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Construction Law/BoQ Preparation Problem


Dear Mr. Elliott,

Good day!

I would like to seek question regarding BoQ preparation problem. I am currently working in qatar and i am with the client side. The scenario is this;

1.We have works that we cannot measure this time, but certainly have to be done during the course of the Contract. Clearly it should be in Provisional Sum. However Provisional Sum or fixed amount is not allowed by legal. VO for similar Contract is discouraged as well. How it will be done in the BoQ, so it will still be done by the Contractor.

2. We planned to put a contingency portion in the General Summary of the BoQ;
sub-total --------
Discount ---------
Add: Contingency (5% of the offer) -------

Total Bid Offer ------------

However, our delimma is that, if the Contractor will not put the 5% contingency amount because he wants to win the Contract, the problem will be is in the Financial Evaluation.

For this, we would like to seek advice on as to where to put those ITEM OF WORKS so it will be included in the BoQ or how it should be done if it will not be done us Provisional Sum or VO.

Hope to hear from you Sir.

Thank you in advance.


Syril Razzaq

Dear Syril,

You should think carefully about the size of the contingency.  It could be as high as 15 or 20% if the project involves a lot of uncertainty, such as underground work or a brownfield site.  If the Contractor enters 0 or some incorrect figure, most Instructions to Tenderers allow the Employer to correct any arithmetical mistakes and to reject the bid and call in the tender bond if the bidder refuses to accept the correction.

I cannot advise on where to include the item, without knowledge of the item and its value relative to the total project budget.

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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.


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')

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

B Sc(Hons) in Civil Engineering

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