Middle East musings: Thoughts from Qatar’s seminar
Mr. Paul Gogulski shares his thoughts about the construction seminar he was the key speaker at Sept. 9-11:
Recent experience from attendees at seminars conducted in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE show that contradictory terms in FIDIC, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, contracts put contractors at risk when directed to proceed on change orders. FIDIC contracts also include a provision not to proceed unless a change order is approved. This has caused huge loss, as the contractor is penalized for failing to meet the base contract completion date with outstanding change orders used as the bargaining chip by Middle East owners. Negotiations after the fact characteristically result in gross favor to the Middle East owners.
Engineers are hired to adjudicate, but because they are hired by the owners, they fear being accused of being “pro contractor.” When engineers are accused, they have a very short shelf life. Many contractors have been forced into bankruptcy. Some have left the region entirely. Review boards aren’t much help either. They use the same engineers and conduct all deliberations in strict secrecy. Proceeding on “good faith” as directed on change orders usually do not work in the Middle East. Only those contractors with deep pockets can survive.
Mr. Gogulski is a construction expert who has provided expert testimony and construction consulting services to hundreds of clients, which has led to hundreds of early settlements.
Post by Paul Gogulski