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Construction Law/Vague description of item in the BOQ


Dear Sir,

At the time of tendering the contractors were provided with a set of tender drawings which showed fair faced hollow block masonry (from an identified vendor) on the facade. Unfortunately, the specification book was not provided to the contractor and the boq was not clear in this regard.
Thus the contractor ended up quoting an erroneous price for ordinary hollow block. Now if the contractor choses do disclaim the given rates on the basis that he was not provided with the specification book, should the claim be entertained as per contract law?

Thank you

Dear Fahad Manjoo

Thanks for the question. It is an unfortunate state of affairs that in 'Pakistan Government Departments', the contractors do not bother about the specifications if these are provided to them at the time of tendering. I am sure that if these books were provided at that time the rates entered would have been the same. This is because the contractors quote rates by the trend in the bidding and generally do not care much about the specifications. The only thing in their minds is to be the lowest bidder.

I understand that your claim does not have much chances of success unless you have very strong reasons to demonstrate that the erroneous wordings of the BOQ led you to understand that it required the use of such ordinary blocks and nothing else.

Moreover you have not mentioned whether the identified vendor manufacture these ordinary blocks or not. Also you did not mention whether you had contacted that vendor before bidding the rates. You may contact me with the above answers.


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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