Construction Bill 2010 is Finally Here

Construction Bill 2010 has been sponsored by Senator Fergal Quinn with the purpose of addressing the payment problems and providing a streamlined system for payments on completed projects.The current system allows for several disputes in terms of payments between the contractors and the employers on completed projects. The employers withhold payments without prior intimation and neither give any reason for withholding it. This has been unduly affecting everyone in this line of business. This bill also attempts at avoiding litigation which is long dragged for several years and everyone in the construction chain has been bearing the brunt.The construction bill, if approved, becomes an act to regulate payment and certain other matter relating to construction business.Contents Of The Proposed BillContents of the proposed construction bill 2010 are the title, interpretation, information about construction contracts, exclusions to the contracts if any, definition of construction operation, oral contracts, obligation of the employer to notify in case he intends to withhold payments, referral of disputes to adjudication, contractor or employee’s entitlement to suspend work in case of nonpayment without notice and also specifies the process of serving notice.The construction operations included in the bill are alteration, repair, construction, and demolition, and maintenance, installation of heating and lighting systems, construction of drainage and water supply system and cleaning of the buildings.What The Bill ProposesConstruction Bill 2010 proposes that the employer needs to give seven days prior notice in case he intends to withhold payment and provide the reason thereof. The contractor can reply to this notice clarifying the matter and seek payment. If the employer does not serve prior notice and suspends payments, the subcontractor is entitled to stop the ongoing work for the employer.In case of a dispute between the parties, the matter can be referred for adjudication. The process of adjudication has three levels.Mediation: An independent party that can be recommended by the state or otherwise, mediates a discussion between the employer and the contractor in order for them to agree on an action plan and resolve the matter between them.Arbitration: If the matter is not resolved at the mediation level, an arbitrator listens to the parties and suggests an action plan to resolve the matter.Adjudication: If the matter is not resolved in the above two processes then the matter will be referred to adjudicator for dispute resolution. The bill specifies that the adjudicator must reach a decision within 28 days of giving the notice. In special circumstances it can be extended by 15 days.Some highlights of this Construction Bill 2010 are exclusion of construction contract on a dwelling property, a property on which one of the parties to the contract resides or intends to reside, and inclusion of oral contracts.Successful enacting of Construction Bill 2010 can streamline the construction business by ensuring a system for payments on completed projects and a methodology to notify the other party in case the employer intends to withhold payments by giving the details on the amount, and the reason for withholding. This bill will also be able to avoid the long dragged litigations and provide solace to everybody in the construction business from the contractor, subcontractor, employer to all the workers in the construction chain, especially those in the lower end of the chain that were affected the most.