EIC concerns persist over contract conditions

21 October 2013

European International Contractors (EIC) has voiced concerns about clients that modify standard contract forms from the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC). It says this can lead to unfair contracts, with excessive risk and responsibility being passed onto contractors.

Speaking at the EIC General Assembly in Seville last week, the association’s director, Frank Kehlenbach said, “The contracts themselves are fine, but what we find in real life is not because of modifications introduced by clients.”

EIC represents the interests of European contractors working outside their national borders. The associations says work undertaken by its members is often under the auspices of FIDIC’s various standard contract templates.

Mr Kehlenbach said that one approach the association is exploring with FIDIC is to discuss the spirit of the contracts and their key characteristics. If clients then modify standard forms to such an extent that these are lost, they will lose the right to refer to them as FIDIC contracts, which is seen as an important mark of approval in the international community.

“We are trying to identify the essential elements of a FIDIC form, so we can say to clients, ‘if you take this part out or modify that, it is no longer a FIDIC contract,’” said Mr Kehlenbach

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