The new Design and Build and Minor Works contracts have now been released by the JCT, who have taken the chance to incorporate current legislation, reflect recent case law and listen to industry common practice in the new contract formats.

At the time of writing, the new Standard Without Quantities and Intermediate forms have not been released, but we have a good idea what they will say based on the new publications.

There are a number of changes which are particularly relevant to Housing Associations:

  • The Public Contract Regulations have had a significant impact, requiring much more rigorous information gathering and monitoring of suppliers and subcontractors.
  • There are compulsory changes to subcontracts, demanding payment of undisputed invoices within 30 days.
  • Wider grounds for contract termination have been inserted, based on Bribery Act offences, material work scope change requiring re-procurement, or other breaches of procurement rules.
  • The due and final dates for payment have been pushed back by virtue of specific Interim Valuation Dates, which principle is intended to facilitate a simple back to back payment structure through the supply chain, following the Government’s Fair Payment campaign.
  • The post practical completion interim payment regime has reduced from two month to one month intervals.
  • Recognition and application of CDM 2015 rules for health and safety.
  • The insurance clauses have a new option of insuring existing structures “by other means”, giving more flexibility when insuring works in multi occupancy existing buildings (as opposed to entirely new structures).
  • Compulsory obligations for Freedom of Information transparency.
  • The JCT is trying to minimise final account arguments by using ‘quasi NEC3’ real time decision making in some areas. Loss and Expense mechanism has become more structured, so claims for extra money for such issues as employer changes, provisional sums, delayed building control approval or employer impediment must be made as soon as the issue is (or should be) apparent to the contractor, and employers have to make decisions on those claims within 28 days, and decisions on updates within 14 days,.

We are running a series of seminars on these issues. Please contact us for further information or see our events.

About the author

Andrew Dudley Partner

Andrew provides governance, stock transfer and all forms of property advice to Registered Providers.