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Last edited 25 Sep 2020
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.
- The form of agreement.
- Conditions of contract.
- Contract data (setting out information needed to operate the contract and identifying the documents which contain works information).
- Prices, activities schedules and bill of quantities.
- Works information (describing what is to be done on the site).
- Site information (describing the condition of the site before the work starts).
Works information specifies and describes the works the contractor is to provide and sets out any constraints to how the contractor provides the works. It is presented either in the documents which the contract data states it is in, or in an instruction given by the project manager in accordance with the contract (although this may constitute a compensation event).
Works information may be prepared both by the employer and the contractor. Employer’s works information sets out the works and constraints for the contractor. Contractor’s works information is prepared in relation to those parts of the works the contractor is required to design. The employer’s works information is identified in the contract data part one, whilst the contractor’s works information is identified in the contract data part two. Both sets of works information should be consistent, and where there is disagreement between them, priority is given to the employer’s works information.
It is important that the employer’s works information creates a complete and precise statement of the employer’s requirements so the risk the contractor may misinterpret or misunderstand them is minimised. Clear, unambiguous language should be used, subjective terms should be avoided and it should not include anything that repeats or contradicts the contract data or conditions of contract. References to standard specifications should be checked for consistency with other parts of the contract.
Works information might include:
- Technical information, specifications and drawings.
- Constraints for how the contractor provides the works, such as safety requirements.
- Work to be designed by the contractor.
Typically, the structure of works Information might include:
- A description of the works.
- General constraints on how the contractor provides the works.
- Contractor’s design.
- Quality assurance.
- Tests and inspections.
- Management of the works.
- Working with the employer and others.
- Services and other things to be provided.
- Health and safety.
- Acceptance or procurement procedure.
- Accounts and records.
- Parent company guarantees.
- Performance bonds.
- Advanced payment bonds.
- Low performance damages.
- Employer’s work specifications and drawings.
The contractor’s primary obligation is to provide the works in accordance with the employer’s works information. This means contractors are only obliged to do things the works information says they must do.
Defects are considered to be works not in accordance with the works information. Whether the works carried out by the contractor are considered defective therefore will be determined by what is described in the works information.
The contractor’s works information sets out their proposals and design details for any works which they are required to design. This cannot be prepared until the employer’s works Information has been prepared. Where the contractor puts forward alternative proposals that the employer accepts, the employer’s works information should be changed so that they are consistent.
 Find out more
- Articles of agreement.
- Contract data.
- Contract documents.
- Contract documentation (documents that might be referred to in contracts).
- Defined cost.
- Delay damages.
- Disallowed cost.
- Latham Report.
- NEC contract change management systems.
- NEC early contractor involvement.
- Z clauses.
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