- Word is that the contractor who won the tender for the National Children’s Hospital was between €80-130m below the next lowest bidder. If the rumour has some stock the State is getting great value, but subcontractors engaged by the contractor can expect a bloodbath. The contractor, like all contractors has a team of Quantity Surveyors whose function is to claw back sums from subcontractors to repair the contractor’s bottom line. Mastery of what the subcontract allows or doesn’t allow is a given for the contractor’s team of quantity surveyors. They are banking on the fact that 9 out of 10 subcontractors won’t even read the subcontract, let alone understand the key terms such as when to serve notices to claim an extension of time, extra or variation. They know that the subcontractor is more likely than not to make errors in interpreting the contract and consequently expose themselves to contra charges and invalidate their claims for time extensions and additional payments. That is one of the ways the contractor repairs it’s balance sheet for the project. Let the subcontractor be aware that there is zero sympathy from conciliators, adjudicators or arbitrators to the typical defences from subcontractors that they didn’t know, they didn’t understand and didn’t they do the additional work and isn’t that not good enough. Zero. Just like what your claim will be under the subcontract if you don’t make it correctly.
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