A new suite of construction contracts for Australia

Australia needs a new suite of construction contracts, inspired by the simplicity, functionality and optionality found in the NEC4 suite.

That suite shows us that it is possible to draft a full suite of construction contracts, including professional services contracts, contracts for the provision of maintenance and other services, a DBOM contract and an alliance contract, with core provisions that are laid out in the same order and that use identical drafting where that is possible.

I believe we can do even better than NEC, and create a suite that not only includes the full range of alternative payment regimes found in NEC, but also includes alternatives for other key issues such as time, quality and liability.

Doing so would enable government project teams to use the same base document for all of the delivery models that Australian governments presently use, including:

  • Construct only
  • D&C
  • Incentivised Target Cost
  • Delivery Partner
  • Managing Contractor
  • Construction Management
  • EPCM
  • Alliance
  • DBOM; and
  • PPP.

And as with the NEC suite, the base document could also include options for Early Contractor Involvement.

Such a suite would revolutionise the way Australian governments procure construction and infrastructure services.  

Participants could more easily apply the contract knowledge and skills they learn on one project to the next one.  

Productivity and efficiency gains would be enormous.  

Government’s legal costs cost be slashed, as project teams would be able to assemble and tailor their contracts without the assistance of expensive lawyers.

It astonishes me that despite the commitments given by governments in 10 point plans and the like that our governments haven’t been able to develop such a suite.

It’s such a lost opportunity.

Which Government Agency will take the lead role in developing such a suite? I’d be happy to draft it (for a very reasonable fee).

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