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In early June 2016, the Association of Consultant Architects (ACA) published the first edition of the Framework Alliance Contract (FAC-1). John Hughes-D’Aeth, partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner, considers the new form and suggests that agreements based on FAC-1 will not offer anything radically different in reality from contracts already in use in the industry.
This analysis was first published on Lexis®PSL Construction.
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Prior to the publication of FAC-1, ‘framework alliancing’ was not a recognised industry term. The concept seems to have been adopted deliberately with a view to blurring the distinction between two entirely separate procurement routes—framework
contracting and alliancing.
Framework contracting has been a popular procurement vehicle for a number of years, especially in the public sector, which sees it as a means of reducing the burden of Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) compliant tender processes. It operates
on the basis of bilateral agreements between the client and each member of the framework panel, with specific pieces of work awarded separately to panel members under the overall framework umbrella—again by way of bilateral contracts—and
each panel member retaining individual risk and responsibility for delivering the schemes allocated to it. Many leading clients have developed and refined this basic model to incorporate partnering principles, such as cross-contract collaboration,
joint incentivisation via key performance indicators, etc, for example by using NEC3 Option X12. However, this has always been on the premise that the overall structure will be as described above. For more information, see the subtopic Framework agreements.
Alliancing (properly so called) is different and envisages a team of
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