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Construction Law/Ammendment in Contract Agreement

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Question
Dear Expert,

In one of our Contract which is based on FIDIC MDB 2010 Conditions of Contract, a Variation(amendment) to the Contract Agreement was signed between the Parties  during the currency of the Contract wherein simply the Accepted Contract Amount was amended(reduced) without stating any reasons or repercussions of the this Variation. We, being the Engineer, have used this revised Accepted Contract Amount in order to deduct Advance Payment from Contractor’s Payment Invoices. But the Contractor did not agree with the Engineer’s stance by stating that Accepted Contract Amount means the amount accepted in the letter of Acceptance as per Contract. But the Engineer’s is of the view that Variation (amendment) of Contract Agreement has priority over all Contract Documents, therefore this revised Accepted Contract Amount will prevail as per amendment.

Please advise in this regard.

Regards,

Umer Shabbir

Answer
Dear Umer,

Did the Addendum redefine the Accepted Contract Amount, or merely reduce the rates of some items, or redefine the Contract Price?  The precise words are important.  If not, it remains as defined in clause 1.1.4.1.  If it did then the Accepted Contract Amount is as defined in the Addendum.  Obviously for consistency, you must apply this ruling to all instances where the Accepted Contract Amount is relevant, such as insurance, securities etc.. Problems with FIDIC 4 caused the drafting committee to define both the Accepted Contract Amount and the Contract Price.  

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Peter M. Elliott

Expertise

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.

Experience

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)
"We are too poor to buy something cheap"
.Romanian Proverb 2002
A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit. George Herbert (English poet 1593-1633)
I said it in Hebrew, I said it in Dutch,
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
Match your presentation to the reader!
The joy of food lasts but an hour, of sleep but a day, of a woman, but a month, but the joy of a building lasts a lifetime. Syrian proverb.
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')

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

Education/Credentials
B Sc(Hons) in Civil Engineering

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