NEC marks 10 years in Hong Kong this year and is going from strength to strength. At the NEC Users’ Group Annual Seminar in London in June this year, Hong Kong Development Bureau permanent secretary (works) Lam Sai-hung gave a presentation on Hong Kong’s 10-year NEC journey. He also highlighted several key areas where the Development Bureau can continue to drive a cultural change towards greater collaboration through the use of NEC.
A steering group comprising senior managers of the Development Bureau and various works departments has recently been established to oversee implementation of government NEC contracts.
Initiatives include enhancing existing NEC practice notes to help government users prepare and implement NEC contracts; developing users’ capability through Engineering and Construction Contract Project Manager Accreditation training; and promoting greater use of early contractor involvement (ECI) on NEC contracts to enhance buildability and strengthen cost management.
This year, departments have started switching from NEC3 to NEC4 and there are now 15 NEC4 pilot contracts in the pipeline. NEC currently accounts for a 160 NEC works contracts and 30 NEC Professional Service Contracts let to date. The total value of these is over HK$70 billion (£7.4 billion).
The Development Bureau has recently appointed the University of Hong Kong to conduct a research project on the adoption of NEC in public works projects. Led by Dr Isabelle Chan from the university’s Department of Real Estate and Construction, the research aims to conduct a systematic review of NEC adoption experience in Hong Kong and recommend ways forward.
In addition to works departments, the Hong Kong Airport Authority and MTR have also agreed to participate in a focus group discussion with Dr Chan to share their views and experiences on using NEC. The results of the research will be presented in November at the NEC Asia Pacific Users’ Group conference in Hong Kong on 29 November.
During September, the NEC Asia Pacific Users’ Group arranged a knowledge-sharing workshop on the benefits of NEC4 over NEC3, the use of NEC subcontracts and the advantages of ECI on NEC contracts
Furthermore, on 8 November NEC Users’ Group secretary Robert Gerrard will be giving a presentation to the Association of Consulting Engineers of Hong Kong on the main changes in NEC4 contracts. He, I and the rest of the NEC team will also be at the NEC Asia Pacific Users' Group conference later that month. We hope to see you there.