Construction Law/Steps


Would you please clarify

What is differnce b/w General Conditions of Contract and Particular Conditions of Contract?
Secondly what are the steps being followed from approval of Grant till taking over of a project by a Govt. Client in Pakistan.I mean
preparation of BOQ, calling of Tenders, Bidding ,etc. etc.


Dear Ahsan sahib,
Thank you for asking an interesting question and like to respond as follows.
The contracts in Pakistan have to follow the guidelines issued by Pakistan Engineering Council(PEC) in the form of issuance of standard bidding documents and contract documents that are available on their website. Now PEC has based its general condition of contract on FIDIC 1987 amended 1992 pattern. FIDIC is International Engineering Consultancy body and represent International Federation of Consulting Engineers Geneva, Switzerland. It issues its conditions of contract under 2 heads namely General Conditions (commonly known as part I) and particular condition format commonly known as part II of the document. The idea is that general condition are not subject to change and entail provisions as per FIDIC policies to be applied universally irrespective of country of application. The part II document, however, is to cater for country specific userís needs, rules and laws that  require changes. In brief, the FIDIC approach is to leave the GCC unaltered and to place all amendment and condition in particular conditions portion. It is worthwhile to mention additionally that PEC document is still based on FIDIC 1987 while universally it has been switched over to FIDIC 1999 and its subsequent amendments and thus the local construction industry is devoid of taking revised and better provisions in this way.


As for as I could understand from your question, I may mention these in following outline steps.
(a) Concept approval by the competent authority to start with.
(b) Feasibility study, preliminary concept design and Engineerís estimate on the basis of which tenders are called as per PPRA rules including PC 1 approval etc.
(c) Engineering design and drawings. The stage for its preparation is linked with type of contract documents being followed. That means re-measure contract, design built or turnkey basis. If the contract type is re-measured, then client is to appoint a consultant to prepare Engineering design and plans and if it is design built type, in that case the contractor is responsible for this. This is a comparatively new method of procurement to save time and money and is type of lean construction methodology.
(d) Tendering for works including call of tenders to prequalified parties, its evaluation, negotiation and award of work to the lowest evaluator bidder.
(e) Once work has been awarded and contractor mobilize at site, following are the main steps to organize the work till completion.
- Compile program for carrying out the work.
- Built up the office administration staff, Engineers, surveyors etc.
- Built up the labor administrative staff, foreman, mistries etc.
- Assess the plant required and its subsequent procurement process.
- Assess the labor required.
- Assess the material required.
- Produce progress chart, and check output regularly based on approved program. So as to carry out a strict monitoring exercise. This is absolute necessary at regular interval if it is intended to complete the project in time within the budget cost.


Only an outline for such requested steps can be narrated as per details below.
(a).The first point is regarding slow pace of tendering. The designs lack attention at approval stage to detail which creates problem such as scope changes and variations during project execution. The design completion in all respects is an important point to be seen at this stage. Technical consultants should be selected using a quality-cum-cost based approach (QCBA), instead of the traditional basis. This approach would be similar to what other countries follow including the past performance of consultants in their quality assessment could help increase its relevance and accuracy.
(b). Contracts are inappropriate: Item rate contracts are common as opposed to lump-sum EP&C contracts. These contracts allow the designs to be variable and increase the end cost as a result of subsequent interaction between the execution agency and the construction contractor. Several other involved processes, such as ministerial approvals, do not have defined timelines. Furthermore, the individuals involved are not always held accountable for delays in approvals.
(c). In the construction phase, delays in land acquisition, ineffective resolution of disputes, shortages in the availability of skilled manpower and weak performance management in executing agencies result in time and cost over-runs as per my past experience.
(d). Dispute resolution processes are ineffective: Arbitration is the method of choice to resolve disputes globally. However, in Pakistan, arbitration has been largely ineffective. The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, is ambiguous about the challenging of awards, and lacks enforceability. It is generally agreed that arbitration awards are almost invariably appealed against, resulting in long drawn-out disputes that often last 3 to 10 years. There  is need for introduction of adjudication and mediation phases/tiers before going to arbitration. The full time DAB introduction on major cost project need particular attention.
A few legislator initiatives could also help improve the dispute resolution process. These should include, for instance, strengthening arbitration laws to make arbitration awards more effective and enforceable (even if they are appealed against), ensuring equal representation of both parties on the arbitration panel, deterring frivolous litigation by issuing policy guidelines, and setting up a dedicated dispute resolution tribunals in PEC  for construction disputes, with powers equivalent to those of High Courts or alternately need to setup Engineering and technology courts be examined like in UK.
(e). Availability of skilled and semi-skilled manpower is insufficient and each major construction project should setup a vocational training arrangement to meet specific needs of the project.
(f)Executing agency under-utilize the value engineering opportunity in EP&C and PPP projects etc.  due to the lack of a value engineering mindset as well as poor capabilities. Most Executing agency in the country do not have an adequate organizational set-up to capitalize on this opportunity.
(g)Lean construction is a new phenomenon globally. As a result, opportunities to reduce time and costs by 20 to 30 per cent are forgone and this needs attention. For example, award of work on design built basis results in speedy construction with saving in cost specially due to single point responsibility.
Regards and do come back if still there is a non-clarity,
Liaqat Hayat(cell 0333-5610760)

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Liaqat Hayat


I can answer questions based on FIDIC 4 and FIDIC 1999 [design-build] with particular reference to time extension , price adjustment and disputes. I am in particular more inclined for response to points pertaining to how claims should be framed and put up in case of technical or other contractual shortcomings. Regarding procurement matters I have spent over 5 years as procurement specialist for highway authority and dealt with numerous claims and disputes in the capacity of "The Engineer" .

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