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Construction Law/Variation in case of Similar Item


Evaluation of Variations
Evaluation of Variatio  
Dear Sir;
welcome back & Happy New Year

if the Engineer, based on the instructions of the Employer, wants to ask the Contractor to implement an additional work as variation. This additional work has a similar item in the BoQ (e.g. there is an item of drainage pipeline with a rate quoted by the Contractor within his tender and the new item is a branch of it which was not mentioned in the scope of work) however, the Engineer found out the rate thereof (the contractual rate) is very high compered with reasonable market price. Is it mandatory to follow the same rate in the additional work OR the Engineer can ask the Contractor to submit a new rate based on  a reasonable breakdown of prices? ... please give me your answer ,Sir,in view of the followings:

1- FIDIC 1999 Red Book
2- our bespoke remeasured contract which includes the attached clause

Thank you very much

Dear Khaled,

This question is similar to your earlier ones.  The answer is the same.  The additional work has to be valued in the logic of the Contract, using rates for similar items.  The attached clause refers to items where there is no similar item.  

In passing, please define a 'reasonable' breakdown in price?  Reasonable for you? Reasonable for the Contractor? Reasonable for the legal system?  If you wish to vary this price, then you must vary all prices in the Contract, both those considered high by you and those considered low by the Contractor?

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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
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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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