NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract Works Information Guidance, January 2012
There are 6 distinct Documents in the NEC scheme:
- Form of Agreement;
- Conditions of Contracts;
- Contract Data;
- Prices/Activities Schedule/Bill of Quantities;
- Works Information (Employer’s and Contractor’s, 2 separate parts); and
- Site Information
- This Guidance is designed to ensure the parties do not confuse the different functions. The Guidance is divided into several sections or “Chapters”.
- Specific guidance is given at chapter 3 on how to draft Works Information, avoiding traditional language and vague terminology, with a number of worked examples. Eliminating subjectivity in the evaluation of performance is particularly stressed. There is a great deal of guidance which lawyers could usefully follow, for example to use the simplest possible words when drafting. Simple words have few syllables. Sentences should be as short as possible. Verbs and nouns are usually precise, adverbs and adjectives are usually imprecise.
- Chapter 4 provides a valuable crib sheet on where the expression “Works Information” appears in the NEC clauses, with an explanatory note in each instance on how this impacts on what has to be contained in the Works Information document.
- Chapter 5 reminds us that there is already a straightforward precedent for the structure of the Works Information document in the NEC3 standard Guidance Notes.
- Chapter 6 is particularly useful (albeit brief) in assisting the parties where the contract is let on a design build basis. In that case there will be a division of the Works Information into an Employer’s section and a Contractor’s section. The Contractor’s section will include the Contractor’s Proposals and the design details of the works which he is undertaking to design. We are reminded that there should be no ambiguity or consistency between the Contractor’s and the Employer’s WI documents, and that the Employer’s WI documents should be prepared first. If the Employer accepts a proposal from the Contractor which is contrary to the Employer’s stated design approach, then the Employer’s Works Information should be changed to remove any redundant or conflicting content. This is particularly important because the Employer’s WI is treated as having priority over the Contractor’s WI under sub-clause 60.1(1).