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Construction Law/Amendment vs Variation Order


Dear Mike:

We are utilizing the FIDIC Red Book (1999).

Here is my question: In the FIDIC contract format under what circumstances is a contract Amendment issued vs a Variation Order? Do the terms have virtually the same meaning?

It is my understanding for example, that the scope of work may be modified and an extension of time may be granted using a V.O. in accordance with clause 13. I have not encountered an issue that would require a contract Amendment during the course of my career.

What circumstance (in general) would trigger the need for a Contract Amendment as opposed to a VO? FIDIC documents are silent concerning Amendments to the contract.

Thanks in advance for your valued opinion.



Hi William
A VO is the agreed mechanism in the contract whereby the owner can make changes to the scope of works and / or timing. It is part of the signed contract and does not change the current agreement.
The parties of a contract are free to change the terms by mutual agreement - it is unusual but they can agree to amend the terms of the contract if they wish.
Best regards
Mike Testro

Construction Law

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Mike Testro


Anything related to extensions of time and delay analysis.


45 years in the Construction Industry 15 Years as a consultant delay analyst - I now hold myself to be expert in this field.

Society of Construction Law Adjudication Society ex Planning Engineers Organisation

6 articles on the relevance of the India Contract Act 1872 and its relevance to modern construction in India. Waiting Publication

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Currently employed in India by Punj Lloyd as expert delay analyst. Engaged in ongoing arbitrations and EoT claims. Prior an Indepenent consultant in delay analysis.

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