management of risk and improved transparency around project costs, are some of the benefits of a new form of contract now available for use by Ireland’s construction industry.
Entitled: Private Sector Contract (PSC) for Building and Engineering Works designed by the Employer, this new contract and its associated Form of Agreement and Schedule were jointly launched and published on the 15 September by its three sponsoring organisations, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), Engineers Ireland and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, (SCSI). The new contract is suitable for all medium to large-scale building or civil engineering works here in Ireland, where the design of the project has been provided by the employer, i.e. the client.
The new Conditions of Contract have been drafted with the objective of achieving a fair and balanced allocation of risk between the parties in order to promote long-term sustainable efficiency in the Irish construction industry. Specifically, risk has generally been allocated to the party best able to bear and manage it.
Commenting on a joint CIF, Engineers Ireland, SCSI webinar, to launch the new contract, Chair of the project’s Standing Committee, Chartered Engineer, Ciarán Fahy, said: “Successful building projects are those which are delivered safely to the required quality standards, on time and within budget. Choosing an appropriate contract is an important part of this process. The purpose of this new contract is to further support our construction industry, both builders and their employers/clients. It is our collective view that this new form of contract will provide greater clarity around all stages of the process, help reduce time at the negotiation stage and provide a sound base for a project’s success.”
Tom Parlon, Director General of the CIF, said: “We have all published this contract, as collectively we wanted to ensure that a more accessible form of contract was available for users who are working on medium to large construction contracts in the private sector, and where the employer has the responsibility for the design. This contract aims to achieve a fair and balanced allocation of risk between the employer and their contractor.”
Maurice Buckley, President of Engineers Ireland, said: “Engineers Ireland has a long history of publishing conditions of contract for construction work going back to 1959 and we are pleased to have collaborated with the CIF and SCSI to publish this new contract which will be very much welcomed by our members who work in the construction industry. The contract should be particularly useful for medium to large-scale construction projects where the employer wishes to retain design responsibility.” Maurice Buckley added: “ I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Chair of the project’s Standing Committee, Ciarán Fahy, for the expertise that he has brought to bear on the project and his dedication to this initiative. I would also like to thank the Committee for all of its work to date.”
Micheál Mahon, President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, said: “We know a significant amount of resources are expended on the use of project specific contracts in the private sector. This new and adaptable standard contract should improve efficiencies and reduce unnecessary administrative costs and assist in our overall drive to increase productivity and reduce costs in the construction sector. We would like to particularly thank the members of the Standing Committee, including SCSI members, Conor Hogan and John Curtin, for the huge effort that went into the drafting of this contract.”
The online webinar launch was jointly organised today by the three sponsoring bodies to announce that the Conditions of Contract and its accompanying Agreement form and Schedule are now available and accessible. The launch included brief presentations on some aspects of the new form of contract from engineers and other construction professionals – John Curtin, Ciarán Fahy, Conor Hogan and Anthony Hussey all of whom were involved in the drafting of the new documents. Éamonn Conlon, a solicitor, arbitrator and ADR practitioner in independent practice, made a presentation on how the new form of contract compares with other widely used forms.
This Conditions of Contract, together with ancillary and related documents, is being made available free of charge in electronic form only by its three sponsoring organisations, CIF, Engineers Ireland and SCSI. Links are below to their websites. It uses as a template, the Government’s Public Works form of Contract (PWC) and the use of this is gratefully acknowledged. While numerous amendments have been made to the original template, the structure and format of the PWC has been retained and, hopefully, this will allow for ease of use.
The document published today comprises of three elements: Form of Agreement, Conditions of Contract and Schedule. They are available on the following websites and are free of charge to download: