More than 30 years have past since the launch of FIDIC 1987, “yellow book” (Conditions of Contract for Electrical and Mechanical Works). In the meanwhile, the “Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs-Conseils”, better know as FIDIC, has published newer versions: the well-known 1999 version and a fresh update at the end of 2017. These newer versions are not just updates but have a different structure and, to some extent, a different approach.
Current practice with FIDIC 1987
Certain public utilities have made specific particular conditions on the basis of FIDIC 1987 and continue using them. This is, for example, the case for contracts in Pakistan where PEC (Pakistan Engineering Council), a statutory body to regulate the engineering profession in Pakistan, has prepared a set-of mandatory conditions based on it. I’ve also seen Employers and Contractor mutually agree to use FIDIC 1987 conditions in direct negotiated contracts.
Reasons for considering FIDIC 1987
The FIDIC 1987 conditions are appreciated by Contractors for striking a good balance between Employer’s and Contractor’s rights and obligations. The advantage for Employers is that Contractors make less deviations. By doing so, they avoid painful and lengthy contract negotiations, potential delay in project implementation and unforeseen expenses (especially external legal counsel). Furthermore, the good balance creates a favorable environment to a contract execution with the necessary serenity. The independent Engineer has a good mandate to determine and avoid disputes.
So, yes, even though the naturally tendency is to work with the latest updates of the FIDIC conditions, it can still make good sense to use the 1987 versions. In terms of balance between Empoyer’s and Contractor’s rights and obligations, I would consider them at the same level as the current World Bank conditions for Plant.
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