Question We are receiving notification of an Early Warning (EW) every time the PSCP believes that something will happen that may affect the project, and this has resulted in what could be considered an excessive number of these to date. Is this how the process provided for by Clause 16 of the NEC3 Option C Contract is intended to be applied?
Answer An EW is intended to provide the parties with an opportunity to meet and address any issues that Clause 16.1 states could:
- increase the Total of the prices,
- delay Completion,
- delay meeting a Key Date, or
- impair the performance of the works in use.
However, before issuing an EW as provided for by Clause 16.1 and commencing the contractual process of addressing it, the parties should talk to each other in order to confirm that there really is a matter that could cause the above. It may only be one party’s perception that such a matter exists. During any such discussions, the parties may agree that there is actually no matter that needs to be addressed and therefore no EW is required. Effective teamwork and communication between the parties in this way should help to ensure that EWs are only issued when a matter arises that could affect the above.
The contract requires that all EWs are registered on the ProCure21+ risk register, and thereafter managed in accordance with the process. Therefore, proliferation by the PSCP should be dealt with by the project manager as a matter that could adversely affect completion.