Successful Collaborative Contracting using the expert NEC


Current practices are ‘ineffective’, ‘adversarial’, ‘fragmented’ and ‘incapable of delivering to Clients’, proposing that there should be greater partnering, collaborative contracting and teamwork in the delivery of projects. NEC provides just that. NEC


It is common knowledge that in any procurement process, particularly of major assets with a considerable life cycle, the purchaser desires:

  • Certainty of outcome during development and construction to the commissioning period
    • Value for money (with least cost as a key factor)
    • Ease of operation and maintenance throughout the life of the asset

It is submitted that other key criteria in the South African context include:

  • Unrelenting focus on health, safety, security and environment
    • Promotion of training and mentoring with key measurement and auditing constraints
    • Community development initiatives inclusive of measurement criteria
    • Energy and carbon footprint criteria


As with any transaction, there is generally a process of negotiation and ultimately a meeting of the minds (consensus ad idem). The outcome of the transaction is often affected by the behaviour of the buyer and the seller.

If the Buyer has not undertaken a sufficient comparative analysis, they are likely to be disappointed when later discovering that better value for money could’ve been obtained elsewhere. The Buyer, or Client, needs to ensure they are correctly advised or educate themselves regarding the best option available before making any purchase. How do Clients in the construction industry behave? Do they deserve the results they get when dissatisfied? Are the Clients in a continuous improvement cycle (as they should be, in accordance with general business and ISO system requirements) or are they victims of ongoing repetition? For example, the “lowest tender syndrome”. Is this still prevalent? This practise continues to condone mediocrity, often to the detriment of other requirements which often includes life-cycle costing impacts. NEC has introduced a whole new perspective in the construction industry.

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