Network Rail regulation and performance

24.07.07

Network Rail launches new suite of contracts

Suppliers and contractors should find doing business with Network Rail more straightforward and efficient with the implementation of a new suite of contracts. Starting from July, the contracts will provide more consistency and clarity on key issues as well as improved management of risks.

Network Rail spends over £4billion and lets tens of thousands of contracts every year, from the purchase of office stationery to complex multi-million pound agreements for major infrastructure projects. During development of the new contract suite Network Rail sought to learn from industry best practice.

Network Rail’s director of contracts and procurement, Ian Sexton, said: “Our aim was to bring our standard contracts in line with industry norms so that they are more recognisable and easier to understand and work with.

“The final documents reflect a sensible allocation of risk between the parties and we hope that the change will save management time for us and our suppliers and contractors when setting up and managing contracts.”

The contracts cover the purchase of goods and services in four relatively simple Network Rail bespoke contracts. Hire and operation of plant and equipment is covered by two forms of contract, one of which is based upon amendments to the “construction plant-hire association” and “rail plant association” standard terms.

The new suite also includes two bespoke contracts for works of a simple content and seven contracts based on amendments to standard forms for use on major works. The selected standard forms chosen by Network Rail include: the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) conditions of contract, measurement, target cost and design and construct versions; the Joint Contract Tribunal (JCT) private with quantities version; and the Institutions of Mechanical and Electrical Engineers’ model forms MF/1 and MF/2.

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