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Construction Law/FIDIC 1987 Variations


QUESTION: Good day to you Peter,

I am currently working in Bahrain with 'FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Works of Civil Engineering Construction 1987 (4th Edition 1987'.

I am representing the MEP contractor, who is back to back with the main conditions.

I have submitted a claim for additional prelims associated with variations. The total variation account sit at circa 40% of the Contract Sum.

The main contractor in line with what they received from the clients team have rejected the claim as clause 52.3 is deleted from the contract. this clause is variation exceeding 15%.

Because this is deleted they are saying no adjustment shall be allowed for additional prelims.

My queries are:

1) Does this clause include prelims or does the phrase "Site and general overhead costs" just mean overhead and not prelims (Staff costs).

2) If the clause is deleted should does that mean no additional claim can be made for site prelims (staff costs).

3) Under what clause would do I claim for the additional prelims.

Thanking you in advance.

ANSWER: Dear Shane,

I would not be asking for extra prelims under clause 52.3.  I presume that you need the prelims because the project has been delayed and you need an extension of time, which means more prelims.  First I would look for an extension of time under clause 44.1.  Then I would seek reimbursement of extra costs under clause 53.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Peter, thank you for your response.

The monies I am claiming are not for and extension of time.

I am trying to claim additional prelims for each individual variation. I.e. I have a lighting variation for 1.5m and I am making a claim for 50k for the additional prelims. (project management, supervision, procurement engineering etc.)

I have made the prelim claim separate from the actual lighting variation claim.

The main contractor has written back saying because clause 52.3 is deleted the prelim claim is rejected.

Would the prelim claim be made under clause 52.1?

Is clause 52.3 only for overhead costs and not include direct prelim costs?(project management, supervision, procurement engineering etc.)

Dear Shane,

Normally, this type of prelim would be included in the unit rate.  Clause 52.3 is for recovery, or over recovery, of site and head office overheads rather than for the managements costs for individual items. I would include the management costs in the build up for each item, rather than identifying them separately.  You may have to calculate them and then divide them between the different items on a pro rata basis.

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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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