Last edited 15 Feb 2016

Defects date

NEC was first published in 1993 as the New Engineering Contract. It is a suite of construction contracts intended to promote partnering and collaboration. The third edition, NEC3 was published in 2005.

According to NEC, a defect is ‘…a part of the works which is not as stated in the Works Information or not in accordance with applicable law or the accepted design.’

Until the defects date, there is an obligation on both the supervisor and contractor to notify each other as soon as they are aware of a defect, although the contractor is obliged to rectify a defect whether or not they have been notified of it, and may even be instructed to search for a defect, although the reason for this must be given in the instruction.

The defects date is set out in the contract data and is a duration from the completion date, rather than a specific day. That is, the duration is the same whether or not the completion date set out in the contract is achieved. Typically the defects date is 26 or 52 weeks from the completion date.

The defects date is the last date on which the supervisor or the contractor can give a notification of defects and is also the last date on which compensation events can be notified.

At, or just after the defects date the supervisor issues a defects certificate, which either certifies that there are no remaining patent defects, or lists any uncorrected defects. This triggers the release of any remaining retention, although if there are any remaining defects listed on the defects certificate, a withholding notice may be served and retention may continue to be held.

The defect correction period defines the maximum period within which the contractor must rectify a notified defect. Different defect correction periods can be specified for different types of defects. The only circumstances when the defects certificate might not be issued on the defects date is if a previously notified defect has a defects correction period that ends after the defects date, in which case it is issued on the later date.

If notified defects are not rectified within the defect correction period, they may be rectified by others and the cost reimbursed by the contractor.

The parties to the contract are permitted to agree that certain defects need not be rectified, and in this case the contractor must submit a quotation for reduced prices, an earlier completion date or both, and an adjustment is then made to the works information.

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