Last edited 09 Feb 2016

Period for reply

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

Many clauses within the NEC suite of contracts establish a period within which a task must be completed by referring to defined dates such as the ‘completion date’, the ‘defects date’, and so on. Some clauses establish a period within which one of the parties must respond to a communication from the other, such as the period for the submission of quotations for compensation events, acceptance of the programme and so on. However, where no such period has been prescribed, then the ‘period for reply’ applies.

The Engineering Construction Contract (ECC) states that:

‘If this contract requires the project manager, the supervisor, or the contractor to reply to a communication, unless otherwise stated in this contract, he or she replies within the period for reply.’

The period for reply is set out in the contract data part one, completed by the employer, and replies to communications must be made within that period, unless another period is stated in the contract. Where a specific time limit is defined within the contract for a particular reply then this will take precedence over the period for reply.

If the project manager fails to reply to a communication within the period for reply, this may constitute a compensation event. If the contractor fails to reply to a communication, then an adjustment may be made to the next payment reflecting the cost to the employer.

An exception to this is where the project manager and contractor agree to an extension before the reply is due.

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[edit] External references

  • ‘The New Engineering Contract: A Legal Commentary’, McINNIS, A., Thomas Telford (2001)