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Construction Law/Absence of the contractor's representatives from the site

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Question
Dear Sir,

At the moment the Contractor's representative including the Project manager and hs two deputies have left the site and the country where the project is located without prior notifying the Engineer. Can we in this case apply Cl.4.3 (Bank harmonized edition 2005 FIDIC) "If the Contractor’s Representative is to
be temporarily absent from the Site during the execution of the Works, a suitable replacement person shall be appointed, subject to the Engineer’s prior consent,and the Engineer shall be notified accordingly" and what else can we do for such an act? the works are on going and they have not even a[ppointed any replacement person to take in charge of the works.
Thank you.

Answer
Dear Mansur,

I counsel caution.  It could be an oversight as many people are preparing for, and going on, annual holidays for religious or year end reasons.  Notification could have been overlooked in the pressure of preparing for departure.  Practically, it is important that there is a nominated person in case of accidents or other problems.  Hopefully, there will be no accidents or problems during their absence.  

Realistically, there is little that you can do contractually unless you wish to terminate the Contract, which I would not recommend.  I suggest that you note their absence in the next progress meeting and explain the practical importance of nominating a replacement during the absence of the Contractor's Representative.  

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Peter M. Elliott

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First response to queries regarding extensions of time, variations orders, site instructions and payment using FIDIC and other forms of Conditions of Contract, based on English Law, and derivatives only. Anyone who needs advice about EoT should download and study the SCL Delay & Disruption Protocol www.eotprotocol.com before submitting a question.

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Value . . .
It's unwise to pay too much, but it's unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it's well to add something for the risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
. . . John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
"We are too poor to buy something cheap"
.Romanian Proverb 2002
A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit. George Herbert (English poet 1593-1633)
I said it in Hebrew, I said it in Dutch,
I said it in German and Greek:
But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
That English is what you speak!" Hunting of the Snark - Lewis Caroll
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The joy of food lasts but an hour, of sleep but a day, of a woman, but a month, but the joy of a building lasts a lifetime. Syrian proverb.
Comments and observations leading to improvements in the translation of FIDIC Red & Yellow books into Romanian prior to approval by FIDIC (reference 'Preface to the Romanian edition')

Organizations
Institution of Civil Engineers, Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, Society of Construction Law, Dispute Resolution Board Foundation

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B Sc(Hons) in Civil Engineering

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