Construction Law/FIDIC


hello Sir,
THE ENGINEER'S role in FIDIC 87 has been altered in FIDIC 99. it appears that the independence of "The Engineer" has been taken away and he is now to act on behalf of the Employer. The clause "the Engineer to act impartially has been removed in FIDIC 99. if my understanding as above is correct then:

1- what do you think necessitated FIDIC to bring this change?
2- do you think "The Engineer" still can act as an independent entity as envisaged in FIDIC 87?

Dear Jamil

I am sorry for the late response. Actually I was busy in some other urgent assignment and did not open my mails.

The fact of the matter is that the Engineer has always been an appointee of the Employer as his remunerations are paid by the Employer alone. Although the case was same in FIDIC 87, yet the document termed the Engineer as an independent body. However realizing that the Contractor may not look at it this way, FIDIC finally agreed to mention the Engineer as his representative in FIDIC 99 and onward and introduced a mechanism of DB or DRB or DAB which is completely a neutral body as being paid equally by both the Parties to the contract.

Having said so, this does not mean that Engineer will no more act impartially but this is only an admission to a factual position. The Engineer is still supposed to be impartial in its determinations under the Contract as this is the only way to command respect of both the parties and for the smooth running of the Contract.

Hope this answers your question. Once again I apologize for the late response.

Abdul Majid Khan  

Construction Law

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Abdul Majid Khan


I am interested in questions related to time Extension, Liquidated Damages,variations, price adjustments,payments, disputes and Dispute Board under FIDIC IV, FIDIC 1999 and FIDIC 2006 Harmonized Documents.


I have been heading the Construction Management Division and Contract Divisions of National Engineering Services Pakistan (PVT) Limited, NESPAK, the largest Consulting Engineering Firm in Pakistan, for more than seven years and two years respectively. I have also worked as "The Engineer" on a number of projects. I have been working in Saudi Arabia for about seven years on a road projects. Additionally I worked as Arbitrator and am member of few Dispute Boards in individual capacity on Asian Development Bank funded projects.

Inland and in Middle East. I have worked with National Engineering Services Pakistan (Pvt) Limited (NESPAK)as my Employer for more than 27 years in Pakistan. In Saudi Arabia I worked for Rashid Engineering, Consulting Engineers during 80s. After retirement I provided advisory services to NESPAK on technical and contractual matters to its various divisions and lately I was appointed as Advisor to Managing Director NESPAK on Technical and Contractual matters. Currently I work as Free Lance Contract Specialist on Fidic Form of Contracts.

I am a graduate with a B.E (Civil Engineering) degree. My year of graduation is 1970.

Awards and Honors
A few appreciation Letters and Honorariums during my service in NESPAK. I remained member of Administrative Committee and Board of Management of NESPAK. I had been part of the Management Committee in the absence of Managing Director.

Past/Present Clients
Most of the Clients used to be Government Departments, Corporations and Authorities. In Saudi Arabia the Client was Ministry of Communications. As Arbitrator and Dispute Board (DB) member, I provide services to various Government Departments and Contractors.

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