Frequently Asked Questions

We are the contractor on an NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) Option A (priced contract with activity schedule). The supervisor commented on our revised programme, stating that time risk allowance should be the amount of time allowed by us in programming activities to allow for risk of delay due to potential risks that have a reasonable probability of occurring. The supervisor also noted that we assigned the time risk allowance as an activity after each section of the works, which makes it impossible to assess whether the time risk allowance was properly considered in the programme. We were asked to revise and allocate the time risk allowance in the relevant activities. We do not want to change the programme but want to just elaborate on the time risk allowances for each section/group of activities. In our opinion, the time risk allowance will be the combined effect of various activities in each section of programme. Please advise whether this is correct or not.
The first thing to say is that the supervisor does not have the power to comment upon or accept a programme, only the project manager can do that, see clause 31. The only exception to that will be if the project manager has delegated that action to the supervisor in accordance with clause 14.2 and notified that to you in accordance with clauses 13.1 and 13.7. However, having said that, we think that the project manager is right to address this matter. Time risk allowances are not a generic percentage or amount that should be added at the end. They ideally need to be considered and added to those individual activities within the programme that merit them for specific reasons.

Not all activities will merit or need an allowance for risk of time overruns, only those that have specific risks that can be identified and calculated by some form of risk assessment. The project manager is entitled to see this broken down in that way to understand why you have made each allowance and how you have calculated it. Without that they will not be able to decide if your plans are practicable and realistic.

In addition, without such a breakdown, it will be impossible for the project manager to see whether 
any particular delay to an activity caused by a compensation event is on the critical path, in the sense that there is no float to absorb it.

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