The “I” In Collaborative Contracting

On 31 May 2017, Mr Lawrence Wong (the Minister for National Development) announced during a joint conference organised by the Board of Architects and the Association of Consulting Engineers of Singapore that the government is looking forward to promoting more collaborative contracting models, and is initiating plans to pilot some of the collaborative contracting models in public sector projects. Hopefully, this will also encourage private sector developers to take the cue and adopt some of these best practices.

In Mr Wong’s speech, he quoted 2 examples. The first example was in Hong Kong where project owners worked collaboratively with contractors in implementing the New Engineering Contract (“NEC”). His second example was the Integrated Project Delivery (“IPD”) in America, whereby from day one of the project, all parties come together to conceptualise the project, and seek to reduce errors and wastages, and minimise redesign problems. All team members were bound contractually to share risks and rewards based on achievement of agreed goals.

As a precursor to the implementation of collaborative contracting models, the government has already embarked on promoting some of these best practices such as getting more public sector agencies to implement Early Contractor Involvement (“ECI”), by adopting some of the best practices that can be found in the various standard forms of contract which promote partnering such as NEC or IPD, and by fine-tuning operational and co-ordination aspects of Building Information Modelling (“BIM”) so as to further promote BIM and any other form of collaborative tools and platforms.

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