The contractor's programme

The following Construction practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The contractor's programme
  • What are the parties’ obligations in relation to the programme?
  • Should the contractor's programme be a contract document?
  • The contractor’s view
  • The employer’s view
  • Other ways to elevate the programme’s significance
  • The approach of standard forms to the programme
  • JCT
  • NEC
  • More...

The contractor's programme

This Practice Note considers the status of the programme in a construction contract, what difference it makes if the programme is a contract document and the approach of standard form contracts to the programme.

The programme is an important document in any construction project. It assists the contractor to organise the project and plan the execution of the works. It also helps the employer and contract administrator to monitor progress, measure the contractor’s performance and assess delay.

What are the parties’ obligations in relation to the programme?

In general, unless the construction contract states otherwise, the contractor can programme the works and carry them out in such order as it sees fit and the employer has little influence over the sequencing and activities. In GLC v Cleveland Bridge and Engineering (1984) 34 BLR 50 (not available in LexisNexis®) the court stated that the contractor is usually entitled to 'plan and perform the work as he pleases, provided always that he finishes it by the time fixed in the contract'.

Without specific provision in the contract, an employer will have no means of redress if the contractor does not progress the works at a reasonable rate. In Leander Construction v Mulalley, the court refused to imply a term into a sub-contract that the sub-contractor was to proceed regularly and diligently with its works. To counter this, some

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