Eagle-eyed users of NBS specification tools may have noticed that the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) issued a press release in February heralding a new 2016 edition of the JCT family of standard building contracts.
JCT are taking the opportunity to tidy up some of their publications. The suite was last fully revised in 2011, following the change to legislation brought about by the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 , which in turn amended the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 .
Summary of changes
JCT's press release documents the main changes as follows:
- Incorporating and updating provisions from the JCT Public Sector Supplement relating to Fair Payment, transparency and BIM into JCT contracts as a whole.
- Provisions relating to the CDM Regulations 2015 (first published as amendment sheets downloadable via the JCT website) will be fully incorporated.
- The JCT 2016 Edition will reflect the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, with provisions for use by public bodies, contractors and sub-contractors on public sector projects.
- There are a number of changes in respect of payment, designed to reflect Fair Payment principles and to simplify and consolidate the payment provisions:
- Establishing, for Fair Payment purposes, Interim Valuation Dates which will operate at main contract, sub-contract and sub-subcontract levels.
- Under the interim payment due date provisions, the monthly cycle of due dates applicable to payments up to practical completion now continues to apply after practical completion, up to the due date of Final Payment. This change is consistent with a with a new Loss and Expense ascertainment procedure and with Fair Payment principles.
- Revising and simplifying the payment provisions more generally, including introducing a procedure for prompt assessment of Loss and Expense claims, providing further flexibility in relation to Fluctuations Provisions, and consolidating the provisions containing the notice requirements of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.
- JCT 2016 will include provisions for the grant of Performance Bonds and Parent Company guarantees and we have extended the optional provisions for the obtaining of Collateral Warranties from sub-contractors to include, as an alternative, the granting of Third Party Rights by sub-contractors.
- Including an extension of (Works) Insurance Option C to allow alternative solutions to the problems encountered by tenants and domestic homeowners in obtaining Existing Structures cover for Contractors, and consolidation within the main text of the generic provisions that apply to Insurance Options A, B and C (evidence of insurance, insurance claims and reinstatement work).
- Further changes to improve functionality and user-friendliness across the suite, including minor updates and clarification of the intellectual property provisions, and incorporating (where appropriate) the provisions of the JCT 2012 Named Specialist Update.
JCT have not yet supplied any details of the changes, but they are likely to have a significant impact for users of ‘Preliminaries’ sections in NBS Building, NBS Landscape, NBS Scheduler and NBS Engineering Services (or ‘Project Management’ sections, as they are referred to in NBS Create). They will also mean changes to NBS Contract Administrator. We outline our plans below:
For users of NBS specification tools
It is our intention to make amendments to the content of all affected NBS specification tools – we anticipate this will principally affect the “A20” sections in Preliminaries (00-20-70 in Project Management).
JCT have announced their intention to update contracts on an individual basis, rather than all at once. This means it is likely that the consequential amendments to NBS will be a continuing programme of work and take place over a series of updates - all part of your NBS subscription. NBS guidance will also be provided to support users in use of this new content. You may already be aware that contracts published by JCLI for the landscape industry and SBCC , for application in Scotland, make use of base text provided by JCT, so there will be subsequent updates from each of those publishers.
Naturally, our intention is to include the amendments so soon as possible after the publication of the new contract editions. As soon as we receive a detailed programme from the publishers, we will begin work to plan our updating activity for NBS customers.
For users of NBS Contract Administrator
Users will be aware that the administration forms featured in NBS Contract Administrator are reproduced under licence based on templates published in paper by RIBA Publishing. Therefore we can only reproduce these in the product once the forms are published. We are in regular liaisons with the publisher to manage this process to the best of our ability. From experience, we know there will normally be a time lag between the publication of the new contracts and their use in practice so the need for administration forms should be slightly less immediate.
At the moment it is only JCT Contracts for which new editions are being brought out. Should JCLI and SBCC follow later in the year we will co-ordinate our updating activity accordingly.
2016 will be a busy year for Preliminaries/ Project Management updates in NBS. We will be doing our best to keep our content up to date, while at the same time advising customers of what to expect. Register to receive our eWeekly Newsletter to keep abreast of the latest JCT developments and how these will be represented across NBS products. We will also include information in emails you receive as part of your product updates.
NBS specification software customers can also check that they are using the latest content updates within their product (see the update information featured in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen of your software).
If you would like to contact NBS for more help or guidance on this matter please call us on 0345 456 9594 or email info@theNBS.com. Regular updates will also feature in the eWeekly Newsletter.