Improving The Royal Parks NEC contracts

The Challenge

To completely re-write NEC3 contract documentation for The Royal Parks landscaping contracts to produce better, faster to assemble and easier to implement contracts.

The Royal Parks (TRP) maintains and improves the eight Royal Parks across London. TRP knew that their contract documentation could be improved as it had evolved over many years and was based on older standard conditions of contract. As a result, it was poorly structured and badly written. This meant it was time consuming and hard for TRP or their consultants to develop good quality documents for contractors to bid on, plus there was a high risk of omissions and ambiguities in these documents. All this cost the client time and money.

Jon was appointed with a brief to completely re-structure and, where necessary, re-write all the contract documents for the both the NEC3 Professional Services Contract and the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Short Contract. ‘All’ contract documents means the Invitation to Tender; Form of Agreement, technical documents etc., not just the additional conditions of contract. 

The Solution

Jon’s vision was to make the documents shorter and more easily accessible to all those involved,  thereby

  • making it easier and quicker for TRP and their consultants to put together good quality contract documentation, leading to 
  • better more accurate and complete tenders by their contractors assembled at lower cost which in turn were
  • easier to evaluate by TRP
  • with less misunderstandings and change during the contract giving
  • better delivery of the physical projects and improved commercial outcomes for all parties.

It was also hoped to simplify the tender process, ultimately leading to fewer misunderstandings and change during the lifetime of the contract. One key consideration for all the contracts was that any re-drafting could not go outside the terms of the original Framework Agreement under which the parties were operating.

Jon completely overhauled and re-structured the two key contracts. The entire NEC3 Professional Services Contract documentation (including the Scope document) was redrafted giving a clearer, more consistent scope of works.

The NEC3 Engineering and Construction Short Contract documentation was also simplified, along with supplementary documents including the Invitation to Tender document, the Pricing document, two Works Information and two Site Information documents.

The tender process was also clarified to avoid challenges. Lastly, bespoke communication registers and pro-formas were developed, so that the parties had a complete and common toolkit to administrate the contracts with.

The Result

In addition to consulting with and progressive feedback from the landscaping staff, Jon provided two separate day long training and feedback sessions. The first was an internal session with The Royal Park’s staff, whilst a second included their consultants and contractors in order to engage them in the new process. The general feedback from these sessions was along the lines of ‘how quickly can you include our (limited) feedback so that we can start using what you have done’ !

At the time of writing, Jon has been commissioned to help TRP with their next generation of consultancy contracts under the Professional Services Short Contract.