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08/11/19

EXPO 2020: Time is Ticking - Record Keeping

EXPO 2020 Time is Ticking - Record Keeping

EXPO 2020

EXPO 2020 in Dubai is fast approaching.  The immovable deadline for this incredibly important event for the UAE will put significant time pressure on all those involved, especially on contractors who will have undoubtedly faced delays and other challenges during construction.

In the first of a series of articles in the lead-up to EXPO 2020, Driver Trett's Giuseppe Gariboli looks at the importance of good record keeping to protect the contractual entitlement of those working on the landmark project. 

Record Keeping

With less than a year to go before this iconic event takes place, a huge number of contractors and subcontractors are working hard to complete their works within the allocated timeframe.  In doing this, there is a danger that some may have lost sight of the importance of maintaining good records.

Proper record keeping during the course of a project is essential if a contractor is to receive its true entitlement as prescribed by the conditions of contract.

Record keeping is a necessity and records should be compiled and maintained throughout the duration of the construction period for each project. This creates a contemporaneous history of what happened and what was known (and unknown) at what point during the course of the project, and allows for the reconstruction, review and analysis of events and timelines should a dispute arise.

Disputes are often determined by the available contemporaneous records, rather than by retrospective statements of fact or analyses, so it is commercially very important to the parties involved that good records are kept. 

In the event of a claim or dispute, records are used for:

  • Establishing the basis of costs claims;
  • Defending a counterclaim from an employer or subcontractor;
  • Substantiating applications for extensions of time (“EOT”); and,
  • Claiming payment for extra work not included in the contract (Variations);

In our experience, some of the most important records are accurate monthly programme updates, document registers with dates, actual costs incurred (especially for staff and labour) and records of who was doing what, where and when!

There are a number of other reasons for keeping good records. These include contractual requirements (e.g. progress reporting), legal requirements, project controls, and to provide data for estimating, planning and carrying out future work.

The extent of the record keeping required usually depends on the type of project. A balance must be maintained between keeping adequate records in preparation for a potential dispute arising and attempting to record everything, which can be difficult, time consuming and costly.

It is important that the standard of records kept is high, or they may not provide the expected information when they are actually required.  Examples of the records that should be kept on a construction project is listed below:

Tenders and contracts

  • Original contract tender documents;
  • Tender negotiations and revisions;
  • Sub-contractor tenders, contracts, purchase orders and correspondence.

Contract administration

  • Instructions;
  • Variations and estimates;
  • Contractual certificates;
  • Contract notices;
  • Payment applications and certificates.

Resources

  • Daily time records;
  • Daily equipment usage;
  • Productivity reports;
  • Material delivery and use;
  • Labour records;
  • Inventories of tools, plant and equipment.

Project and cost management

  • Correspondence;
  • Minutes of meetings;
  • Requests for Information;
  • Progress reports and photographs;
  • Monthly programme updates;
  • Inspection records;
  • Submittal registers;
  • Cost reports;
  • Forecast-to-complete estimate updates;
  • Accounting records (e.g. pay-roll, accounts payable and receivable);
  • As-built drawings;
  • Statutory approvals or NOC’s.

Site management

  • Site diary;
  • Weather conditions;
  • Site visitors, accidents, injuries and health.

Records normally assume greater importance after the event than during it, and contractors sometimes fail to keep adequate records during a project. For those contractors or subcontractors working on Expo 2020, who perhaps may not be keeping adequate records at the moment, now is the time to get your house in order and to sharpen your records in preparation of what may be a bumpy road ahead.

If you have any concerns regarding the sufficiency of your record-keeping or if you wish to have a no-obligation discussion with one of our highly experienced consultants, please contact dubai@drivertrett.com or call +971 4 453 9031

Middle East  /  News

Middle East  /  News

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