Few in the UK – or Europe for that matter – will have escaped news of a shrinking construction sector as public sector cuts across the continent look set to drastically reduce funding for public infrastructure projects. Reuters only last month was reporting a forecast 4% decrease in construction output in 2010
In the UK, the head of the National Audit Office (the body scrutinising public spending on behalf of Parliament) has called for a project-by-project review of future private finance initiative contracts, with stricter criteria being employed than in the last two years, to establish the most appropriate funding methods.

I am a contractor working on a wastewater project in Eastern Europe, using the FIDIC Yellow Book –Design & Build. Vol.3 of our contract contains the following clause: “Tests on Completion The test on completion duration shall be 90 days. The first 30 days shall be a monitoring period during which the Contractor sets up…

I thought that I would hail in the new year with an update on some interesting construction developments. Put it down to a period of reflection over the Christmas break! As I want to cover a number of areas, I have split this update into 2 postings.

In this first update, I am going to cover the latest FIDIC news and the new Bribery Bill currently going through the UK parliament. In my next posting I will look at two recent construction cases in English law, the first covering recoverability of damages and the English “remoteness” rule, the second covering treatment of contractual notice bars for claims.

In the wake of the current downturn, employers will increasingly look for greater budget certainty under EPC or Turnkey contracts. This is where the contractor undertakes all tasks – design, construction, management etc – so that, upon completion, the employer merely needs to ‘turn the key’ and operation of the plant or building can begin…