In response to the debate on whether partnering can be trusted (NCE 31 May 2001) Karen Gidwani misses the point about partnering by basing her argument on the inadequacy of certain clauses from the new PPC 2000 Standard Form of Contract for Project Partnering.
Partnering does not need a new watertight form of contract to make it work. It works very well already with existing forms of contract if the right team players and common incentive mechanisms are in place. Nonlegal documents are perfectly adequate to impart the principles and processes behind the partnering ethos.
You do not encourage trust between partners by writing clauses into contracts. Trust comes from working as a team with a common purpose, understanding the needs of each partner, aiming for long term relationships and breaking down barriers that contracts all too often serve to reinforce.
Would it be cynical to suggest that lawyers do not like partnering, on account of the significant reduction in contractual claims and disputes that this form of procurement has brought to the civil engineering industry?
Mike Hicks (M) mhicks@ pellfrischmann. com