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  • Writer's picturePeter Searle

Is there a single point of responsibility on the sites you are working on?

The main contractor on a “Design & Build” project has the sole responsibility for technical design, provision of supervision, labour, plant, materials, and any temporary works that are required. For a client, it’s straight forward, there is a single point of responsibility. They know who is responsible for delivering all aspect of the project. Having this sole point of responsibility is one of the reasons D&B procurement is so popular.

However, as the elements of the project are allocated to specialists trades or procured individually the coordination between the separate parts can become problematic. Design responsibility, materials or provision of plant will become the responsibility for a mixture of parties.

An example is for the bricklayers. The bricks are often bought by the main contractor as they are on long lead in and the scaffold, forklift and driver might be secured separately as it is shared with other trades. These are all valid reasons for splitting the package this way, but what happens if the elements the bricklayer is not responsible for, are not available when required? If, it happens very occasionally and relations are good, then it’s probably dealt with as the “swings and roundabouts” of working on a site. However, if it becomes persistent, then delay and disruption occurs and it is likely to cause the bricklayer serious money.

The Society of Construction Lawyers have developed a Protocol for determining who is responsible and how their costs should be calculated. The Protocol is well set out and has been used numerous times. The issue people have when they want to apply it for the first time is that they do not have the right records in place. After being involved in many claims, I have developed an App called PVA Tracker which will help you keep the right records to recover your money when you are messed around.

No matter what trade or specialist contractor you are, if you are contracted to deliver an element of a project and something you depend upon is not occurring, get in touch and book a demo to find out how you can gather the right information to make recovery of the money, that much easier.

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