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Construction Law/Engineer’s obligations under Sub-Clause 20.1 & 3.5



We are using FIDIC MDB 2010 Conditions of Contract for Construction. I am confused with the Engineers role when claim under clause 20.1 received and Engineer determination under sub-clause 3.5. Sub-Clause 20.1 requires the Engineer to respond with approval or with disapproval and detailed comments to claim within 42 days. This Sub-Clause also obliges the Engineer to determine this matter under sub-clause 3.5 within the above defined time period of 42 days.  Sub-Clause 3.5 put a time limit of 28 days (from the receipt of the Claim) on the Engineer to complete the determination process. My queries are as follows:

(a)   Will the Engineer proceed separately under Sub-Clause 3.5 & 20.1?
(b)   Is it possible to determine the matter first within 28days and then reply to claim with approval and disapproval within 42 days?
(c)   If the Engineer wants to combine determination and approval with detailed comments, then which time period prevail 28 days or 42 days?


Dear Umar,

I can find no reference to 28 days in my version of clause 3.5.  Perhaps this requirement is included in the special conditions.

a) The Engineer should proceed concurrently for both clauses.
b) Yes.
c) 42 days, as he may need to get Employer approval before issuing his response to clause 20.1.  

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Peter M. Elliott


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 before submitting a question.


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

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