Construction Law/Delayed drawings

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Question
Dear Sir,
Here is the situation. We are subcontracted to perform road construction works. we are working based on the drawings provided by the Contractor, neither approved by the designer nor the employer/engineer. The project has been subject to changes considering deficiencies found in the design documentation. In addition the design documents although provided by the Contractor with official letter, the drawings and etc. lack any stamp or a signature on them, no sign of a mark IFC (this condition is absent in the contract). In addition the subcontract lacks any provisions penalising the contractor for the failure to provided documents. Although one sub-clause says that the contractor shall give the subcontractor drawings in digital version needed for commencement of work. That is it. Now despite our appeals to the contractor to provided those needed drawings with approved signature and stamp, the contractor is continuing to contend that it had already provided the drawings and requesting us to proceed with the works based on these unapproved drawings. How shall we, as subcontractor, proceed in this instance?
We have written numerous letters, but the answer is the same, "you already have them, so follow them". But we are concerned with the fact that if the road is subjected to further changes because of any change, the work performed might become abortive and who will be responsible for that? In addition the contractor is delaying payments, 2 IPC s.

Answer
Dear Jahongir Mansurzoda,

You do not mention the form of contract, nor the applicable law so the following comments will be generic.  

If the Contractor has instructed you to work to the drawings, and it would appear that he has, then you must work to the drawings.  The absence of any stamp or signature is irrelevant.  That is the Contractor's problem and risk.  If there are any further changes, then they will be dealt with under the variation order process.  

Likewise with the delay in payment of IPC's.  You could slow down or suspend the work, if allowed under the Contract, and apply for an extension of time due to lack of funds.

Learn from this experience and check any contract before signature so that you don't have nasty surprises later.  

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Peter M. Elliott

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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 www.eotprotocol.com before submitting a question.

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Value . . .
It's unwise to pay too much, but it's unwise to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing you bought it to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it's well to add something for the risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.
. . . John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
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.Romanian Proverb 2002
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I said it in German and Greek:
But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much)
That English is what you speak!" Hunting of the Snark - Lewis Caroll
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Comments and observations leading to improvements in the translation of FIDIC Red & Yellow books into Romanian prior to approval by FIDIC (reference 'Preface to the Romanian edition')

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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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B Sc(Hons) in Civil Engineering

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