News » Yet another update on the Construction Contracts Act 2013 2016-04-12
As most people will be aware, the coming into effect of the Construction Contracts Act 2013 is dependent on the signing of a Ministerial Order by the Minister for Enterprise Jobs and Employment.
At the beginning of March stakeholders were asked to comment on a draft Code of Practice by 3rd March 2016, with a statement to the effect that the Ministerial Order would be signed shortly thereafter. All the relevant stakeholder duly submitted their comments and it is now rumoured that the comments have been sent back to the Attorney General's office for further consideration.
There is a very strong argument in favour of the Minister signing the Order and getting the ball rolling without further delay. Regardless of what Code of Practice is current at the time of commencement, there will be lawyers pouring over it picking it apart (myself included). It is always open to the Minister to amend the Code of Practice, but at least parties to Construction Contracts will at long last have a means to resolve disputes promptly, on a temporarily binding basis.
A lot of work has been completed by all parties interested in this matter, we can only hope that this can be resolved before the formation of a new government (no comment on that matter) and the logical settling in period that will follow such an occurrence.
It is noted that some draft standard forms were recently sent to the stakeholders relating to the operation of section 4 of the Act, it is my view that these standard forms are totally unnecessary and only provide further scope for problems in the operation of the Act. It is entirely unclear where the requirement for these forms came from, the Act provides for the publication of a Code of Practice.
In my respectful opinion, the officials dealing with this ought to carefully reconsider issuing standard forms where they are not provided for in the parent Act, this is a recipe for disaster.