I disagree with Guy Cottam's view of partnering and having recently completed a very successful partnering contract must make the following comments.
I was project manager, and later resident engineer, on a very large and complicated road project in the Midlands.
This was a cash budgeted project to a limit of £57M.
Tenders were received under the ICE 5th Edition and subsequently the lowest tenderer and the client agreed on a partnership bolted on the ICE Conditions of Contract.
This was a novel idea and a first for both my staff and the contractor's personnel.
It was made clear from day one that the progress of the project came above everything.
Everyone worked as a team so that problems were resolved as they occurred rather than being passed to the other party.
As work progressed complete trust was built up. It is worth pointing out that a major variation to the value of £1.3M, in the middle of the contract, was accommodated without dispute.
I am glad to conclude that, with the involvement of the clients' auditors from day one, the contract was settled within days of opening the road - five months ahead of the schedule and well under budget. The contract was noted by the National Audit Office in its recent report.
A Selvaratnam, (F), 15 Alton Grove, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 7UP