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Independent Dispute Avoidance Panel set up to smooth London 2012 construction

An independent dispute avoidance panel (IDAP) has been set up to help avoid contractual disputes during the work to deliver the venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The expert panel is available to help the ODA and its construction contractors avoid any potential disputes that could impact on the delivery of the Olympic Park and other London 2012 venues. The panel will focus on finding pragmatic solutions to problems which may arise before they become disputes that could require lengthy resolution.

The IDAP is chaired by Dr Martin Barnes, President of the Association for Project Management and originator of the form of construction contract being used by the ODA for major venues (the NEC Contract). Dr Barnes has selected a panel made up of ten construction professionals with a wealth of experience in major projects.

A dedicated adjudication panel has been set up to decide dispute which have not been avoided through the IDAP. The adjudication panel is chaired by Peter Chapman and made up of experienced adjudicators appointed by the Institution of Civil Engineers based on the nominations from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Royal Institution of British Architects, Chartered Institute of Building and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. If either party decides to challenge an adjudicator’s decision, the final tribunal is the technology and construction court.

"Positive and open relationships with our contractors are crucial to keeping the project on track and will be even more important as more companies come on board to start building the venues," said ODA Chief Executive David Higgins.

"This independent panel will help us and our contractors work together to identify and resolve any potential issues early."

All parties will still be able to resort to legal procedures – in particular, the parties will have the statutory right to refer any dispute or difference to adjudication.

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