Thursday, August 17, 2006

JKR Sarawak to be Revamped

16th August 2006, Eastern Times

Chief Minister, Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud said three state government departments including JKR (PWD) will be revamped soon for greater efficiency and accountability.

According to the chief minister, previously every piece of government work was done by JKR and the work done was according to specifications and the estimated cost. But with more of the projects given out to the private sector, JKR supervision becomes superficial and it is crucial that the government’s interest is protected through contract management.

Taib stressed that the government must have an effective machinery to protect its interest while ensuring all the proposed development projects were well planned and evaluated in terms of costs.

Taib suggested that JKR have its own team of legal officers who were experienced enough to access and ensure work supervision and specification were rigidly adhered to. He said the interest of the government must be protected. He added that fewer junior engineers would be required after JKR was revamped. Instead more experienced senior engineers would be needed for certain specific works.

Engineers in JKR must be able to understand contractual terms and conditions and the risks involved such as loss and expense claims, Extension of Time (EOT) evaluation and the consequences of failure to grant a fair and reasonable EOT. Apart from this, engineers must also understand their fiduciary duries and implications of certification of payment, Liquidated Ascertained Damages (How and when to issue Certificate of Non-Completion and what condition precedent before deduction of LAD), How and when to issue Certificate of Practical Completion, Defects Liability Management and when to issuance of CMGD ( and consequences of failure to issue defect list within the period stipulated), Legal implications relating to Final Accounts, disputes and valuations of Variation Orders (differences between lump sum contract, Unit-rates contract and Design-built contracts), Remeasurements, Lump Sum Contract applications and legal aspects relating to variation omissions, duties and responsibilities of engineers and consulting engineers, how and when to issue engineers' instruction and the implications arising thereof, in particular, loss and expense claims, delay in possession of site and damage claims, acts of prevention to completion, breach of contract and breach of reciprocal promise, the application of Contracts Act 1950 and the Common Law of UK, Standard Forms of Contract, exclusion clauses, etc.

Do they already know? Do general legal advisors know? Will they be able to advice competently? There's a saying: Lawyers are those who pass the law exam; not necessarily adequately competent in the knowledge of construction contracts and dispute management.

What about JKR Semenanjung, Malaysia???

Will the tide comes? En Adib, what do you think?

P/S Thanks James!

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