The purpose of the much-awaited guidance is to assist:
Many contracting authorities were unsure whether to proceed with tenders or whether to enter into contracts with successful tenderers. In short, the guidance points out that contract opportunities are important in maintaining market confidence, but that this should be balanced with the sector’s capacity to respond. If contracting authorities proceed with planned tenders it should consider longer tender deadlines, and selection criteria should be reviewed to ensure that it does not create a disproportionate barrier in these challenging times. With respect to live tenders the advice is to extend the deadline by at least six weeks, which is to be reviewed two weeks prior to the deferred deadline (unless public health measures have eased in the meantime). For tenders that have passed the deadline, the Office of Government Procurement is recommending that they should not be concluded until there is greater certainty unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
Many contracting authorities were also unsure as to how delay should be dealt with under the PWC for those projects deemed ‘non-essential’. The note deals with this in detail. I have summarised some key points below:
There is also a section on how the ‘ex gratia payment’ should be calculated, which is based on the Contractor’s preliminaries. Notably, Contractors will get half of the calculated “supervision” element from the preliminaries. This is not good news for contractors who did not price their preliminaries realistically. No doubt there will also be some disagreements in relation to works which have been instructed to close and otherwise would have fallen under Item 3 Schedule, Part 1k.
If you have any questions on the above or any other related issue, feel free to contact Claire at Claire.Graydon@QuiggGolden.com.
The full publication from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform can be found here: https://constructionprocurement.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/CWMF-Update-1-to-Note-on-Covid-19-14-04-2020.pdf
Published 23 February 2024
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