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Construction Law/Validity of Construction Drawing, once Revised


QUESTION: I am a Sri Lanka Chartered Civil Engineer with Quantity Surveying qualifications too, attached at the moment to a civil Engineering Contracting firm.
Client: Government Organization.
Applicable Conditions of Contract: FIDIC Fourth Edition 1987 (Red Book)- Reprinted 1992.

Question: There are 2 separate BOQ items in the Contract, identically same description and the number of connected construction drawing. Items are for the construction of Handrails on Valve House and Ground Reservoir.
There is an ambiguity in the item description and the drawing.
As per the item description, the Handrails are GI, but according to the drawing, it is Stainless Steel.Before Tendering one Tenderer has requested clarification only with respect to Valve House. Subsequent to this, the Client has revised the drawing with revision number, changing Stainless Steel Handrails to GI.

Since this drawing is applicable to both structures, we have considered both Handrails as GI and priced accordingly.Now the Client insist to do Handrails for Valve House in GI and that for Ground Reservoir in Stainless Steel.

Please clarify.

ANSWER: Dear Basil,

Thank you for your question.

If no clarification requested "only with respect to Valve House", then only that one can be considered. For ground Ground Reservoir must stay as it was.

You should also check order of precedence of contract documents. I presume Drawings have precedence, hence you must execute the works as detailed in the Drawings.

Hope that answer your query.

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

QUESTION: Dear Florin,
Thank you very much for your quick reply.
Yes, the drawing precedes.
But my problem is, once any drawing is revised, what is the position of the former(the drawing before revising)?
Is it also still valid or is it accepted legally, that it is now cancelled?

The same drawing had been referred with respect to both structures- Valve House and Ground Reservoir.

This drawing was revised so that Hand Rails were to be made in GI instead of Stainless Steel, as a clarification raised with respect to Valve House.

Then is it not legally acceptable to consider, the Hand Rails in Ground Reservoir is also to be done in GI, since the former drawing with Stainless Steel is then no more available?

On this basis, we have quoted for GI for both structures and finally we were awarded with the Contract too.

Now the Client is insisting that, Handrails in Valve House are to be in GI and those in Ground Reservoir are to be Stainless Steel and if we disagree, to present the case to DAB(Dispute Adjudication Board).

I hope now my problem is more clear.

Grateful for your clarifications.

Dear Basil,

Thank you for coming back.

As usual, "it depends". If that drawing has been modified, indicating it completely supersede the previous one, than the old one is no longer valid.

If that drawing is modified, only in respect of details concerning the Valve House, then the old one remains valid for the Ground Reservoir.

A clarification has been requested in respect of  Valve House and an answer has been given in that respect.

Unless indicated that such answer is valid for all other places where that Hand Rails is shown, it is only valid for what it has been issued.

If you can find any such binding indication, then yes, you are right, but otherwise, Client has high chances to win.

Hope that clarifies the matter.

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Questions related to Civil Engineering Contracts, using FIDIC or other Conditions of Contract, concerning Procurement procedures and documents (pre-qualification, tendering and contracting) and Services/ Works Contracts implementation matters including Determinations, Payments, Time Extensions, VOs, Claims/Disputes. Additionally, questions related to dealing with International Financing Institutions. Can also answer questions in Romanian. Can not answer improperly formulated questions.


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