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Construction Law/Error in BOQ description


based on FIDIC 99. Plus there is a provision which have priority over GCC: "the unit rates/ prices stipulated in the BOQ, shall constitute complete compensation for all the works covered under the Contract and as shown on the Drawings and provided in the Specifications, and the Contractor shall be required to perform such work for such payment whether the work is specifically referred to or otherwise included in a specific BOQ item or not."
The drawings and specification shows two different kind of concrete M25 and M23 to be incorporated in different structural elements; whereas BOQ has two items with M25 concrete and M20 concrete (not M23 concrete).
-The Engineer's View:
The Contractor has to execute both M25 and M23 concrete in accordance with specification and drawings. The M25 concrete shall be paid under relevant BOQ item; however, the M23 concrete shall neither be paid under any BOQ item as there is no BOQ item for M23 concrete nor be evaluated from new rates as it is not a variation (already present in Specs and Dwgs). AND
As the Contractor is not executing M20 concrete; therefore, he is not entitled for any payment under BOQ item for M20 concrete.

Could the Contractor claim that there was error in BOQ description (wrongly written as M20 instead of M23)? or if there is any other way to claim M23 concrete.
-Additional Information:
The quantities in BOQ are very roughly estimated and not accurate, and could not be relied upon for any argument.
There was no clarification sought during tendering stage.

Dear Usman,

Thank you for your question.

Firstly, the Contractor has made a terrible mistake when tendering without seeking a clarification in respect of that mismatch.

Moreover, when preparing the Financial Offer, what did they include in it and how did they come at their tendered price?!

Regretfully, themselves are the first ones to blame.

Now, looking for a solution, you should try to negotiate with the Employer/ Engineer to either:

- as suggested use M23 instead of M20; or

- derive a new unit rate for M23, out of unit rates for M20 and M25.

If that doesn't work, all you can do is to trigger a dispute, under the legal principle of "unjust enrichment", probably applicable in KSA too, according to which one must pay for what it gets.

Sure enough, Employer can not pay only M25 items and not pay anything for M23/ 20 - presumably there is no M20 item of works to be executed.

But at the same time, Contractor should do their homework and prepare some convincing answers for the DAB, in respect of my questions above.

Obviously, there can not be a straight forward answer, but that's the way forward I would recommend.

Hope that helps.

Construction Law

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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.


Over 20 years of experience in the field of design, works supervision, construction, management of aid funds and technical assistance for various types of contracts implementation, including severe conflictual contractual situations leading to Claims and disputes. Claims/ Contract management, Disputes adjudication, Arbitration.

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