The Lump Sum Construction Contract – What seems to be the problem?

By | January 15, 2011

The lump sum contract associated with construction particularly in the Middle East has created untold misery to contract administrators and quantity surveyors working in every sector of the construction industry. The problem is caused by a misunderstanding of the concept of lump sum contracts and the application of the principles associated with such forms of procurement.

A lump sum contract is an agreement pursuant to which one party consents to pay another party a set amount of money for completing the work or providing the goods described in the agreement. Typically, lump sum contracts do not require contractors to provide a detailed breakdown of costs. Rather, the payment of the total contract price is linked to the contractor completing all of the work specified in the contract. For example, a software installation company may enter into a lump sum contract for installing multiple data processing systems in a building. Instead of receiving an individual fee for each system installed, the company will receive one fixed amount after it finishes installing all of the systems.

Lump sum contracts are regularly used for a variety of transactions, including construction work, consulting projects, and architectural assignments. A lump sum contract is easy to manage since payment is made only once. Generally, the lump sum contractor is paid a flat amount of amount of money after the party receiving the services or goods is given the output. For instance, under a lump sum arrangement, an architect firm is usually paid its total fee once it has supplied all the deliverables acceptable to the Employer.

The construction industry often engages in lump sum contracting. In most cases, the building owner signs a lump sum agreement with a general contractor. The general contractor then enters into separate agreements with subcontractors.

The explanation so far seems simple. Then what seems to be the problem?

The problem arises out of two major factors:

  • The written contract;
  • Understanding and interpretation of the written contract.

A lump sum contract is usually a written agreement, although an oral agreement may be binding in some cases. Once the contract has been signed, all parties are bound to adhere to its terms. A lump sum contract ordinarily details the fixed total amount to be paid to the contractor and the timeline for payment. If the contract is for services, a comprehensive description of the scope of the services to be performed by the contractor should be documented. Contracts for goods should thoroughly detail the goods to be provided, including the components, features, and characteristics that must be a part of the final deliverable.

However, all this is dictated by the terms contained in the various documents being made part of the contract. Construction contracts using standard forms like the JCT, NEC, FIDIC etc., detail a hierarchy of documents that would be referred to in the settlement of disagreements or disputes. Such documents may include the specifications and a bill of quantities amongst other things. If the bill of quantity is listed as a contract document, it is possible for the Employer to require the contractor to execute everything it has priced for in the bill.

It must be noted that a bill of quantity can contain one or more of the following items in addition to the lump sum items:

  1. Provisional Sums
  2. Items using Prime Cost Sums
  3. Provisionally described items
  4. Provisionally measured items
  5. Nominated Sub-Contractor items
  6. Nominated Supplier items
  7. Contingencies

Despite described as a lump sum contract all the above items are subject to adjustments and additions to and deletions from the bill of quantities is possible if the contract provides for variations, but no re-measurement of quantities stated in the bill of quantities will be allowed.

As a rule, construction contractors are not entitled to receive more money than the contract specifies. Items required to complete the works must generally be provided even if they have been omitted from the bill of quantities – (Williams v Fitzmaurice (1858) 3 H&N 844). Michael O’Reilly points out that if there is no mechanism in the contract for receiving payment for these extra items, the contractor will have to pay for them. This means that the contractor will have to provide what is indispensably required to fulfil its obligations under the contract.

If it is presumed that quantities do not form a term in lump sum contracts unless the contract states otherwise, the contractor will not be paid any additional payment if the quantities required to be executed are greater than stated in the bill of quantity, (Portman and Fotheringham v Pildritch (1904), Priestly v Stone (1888), Re Ford and Bemrose (1902) CA, Sharpe v San Paulo Railway Co (1873) LR 8 Ch App 597). It could therefore implied that the reverse is also true – being that if the quantities stated in such a bill of quantity are greater than what is required to be executed (as long as the item description is not changed) the contractor will be entitled to receive the full payment against that item.

Can the Employer or Engineer therefore, change the description of an item in the bill of quantities where the quantity has been over measured and attempt to re-measure and obtain the lesser quantity? Unless the contract provides to do so, definitely not! Any attempts to do so would mean introducing an element of re-measuring where the contract does not provide and this would be in breach.

In the same context, what about an item contained in the bill of quantities which is not required to be executed? Contractors always argue that being a lump sum contract they are entitled to be paid for every item in the bill of quantities regardless of requirement in the same manner that the Employer is entitled to insist upon the contractor to provide items required but missed out in the bill of quantities and that each balances with the other. In order to prove this point the contractor will need to establish that the price it has put in for such an item is in actual fact to compensate for some item missed out in the bill of quantity. The burden of such proof will rest with the contractor.


O’Rielly, Michael – Civil Engineering Construction Contracts


Mohammed Awad on January 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm.

This article spot the light on one of the most important issues related to construction contracts i.e variations to lump sum construction contracts, we thank Dr. Haris for this article.


Troy Dias on January 19, 2011 at 7:54 am.

“In the same context, what about an item contained in the bill of quantities which is not required to be executed? Contractors always argue that being a lump sum contract they are entitled to be paid for every item in the bill of quantities regardless of requirement in the same manner that the Employer is entitled to insist upon the contractor to provide items required but missed out in the bill of quantities and that each balances with the other. In order to prove this point the contractor will need to establish that the price it has put in for such an item is in actual fact to compensate for some item missed out in the bill of quantity. The burden of such proof will rest with the contractor.”

I don’t agree with the above conclusion. I agree with you that the burden of proof lies with the Contractor but in this particular situation he does not need to analyse whole contract bill to prove his case. In a lump sum contract, the specifications and drawings are used to describe and identify the scope of works. BQ (or Schedule of Rates) does not use for this purpose and it is used to value variations and often times used for interim payment valuations.


Haris Deen on January 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm.

Thank you Troy, This is the type of comments I would like in order to trigger a wider discussion. You don’t seem to disagree with me that the burden of proof of the contractor’s entitlement for payment of a non executed item in a BOQ rests with him. Your only complaint seems to be that the contract does not have to analyse the whole contract bill to prove his case. I did not say that he should do so. The main point is that anyone should not be entitled to be unjustly enriched by claiming money for work he has not executed. If he can prove that this is money that he richly deserves, then certainly he should be paid.


Troy Dias on January 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm.

Thanks for your quick response. My point is in a lump sum contracts, BQ does not use to describe or identify the scope of Works. The BQ is a tool we use in a lump sum contracts to calculate the Tender / Contract Price. The scope of Works is defined in the Specifications and Drawings. The Contractor’s obligation is to complete the Works in accordance with the Specifications and Drawings. The BQ may contain items which are not required to accomplish the Contractor’s obligations under the Contract.
However, the Contractor should execute any works defined in the Specifications (in most cases Specification takes precedence over the Drawings) even though such works are excluded from the BQ (and/or not shown on the Drawings).
I consider that, after the award, the BQ is used only for the purposes of valuation variations and interim payments, unless BQ contains provisional items which are subjected to remeasure.
Further, in lump sum (without quantities) contracts, BQ is replaced by Schedule of Rates.
In conclusion, I consider that, in a lump sum contract, you can’t simply negate payment for any item in the BQ which are not defined in the Specifications and/or shown Drawings, as the BQ does not identify or describe the Scope of Works.


Haris Deen on January 21, 2011 at 11:21 am.

You are quoting out of context Troy. My article is based on a BOQ being a contract document. You are right where the BOQ is not a part of the contract. In the ME all contracts I have come across (If I am wrong someone will correct me,) the BOQ is a contract document listed in the documents forming part of the contract and the heirarchy for reference in the event of a dispute. It is always stated that despite the heirarchy, all documents are complementary with each other. That means that the BOQ in this instance is part of the scope and the Contractor will be required to execute all the items in described in the BOQ if it wants to get paid. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO WHAT THE CONTRACT STATES AND THAT IS HOW JUDGES AND ARBITRATORS DECIDE A CLAIM. I have not found any case where a judge or arbitrator (in the frist instance or on appeal)has allowed a claim that a contractor is not entitled for and refused any claim that contractors are entitled to9 compensation. Under the doctrine of restitution no one is entitled to receive any payment for what he is not entitled for under a contract and the converse is also true that the employer cannot escape from paying a contractor his rightful dues under a contract.


martin on June 5, 2011 at 12:00 am.

I have a question along the lines of the QS doesnt represent the specification in his BQ, the contractor prices his lump sum against the BQ not the spec a, leaving us as the employer with a bit part finish not as the specification, is this the resposilbility of the QS not relating the priced BQ or the contractor who should have priced in conjuncture with the spec and drawings. I noted your comment about the spec takes precidence over the drawings.


Haris Deen on June 12, 2011 at 11:44 am.

Dear Martin,
Your question is not very clear. However, I will try to answer.

In the first place addressing the responsibility of the QS – The QS has a duty to provide accurate Bills of Quantities. He cannot expect to shield himself under the ‘Lump Sum’ pretence for his mistakes.

As far as the Contractor is concerned he must provide everything that is indispensably required for completion of the Works whether it is shown on the drawings, specified in the specifications or measured in the BOQ.

Please read my article very carefully as it deals with different aspects of a Lump Sum contract which will enlighten you more on this subject.

Boon on June 25, 2015 at 5:52 am.

Agreed with Troy…


Dr. Haris Deen on July 29, 2015 at 10:16 pm.

I suggest the topic “Avoiding pitfalls in tendering for Lump Sum Contracts”. In your introduction, you might refer to decided cases – Williams v Fitzmaurice and the San Paolo case, which are landmark cases and build your theseis around them. Good Luck.

Ravi Jain on January 3, 2016 at 6:19 pm.

Dr Haris

If this is the case, are we not destroying the very principle of a lump sum contract? If the contractor has effectively managed his performance in a way that the agreed rate in a BOQ is higher then what the contractor has actually spent- would you claim it from the contractor simply because he has worked even more effectively. Say he quoted that for a particular part of work he needed 10 labour as per BOQ. However the contractor got hold of a machine which was more cost effective, will the employer then have a right to claim the differential which was not actually spent but he contractor? In my suggestion- not. Similarly not executing a work because it was not required / discovered to be not required during execution and still getting paid for it – would you call it unjust enrichment? Especially when there is lack of intent and unfair gain and the quoted price was a lump sum I.e. The contractor will be paid a quoted amount irrespective of the contractor has suffered more expenses after the lump sum qote has been accepted. If we were to assume your argument of unjust enrichment- it could them also become open for the contractor to claim higher amounts then the accepted lump sum if the contractor can prove that despite acting diligently and adhering to industry requirements, the higher espense could not be controlled. Will appreciate your views on it and thank you for this article.


Abdulrahim Ostol on July 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm.

Dear Sir,

I am with the client side our contract with the main contractor is a lump sum although in our General Conditions of contract Clause Variation Order, we have addition and deletion. We deleted items in the BQ which is not required hence the Contractor insisted it is a LUMP SUM price and he is entitle to claim the same value signed in the letter of award and noticed to proceed.

Kindly advised as a Client or Owner, do we have the right to claim the negative Variation order, hence contractor also claim that there are some concealed and unforeseen items during tender.

It is clear in our General Conditions of Contract that the Contractor before tendering he has the right to verify the site conditions, its drawings, specifications, bill of quantities and to satisfy himself and he has no right in the future to claim any additional cost, what ever missed to price under this contract. However, the client has the right to increase or delete items during construction period not exceeding 20% of the lump sum price.

Kindly Advised,




Dr. Haris Deen on July 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm.

Dear Abdul Rahim,
If the Contractor has priced an item that was not required to be executed in any case, at the time of tender, then he was taking a risk. If the item is not required and the Contractor insists on payment for that item, he cannot be paid for what he is not executing. Tell him that payment will be made only for items he has executed and the final account will take into account those items that he has not executed. You do not have to do anything at the moment. Payment should be made only for items identified in the BOQ (if BOQ is part of the Contract) on interim certificates.
I cannot give a further clarification without knowing the full facts.


Abdulrahim Ostol on December 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm.

Dear Sir,
The missing amount from the items bill of quantities is required to be executed hence, the contractor missed to fulfill their obligation to checked properly the total amount of the project before awarding, signing the BOQ and signing the contract. After signing of all the documents then the contractor only started to claim the missing value which cost 1.7 Million SR. However, in this case we insist to not to consider this claim by the Contractor since it is their mistake and risk to finalized his BOQ to his satisfaction as per contract documents and Contract is a lump sum, kindly advised if we are right to keep the same contract amount signed. Regard less of any approved V.O’s.



Dr. Haris Deen on May 2, 2015 at 5:20 pm.

Dear Abdul Rahim,
You do not state the FORM or CONDITIONS OF CONTRACT. However, assuming the conditions to be FIDIC or the American Corp of Engineers Form. If it is a Lump Sum Contract whatever the Form of Contract the contractor must execute all works indispennsably required for proper functioning of the works whether included in the BOQ or not

Craig on January 19, 2011 at 9:16 am.

Interesting that you state that this is mainly an issue in the ME. I have applied LS contarcts elsewhere with less conflict.

Interesting article.


Haris Deen on January 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm.

Yes Craig, In the UK all contracts for building works using JCT Forms are lump sum contracts with all sub-structure works, provisional sums, nominated sub-contractor works and dayworks re-measured. We have not had any problems at all like the ones we have here in the ME.


Kasun on February 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm.

Thank you for enlightening us.

Based on my understanding and experience I am strictly following the below points in all Lump sum contracts that I administrate

1 ) Drawings and specifications are key for defining the scope –
YES I agree . However following scenarios are very interesting

case 1 :
What if BOQ contains a item that is physically possible to do at the tender stage ( irrespective of whether it is related to works of drawings and specifications) but not shown in the drawings and specifications ?
My opinion – the contractor is required to do that item and it is possible to instruct omissions on that item

case 2 :
What if BOQ contains a item that is physically not present on site ( or not required to do even at the tender stage ) and it is not shown in the drawings and specifications ?
My opinion – the contractor is not required to do that item and it is not possible to instruct omissions on that item. So no deduction on the contract price is possible for this item.

2 ) Look for the BOQ general items . Check if there is an item that allows the contractor to add items If he believes that due to any reason those items are missing or quantities are not sufficient.
IF there is such a provision usually it will be like this
“The Contractor shall describe and price below the items necessary for the completion of the work as described in the specification or shown on the drawings and for which special provision is required and which are not covered by the rates in the Bill of Quanties”
If so the below No 03 mechanism is applicable

3 ) I follow the following omission and addition concept to price variations
If there is provision in the BOQ for the Contractor to insert his items for missing items ( refer Item 2 above )
for example
Boq quantity = 10 m ; rate = say 5 $ per m
agreed contract price = 10 * 5 + other items = 50 $ + 150 $ ( say for other items ) = 200 $

case 1 : drawing quantity = 12 m
if no variation issued then contractor will do 12 m of work
and the contract price = 200 $ – this is clear
omission ( what the Contractor supposed to do ) = 12 * 5 = 60
addition = 12 * 5 = 60
the contract price change = (-60)+ 60 = (0) ; new price = 200

case 2 : drawing quantity = 12 m
if variation is issued to increase the length to 17 m
omission ( what the Contractor supposed to do ) = 12 * 5 = 60
addition = 17 * 5 = 85
the contract price change = (-60)+ 85 = (+25) ; new price = 225

case 3 : drawing quantity = 12 m
if the complete wall is eliminated
omission( what the Contractor supposed to do ) would be = 12 * 5 = 60 ;
addition = 0 ;
the contract price change = (-60)+ 0 = (-60) ; new price = 140
note that this disregards the issues of substantial changes to the contract price etc ..

case 4 : if this wall is not shown on the drawing at all ; and it is not required for any other supportive works that are shown in the drawings
omission( what the Contractor supposed to do ) would be = 0 * 5 = 0 ;
addition = 0 ;
the contract price change = (- 0) + 0 = ( 0) ; new price = 200


Haris Deen on February 20, 2011 at 11:41 am.

Dear Kasun, thank you for your inquiry. From the facts contained in your question, I am led to believe that you are a QS. If I am wrong I offer my apologies.

You have not indicated the conditions of contract that you are basing your analysis on. Whatever, the procurement type, Lump Sum, Re-measured, Cost Plus etc., what is agreed between the parties and contained in the document will override any other consideration.

A Lump Sum contract is simply what it says it is. The Employer promises to pay the Contractor a Lump Sum Price for what the Contractor has agreed and promised to execute. What constitutes the scope which the Contractor has to do to be entitled to receive the lump sum will be contained in the documents or reasonably implied there from. If you read my article carefully you will find cases I have cited supporting the settled law that in a lump sum contract the Contractor has to execute whatever is indispensably essential for the proper completion of the job as intended by the parties irrespective of whether the work required is shown on the drawings, specified in the documents or measured in the BOQ.

The argument usually is the place of the BOQ in the contract. Contractors insist that in a lump sum contract if an item is measured in the BOQ it does not matter whether the item is required or not they need to be paid the full contract sum, as the basis of a lump sum contract.

This is only correct if the BOQ is not part of the contract.

Even where the BOQ is a contract document and complementary with other documents Contractors put forward the same argument. This argument is founded on the basis that the Contractor will have to execute work not measured in the BOQ or shown elsewhere but required without any additional payment as part of the lump sum contract. Where the BOQ is a contract document it is meant to describe the scope for which a price has been submitted and this is settled law. The Contractor cannot be unjustly enriched for work that he has not executed. The item not fully executed can be deleted by the Engineer from the BOQ and the contract sum adjusted accordingly. Of course if the Contractor can prove that he priced the item in question to compensate for any missing items he would be entitled to be paid this item as a variation. If such proof is available, then the Contractor will also have equitable legal remedies.


On an issue such as the above, my advice to Contractors and their estimators is not to depend on the BOQ against the work to be executed in a lump sum contract. Be particularly aware of items described and not required to be executed and for items that might have been missed out. Qualifications in a tender submission might not be acceptable, but a subtle tender query indicating a superfluous item in a BOQ and suggesting that the Contractor will price the item in compensation for any particular item missed out. It will stand in good stead if some item can be “concocted” if it is difficult to find one during the time available for tendering.

Now, coming to the different measurement areas that you have stated in your query, please understand that you cannot introduce re-measurement to a lump sum contract.

If an item in the BOQ is under measured it is the Contractors’ risk and he has to bear it. Similarly, if there is an item over measured it is the Employer’s risk. Any attempts by the Engineer to make any adjustments to such over measured quantities must be resisted.

The question sometimes arises where an item described in the BOQ has been changed to another description. For example, if the BOQ indicates 10,000 m² of asphalt road paving and the Engineer wants to change it to interlocking tiles, the variation order will describe an omission of 10,000 m² of asphalt paving and if the quantity that has to actually executed is 10, 100 m² of interlocking tiles, the Contractor is entitled to get paid for 10, 100 m² but calculated for 10,000 m² (The quantity added must be equal to the quantity deleted – the compensation for the additional 100 m² is based on price adjustment).

In conclusion, I must stress that you cannot introduce re-measurement to a lump sum contract, unless the contract contains provisional items or quantities.

I hope that this clarifies the position and if you are still unsatisfied, please fell free to comment.


Gishan Nadeera on September 11, 2012 at 8:51 am.

Dear Dr.Haris
Thanks for the information you provided. I just want to know as you stated, my question is based on Lump Sum Contracts where B.O.Q is not part of the contract documents.

There is one project I’m handling and the lumpsum is agreed between client and the contractor, and the drawings, specification or B.O.Q is not part of the contract documents as they not stamped and signed by the both parties.

This Building is 21 floor residential tower in Pearl Qatar and contractor knew initialy the designed no of units was subject to change later. Contractor executed the work.
1.Now contractor is claiming that for the work which is required by UDC which was not shown initially in the drawings, specs or B.O.Q.
2. And also he is claiming some mechanical items which is increased due to the changes of no of units.

As per your comment if the B.O.Q is not part of the contract, contractor has to do all the work which is essential to complete the project and I belive the above factors can catogorise the essential work. Therefore contractor not entitle for any variations. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

My next question is initial stage installation of the marble and granite was contractors scope and later client gave that scope to a different contractor.
In this situation does client have the right to omit the lump sum amount?



Dr. Haris Deen on September 25, 2012 at 10:17 pm.

Dear Gishan,
Sorry for the delay in responding. In any lump sum contract, irrespective of the documents forming part of the contract, the contract is awarded on the basis of executing a known scope of works. He can price any risks for unknowns within that scope.

According to your question, the contractor ‘knew that the initially designed number of units were subject to change later’. You do not however say to what extent did the contractor ‘know what will be changed’. It is unreasonable to expect the contractor to execute work that he did not know what to expect at the time of submitting his tender. Without investigating all the documents forming part of the contract it is not possible to give any authoritative response. However do not expect the contractor to accede to do everything that the employer asks for except such work is within the scope that the contractor offered to do within the contract sum.


Troy Dias on March 20, 2011 at 11:53 am.

Whist I still maintain my opinion that BQ should not use to identify the Scope of Works, in the same context I further disagree with you that BQ quantity should be used for the purpose of valuing variations.

Generally, in relation to the valuation of variations, standard forms include two important provisions; (a) variations should be measured and (b) valued using rates and prices contained in the Contract (if applicable). Thus, in both omissions and additions, quantities should be measured using the Contract Drawings and the revised Drawings. On the same token and in extreme cases, you could deduct more than the Contract Price in case of a variation. For example in a curtain walling contract (lump sum price of 5 million) with BQ includes only one item for curtain walling (1,000 m2 and 5,000 per m2) and CA instructed to change the curtain walling to cladding (rate = 5,050 per m2). In this case, if the measured quantity is only 1,050 m2, then actually the Contract Price will be increased by 52,500 as the omitted value exceeds the Contract Price.


Haris Deen on March 27, 2011 at 8:17 am.

Thank you Troy,
What the contract states will override any other considerations. If the contract makes the BOQ a contract document, then it will be part of the scope. Nevertheless, if the contract is a Lump Sum contract, the re-measurable elements are only those mentioned in the BOQ as being re-measurable and that includes provisional sums, provisional items, prime cost sums, and contingencies.


Troy Dias on March 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm.

Thanks Dr. Deen for your response. My point is about valuation of variations (i.e. we should measure both omissions and additions, and BQ quanitities should not be used for this purpose).


Kelvin Ho on April 3, 2015 at 4:17 am.

What is the scenarios if the following situation happened:
The Owner and Contractor has signed a Mechanical and Electrical supply and install contract for an service apartment.
The building works has completed and the Owner decided to convert the nature of the building to commercial usage such as office building.
This will result in less works for the contractor.
Will possible claim the contractor raise for such change.
Please advise.


Dr. Haris Deen on May 2, 2015 at 6:14 pm.

Dear Kelvin,
You don’t tell me anything about the Form or Conditions of contract. However, in a lump sum contract it might be possibl to claim recovery of overheaads and loss of profits depending on the extent of the ommission Under FIDC The client can delete or add works upto 15% of the contract value in Qatar it is 20% and in KSA also it is 20%


saman welagedara on March 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm.

I suggest , in a variation, ommissions or additions to be remeasured . But, if any item to be removed completely, then the ommited value to be limited to BOQ value of that perticular item. It is not fare to ask contractor to bear any money which he is not priced for.


Troy Dias on March 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm.

Dear Dr. Deen,
I think I didn’t express my points clearly in relation to lump sum contracts. Since FIDIC forms are not meant for lump sum contracts, I consider JCT forms (in particular with and without quantities forms) are more appropriate to use for the clarification of the issues.

In JCT with quantities, quantities forms part of the Contract, thus, any error in the quantities and/or description becomes a variation. However, when it comes to value variations assuming there isn’t any error in the Bill Quantity, you can use the BQ quantity for both omissions and additions. In this form, in the event an item included in the BQ but such work is not required for the Works (i.e. not in the Drawings or Specification) can be omitted as it is considered as an error in the BQ.

On the other form, quantities do not form part of the Contract and the Contracts Bills are merely considered as “Schedule of Rates” (sometimes we include the Contract Bills as a Contract Document, however, it is still considered as “Schedule of Rates”). In this form, variations are valued using the Drawings. However, even if the Contract Bill is listed as a Contract Document, in this situation we don’t use BQ quantities for omissions or additions. In the event provisional quantities are included in the Contract, we shall omit the BQ quantity and measure the quantity from the Drawings for additions. Further, you can’t omit an item included in the Contract Bills (or Schedule of Rates) which is not included in the Drawings or Specification.

Please note that I don’t have copies of both forms with me to quote relevant clauses but I appreciate your advice on the above issues if possible please email me the relevant clauses of those documents.

I think the main problem the problem is (especially in Middle Eastern countries), we attempt to convert FIDIC forms (which are for re-measurement contracts) in to lump sum contracts (with or without quantities) without amending the essential clauses. I personnel don’t like to use this approach but I think it is time for ME to use JCT forms for lump sum contracts.


Foong on March 31, 2011 at 8:05 pm.

Dear Dr. Deen, i’m a bit confused as for a lump sum contract based on drawing and specifications but with the BoQ to be part of the contract document and that the quantities do not form part of the contract,
(i) whether the description of items provided in the BoQ also considered part of the specification that we have to provide, i.e material specs stated in the BoQ.
(ii) or in the absence of specs provided in the drawings, whether can we argued that pricing of the project is based on whatever specs proposed by us, in which we deemed is within the pricing range.


Haris Deen on April 5, 2011 at 2:15 pm.

Dear Foong,
Thank you for your query, I apologise for the delay in responding because your message was lodged in my hotmail folder which I rarely open.

I respond to your queries in the same order that you have indicated as follows:
(i) If the Contract (you have not mentioned the Form of Contract) states that the BOQ is a part of the Contract but not the Quantities contained therein, then the contract is flawed. The BOQ is what it is “a Bill of Quantities”. Therefore, in my view to exclude the quantities contained in a document while making the document itself part of the contract, in my opinion is flawed. The principle associated with the BOQ was established in the case of London Steam Saw Mills Ltd v Lorden (1900) where it was held that the quantities in the BOQ in a LS contract are not measurable except in the case of variations. (This was based on GC Works 1 Form of Contract). As far as descriptions and specifications contained in the BOQ are concerned it was established in the following cases that what is stated in the Conditions will over ride what is stated elsewhere. (Gleesons Contractors Ltd v Hillingdon Borough Council (1970) – JCT 1963 Form and Gold v Fotheringham Ltd (1958) – GC Wks. 1 Form).

(ii) In a LS Contract the Contractor will be required to do what is “indispensably essential” to complete the works – Williams v Fitzmaurice – However, the phrase “indispensably essential” is subjective and can be misused. Therefore it is established that what is indispensably essential for a palace will be different for a factory building, office building or warehouse. Taking the case cited above it concerns flooring. Therefore the flooring which was not included in the BOQ which was a contract document can be of the minimum requirement for the type of building. On the other point: No the Contractor cannot claim something he has assumed in pricing such an item if he has not indicated what he has assumed when submitting his tender.


Bruce Parry on May 10, 2011 at 11:32 am.

I am interested in the continued applicability of Williams v Fitzmaurice (1858) under English Law I assume that the doctrine of indipensability has not been amended by statute or superior decision.

I have a situation where the supplier of power plant equipment excluded civil works BUT only the supplier can provide the civil works design for foundations etc. for the supplied power plant equipment i.e. the designs are indispensable.
As the supply subcontract is lump sum and under English law it would appear that the indispensable rule applies and that the subcontractor cannot refuse to provide the necessary designs.


Haris Deen on May 11, 2011 at 9:38 am.

Dear Bruce,
Without looking at the Conditions upon which the contract was awarded I cannot commit to any authoritative answer. However:

1. The facts supplied by you indicate that the contract was for supply only, the civil works being excluded. If this is the case, then the supplier is obligated only to supply the goods in good order, free of defects under the lump sum.

2. If on the other hand the contract states that the supply includes installation, then it would have been upto the supplier to inquire where and how the equipment should be installed in order to ascertain his responsibilities, in which case he would been told the extent of his involvement in the installation process. In this situation if the supplier went ahead without inquiring as to the nature and method of installation it can be fairly reasonably assumed that he knew of the requirement and Williams v Fitzmaurice will apply.

3. It is normal practice to provide information as to civil works where supply contracts for mechanical and electrical installations, Also normally civil works or builders works are provided separately. Going by the norms of the industry it is unreasonable to insist upon the supplier to provide the foundations when it is not his responsibility.

Having said all the above, I must once again reiterate that it will all depend on what the contract states. You need to check the contract, and see where your case will fit in.

Good Luck


A Fallon on June 7, 2011 at 11:59 am.

In Saudi Arabia they have a tendency to execute lump sum contracts while attaching supporting successful contractor’s as- bid quantities and unit prices for payment purposes or to evaluate changes by use of the unit prices. Being a lump sum contract I do not understand why incorporating the supporting BOQ and or bid data.
I had a case where the contractor had an EPC project. The engineering portion was to be completed by contractor based on conceptual plans FEED. During the detail design client did minor modification affecting quantities. For instance Building locations were modified which could not be construed as a change because the client had considered the buildings in the original FEED concept and the length of utility between buildings would be paid under the As Bid unit prices by increasing or decreasing the affected quantities after procurement and construction and payment. Contractor went along with client and completed design without formal request for a deviation as they felt they would be compensated later under the actual quantity and unit prices.
Contractor orders parts and materials and months later when the construction work is due to start for some portions of the work, Client decides to delete some major equipments and associated improvements from the scope of work and requested a credit for the deleted work.

Client now wants to delete and be credited for the quantities associated with the approved design engineering completed by contractor. When the client changed the building locations it had actually increased the distance between buildings considerably but now refused to accept credit for the As-BID BOQ quantities. Contractor is now being requested to give a credit that exceeded their bid. Client says contractor should have requested a change-deviation months before when the design deviation occurred in order for their concern to be valid. Another issue the client raised is that the contract is a lump sum and that even though the As-Bid BOQ was inserted in the contract it meant nothing to the contract. However, Client used the BOQ as the basis to develop and approve monthly payment invoices throughout 70% of the work but when the contractor attempted to give a credit for the deleted work items based on this As-Bid BOQ and Payment cash flow schedule that reflected the actual work items, client refused to accept the contractor credit based on this basis.

Attaching BOQs to Lump Sum price contracts without validation of quantities and prices and proper Summary of Negotiations before enterlng into a Contract is a mistake. It is better to sign a contract with just one number.


Haris Deen on June 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm.

Dear Fallon,
As I understand from your explanation, the contract is a design and build (D&B) contract based on a concept provided by the Client and the bid documents included amongst other things the contractor’s BOQ. You do not mention the type of contract used. I assume that it would be FIDIC.

Your explanation also suggests that the Client made changes during the detail design stage which “affected the quantities”.

Before dealing with the rest of the explanation, later on you also state that the contract was based on “Lump Sum” (LS), suggesting that the LS was fixed prior to the detaile design stage. If this is the case this is an important issue in deciding any claim.

Now going back to the second paragraph of your query, you state that the building locations were modified “which could not be considered as a change” but continue to assert that the minor modifications to the quantities occured. If that is the case, the scope has not changed and the contractor cannot expect to get anything more than the LS price (if he has executed the Works to the complete satisfaction of the Client) and the Client also cannot deduct anything from the LS.

Assuming that the case is as stated above, the contractor is within his rights to order the parts and materials as stated by you in the third paragraph. If the Client decides at this stage that he needs to vary the scope, of course under FIDIC he is within his rights to do so. In such an event the contractor must be compensated for the materials that he has ordered and brought on site at the time of the Client’s decision to vary the scope. At the same time the Client will be entitled to obtain credit for the deleted works and, since the contractor has submitted a priced BOQ with his bid documents which are now part of the contract, this can be used to determine the extent of the deletion.
What you state iin your fourth paragraph is confusing. You are saying that the distances between the buildings has increased due to the change and the Client “is refusing to give credit”!! Why should the Clinet give any credit? If at all the Client should pay the contractor for any extra work involved by change in scope. Furthermore, the contractor should have protected his rights by requesting a change order when the Client instructed the change. However, this should not prevent the contractor from claiming his rights, because by conduct the Clinet has accepted the scope change, irrespective of whether the contractor requested the change order or not.

A priced BOQ attached to bid documents does not constitute or indicate scope of what is required to be done. The BOQ is only a document that is indicative and used for controlling payments and variations. Please read my article carefully.


Cagdas Evren Bayrak on June 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm.

Dear Mr. Deen,

With all due respect, I am also of the opinion that, submission of BOQ’s during tender phase gives Tenderers the impression that (even clearly its purpose is stated) the BOQ is contractual, and it is hard to explain people that, they are supposed to do everything written in their contract as “lump sum” but get paid on BOQ items basis. It has, and it will, mislead people to think that their responsibilities are bound with what is stated in the BOQ.
I think that, in lump sum contracts the payments / remuneration shall ne through a “Schedule of Prices”. If still a BOQ is desired for valuations, etc., it might be requested after the Tender is awarded, i.e. from the Contractor, not the Tenderers. I seriously hesitate on using “Lump Sum Contract with Bill of Quantities” even though it’s widely used, especially in the Gulf region.


Dr. Haris Deen on June 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm.

Dear Cagdas,

Thank you for the comments. However, please remember, the problem is not with using the “Lump Sum” contract form but with the conditions attached to it. Also how the contract itself is interpreted and administered. There is no way that one can genaralise what is contained in a contract. We can though state what needs to be included in a contract to define the scope. To this extent the BOQ should not be used to define the scope. However, once again I stress that what is stated in the contract will override any other considerations, and if the contract states that the BOQ is to be considered a contract document, then that will be the case.


Lakshminarayanan on August 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm.

Dear Sir, Kindly clarify the following query!.
I am involved in a bespoke contract agreed after tendering process initiated by Client. The Client issued bid documents with tender drawings, detailed scope and BoQ. The BoQ contains several line items and various plants related to electrical, civil and mechanical. Some Civil works items are indicated as Lumpsum items, for e.g. excavation, demolition and cartaway, Duct banks, Building water supply system etc. In the tender phase, the building was to be constructed at certain surface level and post award it was decided that in order to meet with local authoritys requirement, the substation level had to be increased by almost 1.5 meters (up wards). Due to this change, Contractor incurred additional expense to bring in extra fill from outside. When a claim was submitted stating that as per tender phase estimation, no (less) fill material was considered and due to change during detailed design the new cost is not foreseen and therefore must be compensated. Client argues that in such event to consider this claim, then Contractor shall calculate the reduction of excavation quantity (please note that both back fill as well excavation was Lumpsum item as per BoQ). Also, tender drawings indicated duct banks on 4 locations, but during detailed design phase it was commonly agreed to make the duct banks in 3 locations. Now, Client wants Contractor to calculate the reduction in length and consider as varied quantity. Kindly advise what should be Contractor’s action now?


Amr Saleh on November 4, 2011 at 8:40 am.

There are other types of contracts that I have encountered where the schedule of prices includes several lump sum items, for example a Contract for constructing a university campus, with L.S item for the lecture rooms building, L.S item for the gym building, L.S item for the administration building, etc

How can we categorize this contract, what if there is an error and one building is mentioned twice in the schedule of the prices ?


syed sharf desnavi on November 17, 2011 at 11:52 am.

Dear Sir,

My project is 6 reservoir Contract is EPC as per General Condition of Contract Qatar. In the BoQ Included some reservoir as optional item now client has decided to delete the optional item from BoQ. My Question is can we deduct the prelims amount.


Dr. Haris Deen on November 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm.

Dear Seyed Sherif.

No. You cannot deduct or adjust the preliminary items unless the deleted works actually reduces the contract period. The preliminary items are priced over the period of contract and not in respect of work to be executed.


syed sharf desnavi on February 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm.

Thanks Dr. Deen for your valuable response.
Just I want to give full details same as mention in the EPC contract for this project

The project is primarily composed of construction of 7no new reservoir and optional item of demolition old reservoirs and replaces them with new reservoir in case requiested by client

1) Brief scope of work; (optional) in case requested by client demolition and replace by new reservoir including all work

2) Notes on pricing; All BOQ item including optional item shall be accounted for in the total tender offer/price appears on the form tender and the Grand summary page of the BOQ.

3) Time for completion;
a) New reservoir and associated work shall be completed within 20 month from the effective date of contract
b) Optional reservoir and associated work shall be completed within 22
Month from the effective date of contract

Client decide to delete optional item from contract .what is your advice for below primary items
In the preliminary
Contract administration; costs to superintendence administration coordination
All costs reports documentation through the construction period
As-built Documentation
Laboratory tests

syed sharf desnavi


Renard Baudrillard on December 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm.

Dr. Deen,

I would appreciate your clarifying the following in your response to Kasun on 20 February 2011:

You state that “The Contractor cannot be unjustly enriched for work that he has not executed. The item not fully executed can be deleted by the Engineer from the BOQ and the contract sum adjusted accordingly.”

I am assuming that by “fully executed” you mean executed at all and not partially executed given your subsequent comments. For if the item is to be deemed superfluous, it must mean that it is not executable – a qualitative question – and not partially executable – a quantitative question.

But this is where I think most of the disagreement arises in LS contract administration in the Middle East. At what point does a reduction in scope (amenable to omission by the Engineer) end and remeasurement begin?

If there is an item in the BOQ (that is stipulated to be a contract doc) for laying 20,000 sq. m of interlock tile and the Contractor ends up executing 10,000 sq. m because site conditions end up differing from drawings based upon which the tender was prepared, is this a reduction in scope? Suppose the Contractor executes 19,000 sq. m for the same reason?

As I see it, the issue is an equitable one – is the Contractor unjustly enriched? For there is no hard and fast rule.

In the first scenario, where the quantity was halved, I believe the general sense is that paying the contractor for the full quantity would be a windfall and the contractor must raise a defense to unjust enrichment in the form you prescribed – arguing that the value was shifted from an unquantified item.

In the second scenario, where the actual quantity was 5% less than the BOQ quantity, any omission would be tantamount to remeasurement, which generally speaking is not contractually permitted under typical LS contracts.

If I am incorrect, that is if in adjudicating these types of disagreements some “common” law has emerged – what is the test?

If I am correct, that is if determining whether we’re confronted with a valid reduction in scope versus a remeasurement turns on the issue of unjust enrichment, then I believe a more thorough examination of this legal concept must be more broadly disseminated to the Middle Eastern CA community.


munavvar on January 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm.

Dear Mr. Haris Deen,
Very ice to read your article. Very interesting. Can you clarify something. Specially the case is for middle east. Lump sum contract. Like plaster to block work for receiving water proof behind retaining wall. I did not price it during tender, but I was asked to say it is included as it is a rule that no item can be excluded, so I did so. Now the site requirement is plaster is not required and water proof can be done without it. Now does the engineer have the right to deduct the price of plaster taking the rate of normal plaster from the BOQ. The drawing shows that plaster should be done to receive water proof. The Engineer says since it has been shown in drawing but not done at site since it was not required it shall be deducted. I would agree if I had priced it but it has not been priced and I stated its included in my price. What is your opinion.


darren cain on February 23, 2012 at 11:36 am.

Thanks for your article. Very informative. What about the situation where a lump sum (bespoke) Contract contains a handwritten notation that the “BOQ is guaranteed and forms part of the Subcontract”?

Do you consider the construction of such a statement to mean that at the end of the Project the contract price will be adjusted (up or down) following a reameasure of the “as-built” Project?

Many thanks

Darren (from Australia)


Dr. Haris Deen on February 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm.

Dear Darren,

Thank you very much visiting my blog all the way from Australia. On your questions, please also keep track of the Q&A section because there are authoritative answers therein.

Now coming to your specific question regarding the statement that the “BOQ is guaranteed and forms part of the Subcontract” is very interesting. I believe that this a document produced by the Main Contractor for the subcontractors to price. The idea of providing such a qualification is to ensure that tendering subcontractors all price at the same level and the same document and therefore comparison is easy. However, by doing so what the Main Contractor is in fact saying is that he is warranting the quantities contained in the BOQ as accurate, any inaccuracy therefore will amount to misrepresentation (Wood, R.D; Claims under GC Works 1).

The position of the BOQ in a Lump Sum Contract is the same insofar as the scope is concerned. The quantities are not to be re-measured and the Subcontractor (in your case) will have to be paid for all the works described therein as long as he has executed them (of course subject to adjustment of provisional sums, provisional items, prime cost sums and contingencies)

If the quantities warranted are grossly incorrect then the Subcontractor will have a claim for misrepresentation under the common law of Australia.

It is therefore clear that, irrespective of what the qualifications are, no remeasurement is warranted in a lump sum contract where there is no change in the scope.

Having stated the above, I would hasten to add that what is stated in the Contract read as a whole will override any other considerations.


Gus on March 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm.

Thank you for your article and information:
I always worked with FIDIC re-measured contracts and recently came across a lump sum one. For Earthwork : The BoQ calls for excavation up to a certain depth but the actual excavation depth came three times the BoQ depth and the corresponding quantity. This will also affect the backfill quantity, basement walls, waterproofing, etc…
How can we claim the additional quantities?


Dr. Haris Deen on March 8, 2012 at 9:34 am.

The response to this question depends on what the contract states. Is the BOQ a contract document? If so, does the contract state that the quantities stated therein are to be taken as accurate quantities?

In a Lump Sum Contract the quantities are not to be re-measured whatever circumstance. This is a Contractor’s risk. However if the Employer warrants that the quantities in the BOQ are to be takem as accurate quantities, then the contractor will have a claim for gross undermeasurements as a breach of warranty.


Dalien on March 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm.

Dear all,
Thanks for all the above valuable exchange of ideas and explanations.
However, my question is relating a particular case which I could not find in the above messages.
An EPCM lump sum contract signed on the basis of all the risks are transferred onto contractor side. The contractor also is required to comply with all owner specifications and request approval for any deviation.
The contractor actually suffering an extra cost due to increase of quantities of steel structure and civil works.
There is no contractual mechanism through the contract, (apparently) that would allow contractor to recover his losses.
The question
is, can the contractor by any mean recover his losses?


Dr. Haris Deen on March 27, 2012 at 9:00 am.

Dear Dalien,
In the first place without reading all the documents forming part of the contract, I cannot give you an authoritative response.

However, if as you state, the Contractor entered into a contract accepting all the risks, then it can be fairly assumed that he (the Contractor) priced all the risks associated with whatever is required to execute the contracted scope. After accepting the conditions and signing the contract freely, he cannot now complain that he is incurring losses. That is teh name of the game.

However, if the additional works which are not part of the contracted work are instructed, the Contractor will have a claim for these additional scope works and can be successful in his claim.


Dalien on March 27, 2012 at 10:47 am.

Dear Dr. Haris Deen ,
Thank you for your quick response.
I wish I could give you more details but this will take time and the subject is very urgent and hot.
However, is it possible to have your opinion on the fact that, these increased quantities are actually representing more than 35% of contractor bid ones? Of course contractor had a huge mistake during bidding, but since this mistake is considered as (huge), what consideration it can be given to it? Moreover, if contractor pretends that client was deeply involved during bidding period in the detailed bid clarifications, then he could notice probably the contractor mistake, but by saying nothing, does that give a valid credit to contractor for claiming adjustment of contract price?

Thanks again


Steven on March 30, 2012 at 6:46 am.

Dr Deen

I have two questions:

1) Is there any practical or substantive difference between a contract expressed as a “lump sum measure and value” contract to a “schedule of rates contract” where both contracts contain what is often the case called a “Schedule of Rates – Bill of Quantities”. Does it depend on whether the quantities have been provided by the client or the take-offs are the contractor’s own?

2) I am reviewing a civil contract which provdes that the principal does not give any representation or warranty concerning the completenes of the schedule of rates or the accuracy of the estimated quantities shown in the schedule of rates. However a limit of accuracy does apply to the contract rates. It is a lump sum and SoR contract, but the only lump sum component will be fixed preliminaries and all other costs will be provided as rates in a BoQ. The Principal has supplied the quantities. Do I need to make it clear that this is a SoR contract as opposed ot a lump sum? Or as per above, can I call it a lump sum measure and value? If a lump sum m&v – does this mean that the contractor takes risks on items notwithstanding that a limit of accruacy will apply on all rates? Do I need to make it clear that the quanities are Principal supplied and the BoQ forms part of the contract?

I hope this isn’t too confusing.

Thank you
Steven (Australia)


Dr. Haris Deen on April 4, 2012 at 10:15 am.

Thank you Steven for contacting all the way from ‘Down Under’.

1. My understanding of a “Lump Sum” contract of whatever nature is that for the “Lump Sum” stated in the contract the contractor is required to complete the works providing whatever is indispensably required for its construction (Ref: Williams v Fitzmaurice). However a “Lump Sum” measure and value can only mean measuring the executed works for interim payments. Any interpretation otherwise would mean introducing a ‘re-measure element’ to a “Lump Sum’ contract. A schedule of rates is a very useful instrument in the evaluation of variations and if included should be used only for that purpose. Of course having said this I must clarify that what is stated in the conditions or particular conditions of the contract will override any other considerations.

2. The second question relates to a Lump Sum Schedule of Rates Contract. This can only mean that the Lump Sum contract price is somewhat fixed as an upper limit, something like a Guranteed Maximum, although not the same depending on what the contract says. The quantities are not warranteed to be accurate but estimated quantities to be re-measured. The only lump sum part as you mention is the Preliminaries BOQ. This is perfectly in order, but must be clearly defined in the contract conditions as to how this should be administered.
The contractor’s risk is only in relation to the lump sum portions and not to the re-measured portions. Again what is stated in the conditions or particular conditions of the contract will override any other considerations.


Naveen on April 4, 2012 at 11:15 am.

Dr Deen

I am working in the Middle East Public Sector as a Q.S. The contract I am referring to is a JCT Lum sum contract without quantities .The Tenderer was given the Schedule of Item for the contract or u can say a blank Bill of Quantities and the specifications.The Tenderer is supposed to calculate quantities from the drawings and insert his rate as per the specifications.

During Tender evaluation,it is found that the lowest Tenderer has calculated quantities on the lower side as compared to other Tenderers & also as compared to the quantities calculated by us for Budget estimate.
The Tenderer was offered a opportunity to explain the deviation in quantities but has failed to justfy the same.
Should he disqualified which I firmly believe or should his bid be accepted since the contract is as per the Lump sum contract & is based on Drawings and specifications?


Dr. Haris Deen on September 26, 2012 at 9:32 am.

Dear Naveen,
Thank you for your query. The procedure stated in the JCT for correction of arithmetical errors in a tender is the universally accepted principle.
In every tender, whether under the JCT, FIDIC or any other Condition of Contract, the basic principle is that what is stated in the Form of Tender (FOT) is the tender sum, however computed or calculated. If this sum is different when any arithmetic check is made on the BOQ or other computation, and errors noted, whether such errors make a difference in the bottom line total, that is carried to the FOT or not, the error must be intimated to the tenderer and he must be asked whether he is prepared to stand by his tender or withdraw same.
FIDIC does not indicate any methodology for dealing with arithmetic errors in this manner, because FIDIC is intended for international use and the principles involved will depended on the culture and policies of the country or client opting to use FIDIC. For example, in most countries of the Middle East, where the arithmetic check reveals a lesser amount in the bottom line total than that stated in the FOT, then the tenderer is asked to reduce his bid to that amount. On the other hand if the bottom line figure is higher that what is stated in the FOT, the tenderer is asked to accept the FOT sum with corrections to the BOQ.
You will therefore see that there is no hard and fast rule. I would however, support the JCT methodology.


Gus on April 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm.

Dear Dr. Deen:
I work for a General Contractor and recently I submitted a value Engineering proposal to replace concrete retaining walls (stone cladded finish) with Earth retaining system (geogrid walls where stone cladding is not required). Our contract FIDIC 87, states that savings are split 50/50 between Employer and contractor. When the numbers were worked out for the proposal, stone caldding was not included. After the approval was granted from the Employer through a variation order, we tried to claim the saving on the stone cladding. The Engineer (who also missed the stone cladding while reviewing our proposal) is refusing stating that stone cladding is not included in the value engineering structural system and thus unwilling to share the saving with us. Please provide some feedbackl on whether or not stone cladding saving shall be shared 50/50.
Thank you.


Gary Jones on April 11, 2012 at 10:03 am.

Dear Sir, one a lump sum contract is in place, how would you expect the relationship to be between both parties i.e. owner and contractor. For example should the owner actively try and work with the contractor to ensure that the contact price is doable, since we often see the owner trying to control the contractor such that it almost ends up like a reimbursable condition with a lump sum contract. Basically what I am trying to say is how much should we allow the owner to get involved with the actual works during EPC?


Dr. Haris Deen on April 21, 2012 at 11:12 am.

Dear Gary,
Whatever the nature of the procurement strategy is, whether lump sum or re-measured or something else, project managers always like to work as a team with everybody involving in project execution towards a common goal.

However from your question am I to understand that the Employer is interfering to the detriment of the project? In any event, there is no way that the Contractor can prevent the Employer’s involvement to oversee or ensure that his requirements are met. If such involvement causes variationa or causes the Contractor to incur costs that were not foreseen then the Employer must pay the Contractor these costs.

When the Contractor submits his tender, it is his responsibility to ensure that the Contract Price is “doable”. Similarly, if the Contract Price was so low that would cause problems for the Contractor and knowing this full well, the Employer has awarded the Contract, then the Employer must suffer the consequences as much as the Contractor. There is no such responsibility on the Employer to support a Contractor who submits a low tender.

The Contractor cannot prevent the Owner’s involvement to any degree.


Dinesh Subasinghe on April 18, 2012 at 10:49 am.

Dear Sir,

1.If the contract is Lump Sum all the variations can be re-measured?, which are apart from the provsional sum and optional items.
2.In the same lump sum project Consultant used to revised the contract sum when issuing the variation order, hence still is it valid to re-measure?

Kindly help me on this.



Dr. Haris Deen on April 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm.

Dear Dinesh,

Yes, variations irrespective of the nature of the contract – lump sum or re-measured, usually are treated as re-measured unless the Engineer and the Contractor agree a lump sum price prior to execution of the variation.

If you are referring to the Qatar General Conditions, then Clause 51 gives the right to the Engineer to issue instructions that will vary the Contract Price without vitiating or invalidating the Contract. Therefore, the practice of indicating a change in the contract price in a VO is usually acceptable and good practice.


Dr. Haris Deen on June 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm.

Dear Dinesh,
Yes Variations irrespective of the nature of the contract – lump sum or re-measured, usually is treated as re-measured unless the Engineer and the Contractor agree a lump sum price prior to execution of the variation.

If you are refering to the Qatar General Conditions, then Clause 51 gives the right to the Engineer to issue instructions that will vary the Contract Price without vitiating or invalidating the Contract. Therefoe, the practice of indicating a change in the contract price in a VO is usually acceptable and good practice.


Naveen on April 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm.

Dear Dr Deen

I have observed that correction of arithmetical errors of Tender bids during Tender Evaluation are dealt with differently in Lumpsum JCT & FIDIC Building contracts.
The contract I am referring to is the contract without quantities wherein the drawings and specifications form the basis of the contract and the Tenderer is given a Blank Bill of Quantity with schedule of items and rates and quantity to be filled in .
In FIDIC the SOR are arithmetically checked and if any errors in SOR the Form of Tender sum is corrected and the Tenderer has to abide by the new Form of Tender sum. If the Tenderer does not agree to correct the errors the bid is disqualified.

But in JCT as per Series 2 ,Practice Note 6, the bid submitted by the lowest Tenderer shall be opened and checked arithmetically.There are two alternatives to deal with arithmetical errors.
First option is that the arithmetical errors should be pointed out to the lowest Tenderer and he has option to stand by the original Form of Tender sum or else withdraw.That is no correction in price is permitted.If the Tenderer elects to stand by his tender then the total amount of error is expressed as percentage of the correct total of the BOQ.
In the 2nd option, correction of Tender price is permitted.In both cases opportunity is given to the lowest Tenderer to stand by his original Form of Tender sum but this is not the case in FIDIC wherein no opportunity is given to the lowest Tenderer to stand by his original Tender bid price i.e Form of Tender sum.

How is it that there are two so divergent ways of dealing with arithmetical errors in building contracts? Which do u feel is the correct way to go about dealing with arithmetical errors in Tender bids for Lump sum building contracts based on drawings and specifications? Is it correct to alter the Form of Tender sum for arithmetical errors in Lump sum Building JCT contracts without quantities?


Gus on April 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm.

Dear Dr. Deen:
I work for a General Contractor and recently I submitted a value Engineering proposal to replace concrete retaining walls (stone cladded finish) with Earth retaining system (geogrid walls where stone cladding is not required). Our contract FIDIC 87, states that savings are split 50/50 between Employer and contractor. When the numbers were worked out for the proposal, stone caldding was not included. After the approval was granted from the Employer through a variation order, we tried to claim the saving on the stone cladding. The Engineer (who also missed the stone cladding while reviewing our proposal) is refusing stating that stone cladding is not included in the value engineering structural system and thus unwilling to share the saving with us. Please provide some feedbackl on whether or not stone cladding saving shall be shared 50/50.
Thank you.


Dr. Haris Deen on September 26, 2012 at 9:33 am.

Dear Ghassan,
Thank you for your query. I believe that I have already responded to this query. However, any VE proposal under FIDIC should take into account all that is removed or deleted in replacement of the alternative work. In your case the stone cladding was part of the works priced for. Therefore, irrespective of whether you and the consultant, inadvertently failed to take into account the stone cladding during the VE assessment, does not matter. In calculating the final analysis everything that constitutes the deleted work should be taken into account and similarly everything that constitutes the replacement works must also be taken into account. You should ask the consultant, if the intention was the deletion only of the said works, then would he have not taken the stone cladding into account to make the saving?


Muhammad on April 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm.

Dear Dr. Deen,

Nice and interesting to read your article. I am new into project management. I have a query which is little bit different and awkward.
In one of my projects (which is Lumpsum Contract), I have changed the original structural steel to Pre engineered Building with the consent of the Client. At the end of the day, the quantity of steel as per the revised design was 40% lower than what was in the original design.
The client demands for a negative variaton to be deducted from the other positive vairations. Is the client right? Or I am eligible for the quantities as per original design.


Dr. Haris Deen on April 26, 2012 at 9:29 am.

Dear Muhammad,
I am flattered that Project Managers also visit my blog. Keep doing so, because very soon I will be writing on Project Management as well.

Coming to your question you have not stated the Form of Contract upon which your contract was awarded. However my response is as follows:

1. Irrespective of the form of contract, what you have suggested is a change in the scope and in a lump sum contract a change in scope will be treated as a variation. The net result (addition or deletion) can be decided on re-measure basis (as this is a scope change) or as a lump sum adjustment. Since the proposal to change the scope came from you as contractor, then the Employer has the right to ask for a reduction as in your case, or if the change itself results in an increase, the Employer can refuse to pay the increase, depending on what you as contractor agree with the Employer. On the other hand if the scope change was instructed by the Engineer and results in an addition or reduction beyond the permitted 20% in aggregate – under Qatari Law 26, then you as contractor will be entitled for new rates on the work which exceeds beyond 20%. That means, if the aggregate value of the varied works, say works out to 50% of the contract sum, then upto 20% of this value the Engineer will apply the contract rates. The next 30% will have to be agreed with the contractor.

2. If the Form of Contract used is the FIDIC Red Book, it could have been possible for you to have offered this as a value engineering proposal. In which case if approved you would have been able to share the savings at 50% to each party. That would be only after deducting your design and other costs.


Musa A ALNATOOR on May 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm.

Dear Dr Haris Deen,

I hope you remember me as one of your students in “Claims Seminar in Qatar” last April, I will appreciate if you advise me about the following case:

I am a contractor with LS contract, BOQ is not mentioned as a contract document , but there is a BOQ signed and stamped by the two parties (again it is not mentioned anywhere that it is a contract document) – I am new to the company- now the client is asking to change some items like Aluminium works to uPVC, they want to buy materials themselves and let me fix, in addition he delayed decision in many submittals (delay documented). Can you help me in dealing with this?


Dr. Haris Deen on September 26, 2012 at 9:31 am.

Dear Musa A Alnatoor
The BQ if included, whether stated as part of the contract or not, should nevertheless be accepted as a contract document for reference as both parties have stamped and accepted the BQ as such by signing and stamping the document. However, the BQ should not be used to decide the scope of work to be executed because, as you say that it is not mentioned as forming part of the contract.
It is usual (and accepted practice) in the construction industry to use the BQ (if provided) for pricing variations. It is perfectly in order for the client to vary the materials for different or in your case cheaper materials to effect savings. However, by procuring the uPVC materials himself the client has denied the contractor (yourselves) from any trade discount or profits that you might have made from the procurement of the materials. Therefore, in my opinion, you are entitles to receive profits on the cost of the materials. I am afraid that I cannot help you any further on this matter without knowing all the facts by investigating all the documents within the contract.


Mourad KRICHEN on June 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm.

Dear Dr. Deen,

I had really appreciated the ‘hot debate’ that you had initiated concerning the variations in Lump Sum Contracts.

I had also noticed that on several occasions, you had insisted upon the principle that ‘ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT IT IS STIPULATED IN THE CONTRACT CONCLUDED BETWEEN PARTIES’.

Actually, I do not fully agree with you at this respect. Parties may conclude on an agreement and sign it; however, courts may not consider some of its terms and/or conditions although parties had previously accepted them. In other words, I want to say that a Contract does not make the law (nor justice). An Employer can not, from one hand, offer to his Contractor an agreement on a lump sum basis, then from the other hand he entitles himself in the same agreement to ‘review’ up/down the lump sum amount subject to the variations that he may order during the performance of the Contract. This is unquestionably an UNFAIR DEAL, and courts may decide unexpected awards at this respect. Surely, the issue is more critical (from the Contractor’s side) when it comes to variations reducing the amount of the Lump Sum; however, we must keep in mind that even for the case of variations resulting in a increase in the lump sum amount, not all Contractors are motivated to perform them (one of the reasons is related to their very busy workload plan).

I would highly recommend that all parties to an agreement must give high consideration to the way they draft that agreement in such a manner to make it based on a clear FAIR offer to all of them.

In conclusion, I want to sat that Employers being ‘too’ smart in the way they draft their agreements may not always work out as they would have wished.

Contracts & Procurement Engineer


Dr. Haris Deen on September 26, 2012 at 9:30 am.

Dear Mourad,

Thank you for your comments on my articles on the Lump Sum contract principle and documentation. You do not however support your opinion with authority. You are advised to read my articles on the laissez faire doctrine in the formation of contracts.

This doctrine has been succinctly explained by the British Judge Sir George Jessel MR in the case of Printing and Numerical Registering v Simpson (1875) LR 19 Eq 462 thus:

“If there is one thing which more than another public policy requires it is that men of full age and competent understanding shall have the utmost liberty of contracting, and that their contracts entered into freely and voluntarily shall be held sacred and shall be enforced by Courts of Justice”

Furthermore Lord Pearson in Trolloppe & Colls Ltd v North-West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board [1973] stated:

“The basic principle is that the court does not make a contract for the parties. The court will not even improve the contract which the parties have made for themselves, however desirable the improvements might be.”

Therefore you can see that all documents forming part of the contract will be enforced by the courts, unless the contract has been entered into under duress.


Robert H Drouin on July 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm.

Dear Dr. Deen,

Thank you for the very interesting and helpful blog !

As I discovered your site while searching advises and definitions, I would like your opinion on a contractual and legal matter:

We have a Lump Sum construction contract were we must indicate our manpower, amongst other quantities information and itemised details, which we did, through the overall estimated man-hours and histograms by trade. There is no where mention of man-hours in the whole document, but only manpower.

In the definition of terms, neither “man-hour” nor “manpower” are shown.

Although the Client said this is not necessary in his control system,he is requiring that we produce our man-hours per item of the construction scope of work. As we are on a Lump Sum, we fear that the Client may come back during the project to try and compensate some change orders with hours that we have gained in productive items (in case of substancial claim and if the overall productivity was good, it happened that the justice would only compensate for the actual difference between the bidded hours and actual hours spent, which would generate a large loss for the contractor).

What are the risks and negative impact that may occur if we present our detailed man-hours per item?

Could you please give me your opinion on the matter?

Thanking you in anticipation and best regards,

Robert Drouin,
P. Eng, MBA


Dr. Haris Deen on September 25, 2012 at 10:15 pm.

Dear Robert,
Sorry for the delay in responding. Firstly, I was researching for any cases to support my response, but I could not find any specific ones. However, following the rulings in San Paolo and Williams v Fitzmaurice, any lump sum contract is executed on the basis that the contractor has to execute all that indispensably required to complete a known scope of works. Extending this principle it is reasonable to suggest that how the contractor has priced the bid in a lump sum contract is a matter for the bidder and should not affect the payment terms. Having said this, I must clarify that project managers often require the breakdown of the rates in the manner you have stated. This is purely for the purpose of evaluating variations and should not be used for valuing the utilisation of resources in execution of the Works. This is the best I can do without access to all the documents forming part of the contract.


Michael on September 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm.

Dr Deen,
I have read your article and the comments with interest.
I have a query however regarding JCT intermediate Building Contract 2005.
We have a refurbishment project where the client has provided drawings, specification and a schedule of works with descriptions and provisional quantities for nearly all the items on the project.
These quantities have then in many cases been drastically reduced (up to 80%) as a lot of the works were not required. The clients QS is valuing the items on a pro-rata basis leaving us with a massive under recovery.
There are no detailed bills and some items do not have quantities at all.
Should the contract be considered lump sum in such circumstances and is the client allowed to deduct the value of the extensive works that were not required in such a manner.
What is your view


khristine on November 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm.

Good day!

I would like to ask regarding the manpower issue.
We advise the contractor to execute some additional jobs then they will claim it through time sheet basis. When I received their variation order, they have included in their claim the Project Manager. My question is, are they allowed to claim for the Project Manager? These additional job is not part of the Lump Sum Contract. This is my first time to encounter a variation including the Project Manager.




Nasir Saleem on March 5, 2013 at 10:05 am.

In our Lump Sum Contract it is mentioned that the haulage distance for dumping the excavated material from the Construction Site to the Dump Site (tip) (to be provided by the Client) is 45km.

The Client however provided a Dump Site which is about 22km from the Construction Site and he is claiming savings (reduction to Contract price) based on this. Is the Client’s request for savings in this instance valid considering that this is a Lump Sum Contract?


Dr. Haris Deen on March 26, 2013 at 7:53 am.

Dear Nasir Saleem,
In a Lump Sum contract the risks are shared by both sides and as such if the haulage distance was more than what is stated in the contract the Engineer will use the argument that this was a lump sum contract and no extra charge will be considered. Using the same logic and argument, the Engineer cannot deduct anything for the reduction in the haulage distance.
Dr. Haris Deen


Ihab Khairy on March 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm.

Dear sir,

I am Eng. Ihab khairy, 13 years QS experience, and i have one question:

If the contractor are received a site work instruction for additional works, and the project is Lumpsum project, so the additonal quantity should be measured from the shop drawings, but i am asking about the omission quantities, the contractor should be measured it from tender drawings? or omit the BOQ quantities for same item? please clarify


Dr. Haris Deen on March 26, 2013 at 8:00 am.

Dear Ihab Khairy,
The item to be deducted is not re-measured, It is completely deducted from the Contract according to the BOQ – Because you do not measure lump sum items. However for the additions – since the scope is different you must measure the work to be executed from the IFC drawings and price the item accordingly. The quantity may be equal to, less than or more than what was deleted. It does not matter.
Dr. Haris Deen


zeid on March 25, 2013 at 11:12 pm.

Dear Dr. Deen,

I have a question regarding variations in lump sum contract.

First the consultant is following the BOQ, Drawings & specs. for every single item.

we got a variation with a similar items that exists in the BOQ, are we entitled to quote the same unit rates for the new variation knowing that the tendering stage done before six months.

Thank You & Regards,



Dr. Haris Deen on March 26, 2013 at 7:45 am.

Dear Zeid,
To give you a proper answer, I need to know the Conditions of Contract upon which your query is based and the country in order to connect it with the law,

Generally all conditions of contract stipulate that variations of similar nature to what is provided in the BOQ as an iten will be priced at the rate or price in the BOQ or Schedule of Prices. The fact that it is a lump sum contract does not matter as what is stated in the conditions of contract will override any other consideration.
Dr. Haris Deen


Mountasser on April 16, 2013 at 11:25 am.

“Such contract the contractor’s obligation is defined in wide terms. His obligation is to complete the whole of the works. The works have not been described in great detailed as would be in a bill of quantities. “The shorter and simpler the description of the work to be carried out, the more difficult it will be for the contractor to contend that work is extra” (Uff, 2009). The additional work for the foundations will not entitle the contractor to an extension of time because it is part of the widely defined scope of works and therefore included in the original time for completion. “Such necessary works are not extras, for they are impliedly included in the lump sum” (Furst and Ramsey, 2006). This is clearly demonstrated in Sharpe v San Paulo Railway Company where the contractor had agreed to build a railway between fixed termini for a lump sum. Included in the lump sum was excavation of just over two million cubic yards which was calculated by the engineer. It turned out that actual volume of excavation was in fact just over four million cubic yards. The contractors claimed they were entitled to a great deal more due to the understated engineer’s specification. However the court of appeal held that the contractors could not claim for the additional excavation. As per Sir W.M. James, L.J.:
In this case the contractors undertook to make the railway, not to do certain works; but they undertook to complete the whole line, with everything that was requisite for the purpose of completion, from the beginning to the end; and they undertook to do it for a lump sum …”
That is the risk that the contractor takes on a widely defined scope of work and he must judge for himself and be satisfied that he has allowed for all that would be necessary to complete the works.”

This is quoted article from other essay but useful,

great job

thanx D. Haris



Archana Mayadunne on May 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm.

I’m having this issue in pricing this tender for a design & build contract. As the contract BOQ cannot be changed, when a tender drawing revised, what will be the process on including those in BOQ for pricing?
And what if i price the given BOQ from Client without altering anything in BOQ and price properly my alternative offer? i’m little confused here. Kindly request anyone to help me out.
I’m in Qatar & 66538470 is my mobile number. I request early advice as i have to submit the tender within another two weeks.

Thanks & Regards,


rey on May 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm.

Sir Harris,
I have a question pertaining to “Art. 16 of Law No. 8 of 1986 amended by Law No. 26 of 2005 restricts the right of the engineer to increase or decrease the works by more than 20% of the contract sum”.
My questions are?
– We have a project here in Qatar using Qatar GCOC Lump sum contract. non in the contract mentioned that in exceeding 20% of variation contractor has the mandatory right to make his own BOQ (meaning deleted the existing BOQ and prepare according to his rate, e.g duct works was quoted as “1 lot” since there is an additional floor required by client they replaced the 1 lot to m2) i told them to use or priced the ductwork with thesame unit 1 lot.
– Is it a mandatory law the 20% limit for variation even it is not mentioned in Particular conditions of Contract & can you elaborate this law.
– I ordered the contractor to use the BOQ rate as reference rate for those item the same in the BOQ and use new rate for new items substantiated with quotatiuon to be agreed by both parties.
– Can i quantify the excess to 20% for all new items only with the new rate & use the same rate for all items already in the BOQ?
Hope you can reply the soonest possible time.

Thank you in advance,
Rey of QATAR


admin on May 22, 2013 at 6:20 pm.

Dear Rey,
Thank you very much for your query. There are two issues connected with your question.
Firstly, Law No. 26 is intended to protect Contractors, particularly in respect of lump sum contracts. Please remember that the 20% increase or decrease is from the total contract sum and not from individual items. Also it does not mean that the Engineer cannot increase or decrease the scope of contract beyond 20% either way. He can, but the Engineer must compensate the contrator for loss of profit if there was a decrease and different rates if there was an increase.

In your case,I would not allow the contractor to re-measure the ducting on m2 basis when he has submitted a “Lot” price. He must be made to provide a proper breakdown of the “lot” price to obtain a rate. Keeping in mind that Law 26 applies only when the omissions or additions are in excess of 20% of the total contract sum – not on individula items, it is not acceptable to re-measure any part of the work in alump sum contract. You may request a BOQ only for the changes while deleting the omitted works wholly from the contract BOQ.
New rates are only for the work in excess of 20% and not for all the work, although changed.
Where, BOQ rates are applicable they can be used only upto 20% and new rates for the work in excess of 20%.


Leonard Nzeduru on May 31, 2013 at 8:54 pm.

Dear Haris,
I signed a Lump Sum Contract to rehabilitate a hospital in October, 2011. The contract is in 3 phases as the client did not want to close the entire facility during the rehabilitation.

The BOQ provision for plumbing, tiles and a few other aspects were exhausted in phase 1 as the other 2 phases has been in use since the rehabilitation commenced. Who pays for the provision of these items as we are currently rehabilitating phase 2.

Thank you as I await your reply,
Leonard, Abuja!


Emmanuel Tinkasiimire on June 11, 2013 at 1:02 am.

Iam supervising a consultant who is executing a lump sum contract for the design and supervision of a 12 storey office block. The ToR indicated an estimated current and projected built area of 10,000sq.m but has increased to 50,000sq.m. after the design. All the other items in the statement of requirements have remained unchanged. Payments are pegged on deliverables like; Inception Report, Conceptual Designs, Scheme Design, Final Design Report, Tender action, Supervision e.t.c, but in percentages. Would you think that the consultant is entitled to a corresponding increase in fees as he is insisting?


vicktor on June 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm.

If an item in boq is 500m2 for painting and if in reality as a contractor I have done 5000m2 am I entitled to get compensation claims for the same. We r operating a lumpsum contract in oman. Also I had quoted higher price fir Grc but the client citing the same modified it and changed it with new rates. Also while signing contract the client said we r reducing 50% Of the blockwork quantity as we are reducing the no. Of walls. But the quantity itself was wrong and I executed the full but they r clearing the same 50 less. What is ur take on these 3 issues. 1 painting 2grc 3 block.


vicktor on June 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm.

Dear sir
Another instance happened to me. Missing items in boq but specified in drawing. What is the heirarchy in a lumpsum contract. Should I execute something which I have not quoted for.


Harsha on June 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm.

Dear Sir,

please describe what happen in the Lump -Sum Contract one boq item mentioned 50m Cable Length, but at the time of executions qty of cable is 125m. if contractor can variations order?
please note at time of quoting not provide the cable path or site layout.



Simon Mattimoe on August 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm.

Dr. Harris Dean,
We are currently working on a Lump Sum Contract.
We are “back to back” with our sub contractors.
The client issued stage D information including a schematic. The Stage D estimation did not show any earthing cable sizes. We made an allowance of 95mm. The total allowance for the earthing installation was £40,000 including earth bars, cables and terminations This is clearly identified in the Contract pricing schedule.
The client issued Stage E information. The new stage E information upon which the contract is based showed all earthing cables as 300mm on the schematic in small writing at the edge of the page.
The sub contractors estimator appears to have missed the change from the 95mm cable to the 300mm cable.
The client now wishes to reduce his 300mm cable to lower sizes.
The client is seeking monies for this reduction.
Each meter that we give back based on a 300mm cable means that we are giving back more than we had included within the bid.
Within our quantified schedule of rates which forms an appendix to the contract (although containing errors) clearly states 95mm. However the schematics from the designer clearly show 300mm cable.
Is there an argument to only omit the 95mm cable that was included? Is there a case for “what didn’t go in can’t come out”?
Normally under a lump sum contract we would value the variations on their own merit. If we do this on this occasion we will give back more than what we have allowed as well as still having to buy the smaller earth cables, earth bars and terminations with -£ Money.
We wish to present a case on behalf of our sub contractor to avoid any possibility of punishing them further and ultimately ensure that they don’t go out of business!


Dr. Haris Deen on September 19, 2013 at 7:05 am.

Dear Simon,
I am afraid that any argument that you present in support your sub-contractor is likely to fail, unless you have requested clarification of cable sizes at the tender stage and 95 mm was confirmed. Or if you had stated that in the absence of cable sizes you had priced the earthing cables for 95 mm, then you can fight a case. It appears from your comment that neither of the above has happened, therefore it would appear that you might have difficulties here. However, you may use your quatified schedule as a basis and put forward an argument, using any pricing notes that your sub-contractor might have, and supported by prices from recognised cable suppliers that the prices of 95mm and 300 mm cables are obviously different, then an arbitrator might support your case as a genuine mistake, depending on the nature of the argument that you are prepared to put. Good luck


Amar on August 29, 2013 at 3:35 pm.

On contract award it was realized ‘Provisional sums’ item and amount are mentioned in BoQ, but there in no clause within bespoke contract conditions for Provisional sum. Shall this item be treated as lumpsum-fixed price.
What external document would lawfully substantiated for the “Provisional sum” definition to the Client/Consultant?


Dr. Haris Deen on September 19, 2013 at 6:52 am.

Dear Amar,
No, If the sums have been stated as provisional sums in the contract BOQ and the BOQ is a contract document, then these cannot be treated as lump-sum fixed price. Please refer to FIDIC Red Book Sub-Clause 13.5


Sancho on October 12, 2013 at 1:30 pm.

Dear Harris,
This is another issue I encountered recently as a Contract Administrator in one project I am handling in MENA region. I am in the Client side.

The lump sum contract attached 2 documents – Scope of Works & BOQ. Many clauses in the contract always mentioned about the Scope of Works, but BOQ has never mentioned in any of the clauses. In one of the notes in the Scope of Works, it states that “In case of discrepancies, this Scope of Works takes precedence over the BOQ.”. The fact is that there are many discrepancies between the BOQ & the Scope of Works, BOQ favors the Contractor, Scope of Works favors the Client.

The Problem: Though all pages in the Contract were all signed by both parties, the Scope of Works (as annex to the contract) was only signed by the Client (no signature from Contractor). While in the BOQ both parties have signed.

My Question: Between these 2 conflicting documents, which should governed?

Please need your opinion.


Dr. Haris Deen on October 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm.

Dear Sancho,
Based on the following decided cases:
Williams v Fitzmaurice (1858) 157 ER 709
Walker v Randwick Municipal Council (1929) SR (NSW) 84 and the famous San Paolo case, no single document decides the scope. Unless I have access to all the documents submitted during the tender I cannot give a proper opinion. The BOQ does not decide the scope. The contractor will be required to do everything required for the completion of the intended projects with the minimum requirements, unless anything else is specified.
Dr. Haris Deen


Sancho on October 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm.

Dear Dr. Harris,
Thanks for reply. The Contractor refuse to do some items of work mentioned in the Scope of Works as they cannot found in the BOQ. Thus, the Contractor stands firm on BOQ as it is signed by both parties, while in the Scope of Works only the Client signed it. The project is not completed as Contractor refuse to execute unless it is treated as variation order, say “Roadway Markings & Signs” is stated in the Scope of Works but is not found in the BOQ.


Sancho on October 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm.

Dear Dr. Harris,

I have another inquiry. If any of the pages or its appendices of the contract not signed by one party (say only Client signed), can it still be binding? Or that particular page incompletely signed can be considered ineffective or still binding?

Our contractor dispute the Client as one clause is pushed by the client to the contractor to comply. But Contractor rejected as that particular clause page is not signed by him, only the client signed it.

Please advise.



Sancho on October 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm.

Dear Dr. Harris,

Another issue regarding lump sum contract wherein construction of temporary facility structures are included in the contract scope of works to be implemented by the Contractor.

My question is who will be the owner of these temporary structures after completion of the project, is it the Client or Contractor? considering that it is stated in the scope and BOQ to be provided by the Contractor. For example, the temporary security fencing of the camp, is the Contractor have the right to take it back after completion of the project? Of course he will use this one to their next project.


Vladimir on February 14, 2014 at 11:32 am.

Dear Dr. Haris,

I would appreciate some help on Lump Sum contract issue.

On a Lump Sum Fixed price contract where Pricing Schedule used to evaluate variations and for interim payment, significant mistake in quantities was noted. I will explain.

Pricing Schedule was prepared by the Consultant, but the Trade Contractor was to re-measure all quantities and add/omit any work as required and in line with tender drawings and specification.
Pricing Schedule included for 110 doors.
During the tender period addendum drawings were issued and clearly showed only 40 doors required.
The Trade contractor didn’t adjust qty of the doors and priced for 110 doors instead of 40. At the same time some other quantities were adjusted by the Trade Contractor. Lump Sum Fixed Price agreement was signed.

Can the Consultant reduce contract sum accordingly? Or shall the Trade Contractor be paid for 110 door even so only 40 door installed?



Dr. Haris Deen on February 14, 2014 at 7:31 pm.

Dear Vladimir,
Your case is a typical lump sum contract and you have explained your problem correctly making it easier for me to express an opinion. Let us take a hypothetical situation where your QS has indicated 40 doors in the Pricing Schedule instead of 110 doors and 110 doors are actually required, would you then agree to pay the Trade Contractor for the additional 70 doors? of course not. You will obviously adduce the argument that this is a Lump Sum Contract and the risk is with the Contractor. The same applies in the reverse case as yours. You will be in breach if you try to reduce the no. of doors now. If your QS made the mistake he must bear the consequences and the risk is with the Owner.


Alexandra on October 19, 2014 at 5:34 pm.

Good afternoon Dr. Deen,

I am new to the construction industry and have been following your articles with great interest. I am slightly confused about this comment. If the contractor can claim for the 110 doors even though only 40 were installed, wouldn’t this be the same as claiming for works not executed and therefore, unjustified enrichment?


Dr. Haris Deen on November 13, 2014 at 4:34 pm.

Dear Alexandra,
I believe that I responded to your query. It depends on the state of the BOQ as to whether it is contract document. If 110 doors have been measured but only 40 doors are needed, then certainly the contractor would have noticed this at the time of tender. If the contractor can proves that the cost of 70 additional doors will compensate him for items missed out from the BOQ which he is required to provide under the LS contract, then he will be entitlled for the additional 70 doors. The contractor is certainly not entitled for payment where he has not excuted work and conversely the Employer is not entitled to get the contractor to do work without any payment


Faizullah on March 16, 2014 at 6:02 pm.

Dear Sir,

We have a problem in one of our Contract which is based on Qatar General Conditions of Contract. It is lump sum project. The Contractor and Employer agreed on cost and time of a variation work and VO signed by both of them. Later on it was realized that Contractor has wrongly valued the works and even the Consultant did not check and hence variation order is now closed. My question is ” Is there any way to reopen this variation order”?

thanks and regards,


Dr. Haris Deen on March 19, 2014 at 9:05 am.

Dear Faizullah,
Thank you for your query. Unfortunately the General Conditions do not provide for any corrections of a VO after agreement. Also remember that the VO is issued only after both parties have signed it, The Contractor should have noticed this before signing the VO. Having said this, if you can prove a genuine mistake the Consultant and Engineer might act reasonably to correct the VO. However, they are at liberty to reject as well since it is the Contractor’s responsibility to ensure correct pricing of the VO.
Dr. Haris Deen


Faizullah on March 19, 2014 at 9:09 am.

Dear sir,

Thanks for your response.
The error is of such a magnitude that we are even planning to take help of civil law i.e law no 22 of 2004 which says that errors are to be corrected. Please advise in light of law.

Thank and best regards



Dr. Haris Deen on March 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm.

Dear Faizullah,
Yes you might try under Articles 130 to 133 which states as follows:
Article 130
1. Where a contracting party commits a mistake without which he would have not given his consent to the terms of the contract, such contracting party may demand voidance of the contract if the other contracting party commits the same mistake, or knows of its occurrence, or could easily have detected such mistake.
2. However, voidance of a contract in respect of gifts may be requested without taking into account the other contracting party’s participation in the mistake or his knowledge thereof.
Article 131
The effect of the mistake shall be enforced even where it applies to the rule of law concerning any matter of the contract.

Article 132
A party whose consent was the result of a mistake may not insist on such mistake in a manner contrary to the principles of good faith. The other party may, in particular, insist on or plead to the conclusion of the intended contract, provided that substantial harm is not caused.
Article 133
The validity of the contract shall not be affected by mere arithmetical or writing mistakes. These errors must, however, be simply corrected by mutual agreement between the parties.
However it depends on how you submit your claim. The statements are important to establish mistake from both sides or malicious intent from the Engineer.


Faizullah on March 19, 2014 at 1:07 pm.

Dear Sir

Thanks for your help. My last question is that the proof of malacious intent of engineer would be difficult but it can easily be proved that Engineer was negligent in assessing or valuing the varied works.


David C on July 27, 2014 at 10:54 am.

Dr. Deen

I have read your article and the numerous contributions and examples with interest. This is an ongoing basis for dispute in the ME. To my mind Employers in the region are trying to achieve the advantages of re-measurement and the advantages of a lump sum contract in the same contract, without the risk associated with either model. Where quantities and items not allowed for in the Bill are required, they refer to the lump sum basis of the price and expect the Contractor to have allowed for such in his price. Where they believe that the quantities in the Bill are overstated (normally prepared by the Employer), the refer to the Doctrine of Restitution (or unjust enrichment) claiming that the Contractor cannot be paid for work not executed.

If the Doctrine can be used in the way suggested, the unjust enrichment could be the simple overstatement of quantities in the Bill prepared by the Employer and the Employer is then entitled to remeasure when it is financially advantageous to him, on the basis that the work was not executed, which happens frequently in the ME. I don’t believe that this interpretation of the doctrine is correct. My view is that if the Employer wishes to vary the scope of the Contract, the rates in the Bill should be used to evaluate the value of such a change and no further. This change, however, must be based on a change to the drawings and specifications on which the tender was based. If your contention that the Bill is a part of the scope definition (and I don’t agree with that statement), the Employer could change the scope simply by changing or defining the quantity of an item required, thereby effecting a re-measurement, a practice that is not uncommon in the ME. In my view, the basis of a lump sum contract is that there can be no re-measurement, constructive or otherwise. The incorrect statement of a quantity in the Bill does not unjustly enrich the Contractor given that he is required to check the quantities and establish items not included in the Bill and include for such in the lump sum



Dr. Haris Deen on September 24, 2014 at 9:53 am.

You are absolutely right David. Employers in the ME region are getting away with “murder” and consultants are no better. I had suggested to several contractors to test this in courts and they have not dared to do so for fear of losing contracts. However, prudent contractors price this as a risk. That may be the reason why some contractors make massive profits while the less fortunate ones lose money. Hope wiser counsel will prevail and some contractor has the courage to test it in courts.


David on September 17, 2014 at 10:08 am.

Dr. Deen,

Good day to you,

I will be grateful if you can provide your opinion for the following dispute item araise from the Lump Sum Contract -Omission Item.

We have consider the following:-
1) Contractor did not make any adjustment in the Tender Adjustment Schedule during the tender stage.

Scenario One
1) Pricing Schedule (BQ) – 5nos x QR200k = QR1mil
2) Contract Drawing (Actual) – 3nos
For the omission items, do you omit 3nos x QR200k = QR600k from the Contractor?

Scenario Two
1) Pricing Schedule (BQ) – 5nos x QR200k = QR1mil
2) Contract Drawing (Actual) – 8nos
For the omission items, do you omit 8nos x QR200k = QR1.6mil from the Contractor?

Please advise :-
1) If there is a limit during the omission (capped at BQ amount)


Dr. Haris Deen on September 24, 2014 at 9:42 am.

Dear David,
I cannot give you authoritative responses to hypothetical questions. The methodology used for adjustment of items such as what you have mentioned depends on whether the contract is a lump sum contract or a re-measured contract.

If the contract is a lump sum contract containing the items that you have mentioned there is no adjustment whether the quantity increases or decreases. YOU CANNOT INTRODUCE AN ELEMENT OF RE-MEASURE TO A LUMP SUM CONTRACT UNLESS THE CONTRACT SAYS SO.
If the contract is measure and value contract then the decrease in an item is valued as an omission at the contract rate and similarly an increase in an item is also measured and added to the contract value at the contract rates.
Dr. Haris Deen


ross hampton on March 8, 2016 at 10:20 am.


Speaking from my experience of the same issue within a FIDIC Red Book contract in the Middle East I have been advised of the following:

The amount of the omission should be the quantity shown on the contract drawings x the rate within the Bill of Quantities.

If the contract drawings show 3 no. irrespective of whether the BQ states a higher or lower number. 3 no should be deducted.


If the BQ is produced by the Contractor the quantities are his risk. Likewise if the BQ has been produced externally, but includes a section for ‘additional items’ and the contractor has failed to price the rectification of incorrect quantities under this section, this is his risk. If the BQ does not include an ‘additional items’ section and has been produced by a third party then this is their error and the value of that error should be pursued via an insurance claim by the aggrieved party.




Dr. Haris Deen on March 8, 2016 at 12:52 pm.

The omission must be the quantity shown in the BOQ, because you cannot omit more than what has been priced for by the Contractor. However, in a Lump Sum Contract where the BOQ is part of the contract, omission can be only the quantity in the BOQ while when executing the works, if the actual quantity exceeds the BOQ this is a contractor’s risk, and if the quantity priced for is less than what is executed this is a owners risk.


Celso on October 15, 2014 at 9:45 pm.

This is an eye opener.


S. Fareed on October 20, 2014 at 11:45 am.

Dear Dr. Harris,

Can you please advise me in a Lump Sum Contract (Based on FIDIC 1999 First Edition), can the Contractor refuse to carry out a Provisional Sum item of work. If yes, does the Contractor require to give reasons justifying why he is unable to carry out the PS.




Dr. Haris Deen on November 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm.

Yes, if the contractor does not have the expertise or facility to carry out work required to be executed under a provisional sum he can refuse to undertake such work. However, when the contractor entered into the contract he knew that there were provisional sums within the contract sum and having contracted to do so he will have difficulty succeeding in a refusal.


David C on November 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm.

Dr Deen

I am not sure that I agree with your response. If it is a provisional sum, it is by definition an amount allowed in the contract document, thus it constitutes part of the work to be carried out. If it is not in the contract, then the work constitutes a normal Variation.

If the work covered by the provisional sum is not properly described or the Employer wishes to use the amount for work not described in the contract (both of which happen frequently), the Contractor could refuse to undertake the work if it is not required to complete the scope of work defined in the contract.

I believe that it would be difficult for a Contractor to refuse to undertake work covered by a provisional sum based on expertise or facility given that most of provisional sum work is, in any event, undertaken by specialist subcontractors.



Dr. Haris Deen on November 19, 2014 at 4:15 pm.

Dear David,
I don’t believe that you read my response fully, Also the question appeared to be hypothetical.
Anyway, my considered opinion having taught quantity surveying and contract administration and being familiar with most conditions of contract, I can safely say that provisional sums are provided in a BOQ for a variety of reasons. I have also found some QS’s using all kinds of euphemism to put contingencies in as provisional sums. However, all contracts provide for dealing with provisional sums, that they can be deleted entirely from the contract sum or used in part or full as instructed by the Engineer. If the provisioanl summ is for specific specialist work, then the Employer will obtain quotations for such work giving an opportunity for the contractor also to submit a price. Some contractors who have the expertise in the relevant works submit a price, some obtain prices from sub-contractors and others do not submit prices.
If you had read my response fully you will realise that I also qualified my answer by stating that the contractor having been given the opportunity of knowing what he was pricing for including provisional sums in the tender might have difficulty in refusing to execute such work. But remember that the proviiosal sum has been included in the tender BOQ by the Employer and as I explained earlier it is only a provision for known or unknown work at the time of tender. Therefore, any court will support a contractor refusing to undertake work that he does not have the expertise or resources to execute and that he did not know at the time of tender what type of work is to be executed against such provisional sum. That is the reason that contracts define provisional sums in a manner of flexibility.


David C on November 20, 2014 at 7:17 am.

Dr. Deen

I read your response correctly, perhaps you should read my response more carefully. The question was whether a contractor can refuse to carry out work covered by a provisional sum. The methods used to implement a PS and what you may or may not have taught students are not at issue.

A PS is an amount allowed in the contract for work and thus the Contractor will know of its existence, additional work post contract signing is a Variation regardless of what semantics you may choose. In the event that the work is not described or described so inadequately that the Contractor cannot be expected to understand the nature of work included, the work covered by the PS would be part of the scope of the work and thus the Contractor could not refuse to undertake such.


Rick on October 20, 2014 at 6:06 pm.


I will be grateful if you can give your opinion with regards to my current contractual issues on a Lumpsum contract project.

Contractor is considering filing a Change for the “unforeseen” utilities which they said is not included in tender drawings. My argument is as “experienced” contractor they should have anticipated and this is determinable especially the area affected is a residential… an “unforeseen” utility might be like if you are in a middle of the desert and you found a telephone lines etc.. The only catch what I think reason the contractor is so eager to file for a Change is that there is something in the contract which it states that…Connection of houses related to existing utilities not shown on the Contract Drawings or Documents and unforeseen utilities that are not shown on the Contract Drawings, provided that the cost of these is reasonable, in the aggregate within US$ 38,457,000.

Thanks in advance.


Dr. Haris Deen on November 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm.

Dear Rick,
The mere fact that utilities found underground have not been shown on the drawings does not make them unforeseen. If the contractor is executing work in a green field area and he finds a live electric cable underground this is certrainly unforeseen and unforeseeable in any green field site. If the contractor was working in an are which was heavily bombed during WWII then he must certainly expect unexploded bombs underground irrespective of whether they are indicated on the drawing or not. Similarly if the contractor was working in an area which had buildings previous he must foresee such obstruction whether they are shown on any drawing or not.


wahyu nurhayanti on November 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm.

Dear Dr. Deen,

To begin with, I want to thank you for this interesting article.

I have a querry related to variation in a lumpsum contract.

I am administering a design-build contract which using FIDIC yellow book and based on lumpsum contract price. The case is that the Employer has an obligation to provide free-issue material in the form of linepipe with specific diameter and wall thickness stated in the Employer’s Requirements. However, it turns out that the Employer cannot provide the linepipe with the determined specification. The actual free-issue materials are linepipes with the same diameter but lesser wall thickness. Since the reduction of wall thickness of the linepipes will affect the thickness of other materials provided by the contractor,such as elbow and hot bends, can the employer request a deduction in contract price to accommodate the reduction of the thickness of the elbows and hot bends procured by the contractor?

To be honest, I doubt the the employer can deduct the contract price since based on the contract, the employer shall provide the free-issue materials under his own risks and costs. Therefore, should the employer failed to provide the free-issue materials in accordance with the original specification, such risks cannot be transferred to the contractor. However, it may still debatable since if what happen is the contrary then the contractor will pursue an additional cost for the specification change.

Would you kindly give an insight regarding this problem?

Thank you very much.


Ahmed Shehadeh on December 23, 2014 at 6:58 pm.

Pls We need your input in the following crucial matter.

Do you think that the Omission in Lump sum contract should be done in accordance to the Qty’s allocated in the BOQ or Qty’s as per drawings ? Do you think that the Employer any amount exceeding the allocated amount in the Cost Plan ?

Our Client is opted to omit item from our scope , this item in the BOQ is 75 m2 whereas the drawings is 2000m2, then in your point of view the omitted amount should be 2000* unit price Or 75 * unit price

In my point of view the ; the Client is not in a position to delate more than the allocated amount in the BOQ, since having this approach from the Client end , we will end up with minus Contract Value.

Pls advise your comments accordingly.



Dr. Haris Deen on May 2, 2015 at 5:28 pm.

Dear Mr Ahmed Sahadeh,
They can deduct only 75m2 because that is all there is in the price However, they insist on the contractor executin 2000 m2 as in the drawing if there is no change in the description or drawing in a lump sum contraact.


Glenn on February 3, 2015 at 4:06 pm.

I have a small lump sum project that was priced by a contractor. The scope of work listed 10 items of work but did not ask for a break down of each item during the bidding process. During the construction phase of the project one item was removed from the scope and the contractor was inform during construction this would be removed. Now he has applied for full payment of the lump sum contract we are asking for a credit on the item not completed and he is concluding it was a lump sum price so no credit is required. We feel that the item was removed and credit should be agreed upon.


Dr. Haris Deen on May 2, 2015 at 5:38 pm.

Dear Glen,
The contractor cannot get paid for work that he has no executed. The Contract should provide for additions, ommissions, etc, which you may be able to use. Please check the contract


Korupolu on March 2, 2015 at 8:12 pm.

I am working as an estimator in a construction company. i would be thankful to you if you could answer the following.

We have got one building project on lump sum basis, in that we have no of bills (different Buildings) in one bill unit rate for the same item is different from other bills.

Consultant asking us why the unit rate is different in this bill while comparing to other bills, he asking us the explanation.

In my opinion it is very difficult to price the same unit rate for the same item in all the bills.

Please advise us is there any contractual problems if unit rate is different for the same item in different bills.


VR Korupolu


Dr. Haris Deen on May 2, 2015 at 6:02 pm.

Dear Korupolu,
In a Lump Sum contract it does not matter how the contractor priced his BOQ. Any error is his risk. There is no contractual problem


Ghaleb Sweedan on May 2, 2015 at 10:00 am.

Dear Dr. Haris

I have a lump sum contract for a core and shell construction project in ksa wherein the BOQ is part of the contract documents besides the drawings, the specifications, work scope, and the contract agreement; the contract agreement stipulates that all documents of the contract are complementary with each other; furthermore, the BOQ has a disclaimer item stating that “in case of conflict among the contract documents, the most stringent one will be binding and applicable”. The general conditions of the contract are copied from FIDIC and translated to Arabic and there are no special conditions considered for this contract. We, as the main contractor of the project, have undergone excessive number of change requests (104) during construction that have caused delays on the time for completion of the project.

Now that I have briefed you about the project, I would appreciate your earliest response to the following case which we are up against with the client and consultant being on one side:
The client has requested a replacement for an item in the BOQ, which has a quantity of 1457 m2 of 40×40 cm granite flooring in ground floor against only 450 m2 shown on contract drawings, with a different size of water jet pattern of marble and granite material for the same area and location; however, insisting on deleting the total amount corresponding to the quantity of the BOQ (1457 m2) and pay only 450 m2 with a new rate as a variation. What is your judgement on such case? And how should we deal with this matter towards the client and consultant who are not certifying our variation?
Ghaleb Sweedan
AlYamama Company


Dr. Haris Deen on May 2, 2015 at 6:33 pm.

Dear Mr Ghaleb Sweeda,
The Contract BOQ supplied for tendering contained 1457 m2 of tiling when it should have been 145 m2. If there was no change then the Employer will have to pay the contractor the total price in the Lmmp Sum quoted for 1457 m2 against the quantity of 145m2 as he cannot introduce an element of re-measure in a lump sum conntract. The reverse is also true if the BOQ contained a quantity of 145 m2 instead of 1457m2 the Employer can insist the Contractor to execute the whole of the 1457 m2 at the lump sum price quoted for 145 m2.


Ghaleb Sweedan on May 3, 2015 at 10:04 am.

Dear Dr. Haris
thank you for your quick reply, but you have not actually answered my question.
the client is changing the type of flooring with completely different type of materials and accepting to change the rate but refusing to pay for the total quantity of the BOQ (1457 m2) and willing to pay for only the quantity estimated from the drawings (450 m2) with the new rate. The variation that we submitted to the client was as follows:
1457 m2 x 543 SR/m2 = 791,151 SR
791,151- (450 m2 x 543) = 546,801 SR
546,801 SR +(450 m2 x New Rate 850 SR/m2) = 929,301 SR
but client did not accept and revised to the following:
(450 m2 x 850 SR/m2) – (1457 m2 x 543 SR/m2) = -408,651 SR
meaning that with this change the client saved 408,651 SR from our LS contract. how could this be possible?
if you were the contractor, how would you deal with this change.
appreciate in advance your response to this matter.
Ghaleb Sweedan


Ghaleb Sweedan on May 9, 2015 at 5:18 pm.

Dear Dr. Haris
i would really appreciate it if you will please answer my question.
thanks and regards


Dr. Haris Deen on May 21, 2015 at 1:43 pm.

Dear Mr Sweedan,
I am sorry for the delay in replying as I had other pressing business to attend to.
Coming to you question the correct way is to delete the whole of the BOQ quantity of 1475 m2 . If you delete the actual quantity of 450m2 then you will be introducing an element of re-measure to a Lump Sum contract which is not the intention. If on the other hand if you delete only 450m2 what happens to the 1025m2 left in the contract which you will not be executing? Surely you do not expect to get paid for work that you will not be executing?
This is a Contractor’s risk that he should have taken into account when submitting his tender. That is why it is very important to check the BOQ in a Lump Sum Contract at the time of pricing a tender. I am sorry that I cannot be of any more assistance to you


Ghaleb Sweedan on May 21, 2015 at 2:09 pm.

thank you Dr. Haris; but what if they have not introduced such change, we would have gotten the whole total price of the 1457 m2 as in the Contract BOQ even though the actual quantity that would be carried out as shown on contract drawings is 450 M2.
wouldn’t you agree?

awaiting your earliest response.

thanks and regards

Ghaleb Sweedan

Ahmed shehadeh on May 2, 2015 at 7:02 pm.

Good day,
I need your input in regard to the below case,
the Employer has opted to Upgrade  and change the Branded Apartment and Hotel balcony Tiling from Porcelain to Reconstituted Stone. However , and after deep study to this issue , the Contractor has reached and concluded that additional Cost is associated with such upgrade of balcony Tiling as instructed by the Employer. In contrary, the Cost Consultant and based on his initial assessment to our submitted Variation in this regard has advised that a Cost Saving for the Employer’s benefits is associated, disregarding that the Contractor will incur a certain loss by implementing the Cost Consultant way of measurements , which is in our point of view is not tenable, but in fact , will cause a direct damage to  Contractor,  since it is very strange toupgrade the Material type and then ask the Contractor to submit a Cost Saving.
The Contractor understanding to the current case in hand, that the Maximum Omission ( deduction ) to be applied due to such upgrade for the balcony’s Tilling,  is the mount allocated in the Cost Plan , which in fact, the Contractor has satisfied himself with, and reflects the same amount that we allowed for during the Tender process to execute this Works, and are not entitled to receive more money than the contract specifies for the same scope of works, irrespective to any inconsistencies in the qty’s.
Typically, it is presumed that the allowed amounts / sums in the BOQ do form a term in our lump sum contract, and its position has relevant insofar in complementing the other documents form the Contract , where the Contractor will not be paid any additional payment if the quantities required to be executed are greater than stated in the bill of quantity & therefore implied that the reverse is also true – being that if the quantities stated in such a Cost Plan are greater than what is required to be executed the contractor will be entitled to receive the full payment against that item. Therefore, any changes in the item description ( change of Materials Sepc) will not allow the Engineer/ Cost Consultant for re-measuring the Contractor’s scope of Works, since the contract averted so , and the Contractor codifies that the maximum amount of deletion/deduction shall be the sum allowed in the Contract for carrying out this particular task.
To this end , the Contractor has used below criteria to calculate the Cost Implications for the upgrade in the Balconies Tilling.
1.       Tilling qty’s in the Cost Plan (Combination of Ceramic tiles with  Saudi granite band including all necessary fixings, fittings, accessories and all related work)  = 2083 M2
2.       Unit Price for the same in the Cost Plan = 92.27 JOD/m2.  
3.       Total allocated lump sum amount for the same in the Cost Plan =  192,615 JOD item B4/9/2 —— Maximum amount of deletion.   
4.       Total Ceramic in drawings which altered to Stone  = 2,520.66 M2.
5.       Unit Rate for Compac Stone as per Jordan Market and submitted by the Contractor is = 99.52 JOD/m2
6.       Therefore , total Cost for Copmc Stone  = 250,856 JOD.
7.       Total Cost Impact = 250,856 – 192,615= 58,241 JOD.
Whereas in fact , and as indicated in M/s NEA’s assessment total deduction is  231,876.570 JOD , whilst the total allocated amount in the Cost Plan for the same item is 192,615 JOD , noting that and as per my viewpoint no Contractual reference and clause can allow them  to deduct and omit any additional amount beyond and above the allocated amount for the same item in the Cost Plan , where our Lump sum Contract is not subject to any re-measurement.


Ghaleb Sweedan on May 5, 2015 at 3:22 pm.

Dr. Haris

looking forward to receiving your response on my earlier question if you will.



Mohamed Rizwan on May 10, 2015 at 9:35 am.

Dear Sir,
I’m facing a Problem in my Project it is a Lump sum Agreed Project. I need to make clear about the variation valuation on bellow conditions.

01. we have agreed to execute a work on a lump sum contract but in our BOQ the Actual Quantity is much more than the existing qyt. now the Engineer does not need that item and he has changed the detail therefore to which qty i need to give the deletion to the real qty or the BOQ qyt?

02. Same as above case the BOQ quantity is lesser than the Actual Quantity Engineer dont want us to do that in this case to which qty i need to give the omission to the agreed lumsum BOQ qty or to the real existing qty which is higher than the BOQ?

could you please provide me the solutions based on FIDIC or any other conditions of contract.


Wael on June 13, 2015 at 4:11 pm.

Omitting an item is not related to the actual quantities. in fact , actual quantities comes from the re-measurement which contradict the lump sum requirements


Anthony Victor on July 28, 2015 at 10:05 am.

Dear Sir,

Could you kindly advise for selection of Master Dissertation Topics on Performance of Lump Sum Projects (Medium Sized).


Dr. Haris Deen on January 24, 2016 at 5:30 am.

Sorry Anthony, for some reason the response to you has got neglected. If you are still looking for a topic please do let me know,


Sameh afify on July 29, 2015 at 3:25 pm.

Dear Sir,
I have query regarding the value engineering in a lump sum contract and the BOQ is part of contract documents. we have special condition which allow the contractor to make a value engineering which stats the cost saving amount shall be shared between the client and contractor 80% to 20%.
I want to know how to calculate the saving. weather based on the BOQ rate or the cost which is the (BOQ rate – contractor’s Proffit).


Dr. Haris Deen on July 29, 2015 at 10:12 pm.

Yes, use BOQ rates where applicable. The 80%/20% split includes overheads and profits as well


Sameh afify on August 3, 2015 at 8:10 am.

Thanks for the reply. your answer is logic. My case is that the contractor is claiming that the contract clause mentions “…,while the cost saving amount will be shared upon the basics of 80% for the Employer and 20% for the Contractor”. since the BOQ unit rate includes the (cost + proffit), therefore the sharing to calculated based on the cost only.
thanks alot.


Sameh afify on August 3, 2015 at 8:20 am.

Dear Sir,

Based on a lump sum contract with BOQ. there was one item mentioned in the tender drawings and BOQ, while during the tendering process it was cancelled by the designer and all the tenderer were officially informed through official circular. unfortunately this item was removed from IFC drawings but not removed from the BOQ, moreover the contractor priced this item and his tender was accepted.
now during construction, the contractor is claiming to get paid of this item since the project is lumpsum, although he will not execute it as per IFC drawings.
taking into consideration that as per the contract the client can omit or add 25% of the contract amount.

Best regards,


Dr. Haris Deen on August 3, 2015 at 11:30 am.

Dear Sameh,
The Contractor in your case is trying it on. I do not know the Conditions of Contract that you are using. However, all contracts provide for dealing with variations. Variations can be additions or omissions from the contract. In your case you have good grounds for omitting the item from the contract, since it is clearly an error to retain it as it was deleted during tender. Furthermore, how can the contractor claim for something that he is not executing? Even in a Lump Sum contract there are limits.


Paul on August 26, 2015 at 12:50 pm.

Dear Sir,
In a LS design and build , yellow fidic, contract the scope of the contract change from open space design in a office building with a fit-out design and the contractor was instructed to follow the fit-out plans.
Because the initial design was only a concept we cannot quantify exactly the mininus and pluses of the executed works and issue a variation order.
Who to establish the addition works needed based on the conceprt design layouts, part of the ER.s? The contractor insists to do the open space design first and to compare with the fit out executed
Please advice
Thank you.


Dr. Haris Deen on September 2, 2015 at 12:38 pm.

Dear Paul,
The structural works are not re-measurable as they are lump sum contract works. There are no omissions.
The fit outs are clearly additional works and has to be measured and valued for payment.
However, when you start executing the fit outs, if you have to make changes to the structural work that was executed under the ls contract, then you will delete only such works that are affected and add back any builders work that work be required to make good the affected part.


Eureka Mzungu on September 1, 2015 at 10:25 am.

Dear Dr Deen
I have read your article with keen interest and it is the situation in which I am that prompted me to come to this forum and I must say I have learnt I great deal. However please bear with me because I am going ask a question similar to what my colleagues have already asked but like you have said everything situation requires a particular response according to the type of contract in use. My question Dr Deen is:

I am a Project Manager for a local company in Botswana. We are involved in a project with a lump sum contract with BOQ forming part of the contract. The contract involves the construction 1nr Single storey Classroom block, 4nr water borne toilets and 5nr LA2 Houses. We are using the FIDIC Red 1999 Edition as our conditions of contract. Any clauses relating to this situation have not been revised they are as they are in the FIDIC Red Book 1999. In the BOQ only the substructure items have been put as provisional quantities and have since been treated as such. Now the situation that we have is the Employer issued a variation order to change the specification of face bricks to be used from FBS face brick to FBX Face brick. The FBX face bricks were priced only under the construction of LA2 Houses at a rate of P590.00/m2 and the FBS face brick was priced under the Classroom block and 4nr toilet blocks at the rate of P300.00/m2. When we submitted our variation claim we used the rate of P590.00 for the FBX face bricks in the Classrom block and the 4nr toilet blocks our basis being rate of a similar item under the same contract. However the Employer now is refusing to pay for this as the amounts have increased significantly. He has opted to re-measure the superstructure and applied the re-measured quantities. The remeasured quantities have decreased from 1864m2 to 854m2 clearly changing by more than 10%. This has significantly reduced the variation claim and we would like to contest it.

1.0 In your own understanding is the employer right to re-measure the superstructure which we feel it is part of the firm quantities where re-measurement is not supposed to be introduced?
2.0 And what is our remedy under FIDIC Conditions of Contract 1999 Edition.
3.0 Do we apply Clause 12.3(a) (i) Evaluation of Measured Works and submit a new rate besides the P590.00 as the quantities have changed by more that 10%?
4.0 What is you interpretation of this Clause in 3.0 above?
5.0 Do we have any case law that can support this scenario?
6.0 We feel the fair way of doing this is to omit 1864 x P300.000 =P559,200.00 and add 1864 x P590.00 =P1,099,760.00 and the difference P540,560.00 is the money due to us. Or can we revise our rate based on the new qty of 854m2?

Your prompt response on the matter will be highly appreciated and will go a great deal in solving our case.
Thank you
Eureka Mzungu


Eureka Mzungu on September 1, 2015 at 10:42 am.

Dr Deen
Can you please respond to my case. Thank you


Dr. Haris Deen on September 2, 2015 at 12:33 pm.

Dear Eureka,
You do not state whether the contract is a lump sum contract. However, by reading the explanation you have provided, it seems to be a lump sum contract, based on the bill of quantities being a contract document.
Before answering your questions specifically, I would like to clarify the following:
(a) You cannot introduce the element of re-measure in a lump sum contract. The Contractor takes all the risks. The BOQ is a document supplied by the Employer as prepared by a quantity surveyor on behalf of the employer. If there are mistakes in the BOQ – it can be both ways, the higher quantity as in your case (then the risk is the employer’s), on the other hand if the quantity is lower than required to execute the risk is the contractor’s. Please ask your employer whether he is prepared to re-measure where the quantity is lower to give the benefit to the contractor. I am sure that he will say no and take refuge in the fact that it is a lump sum contract nit subject to re-measure.

(b) The contractor when pricing a contract does not have the opportunity to change any quantities, to do so would mean submitting an alternative tender. That will also mean changing the conditions for one tenderer from others. Therefore, the tenderer prices the tender on the basis of ‘swings and roundabouts’ by which where he will lose in one item for quantity mistakes he will gain from another.

Having this as the background, the answers to your questions are as follows:
1.0. No the superstructure works are not re-measurable. Only the provisional quantity items in the substructure are re-measurable. However, if there are provisional sums and provisional items included in the superstructure element, then only these are re-measurable. HOWEVER, IF THE CONTRACT IS NOT A LUMP SUM CONTRACT AND FIDIC RED BOOK CLAUSE 12.1 IS RETAINED WITHOUT AMENDMENT, THEN ALL THE WORKS EXECUTED ARE TO BE MEASURED AND VALUED.


3.0 If FIDIC Red book has been used without particular conditions and without stating that the contract is a lump sum contract at the time of tender, then Clause 12.3 (a) is applicable.

4.0. Please see my answer to item 1.0 above
5.0. The case law is only in respect of lump sum contracts and these are given in my article
6.0. The contractor will have a right to request a revaluation according to Clause 12 (a) (I) to (iv) if the changes are exceeding 25%.

Having said all the above, I must advice you that as a project manager, you must act in a fair and reasonable manner. In my 52 years experience as a contracts administrator, I have always acted in a fair and reasonable manner to both sides. It is not in anybody’s interest to hurt the contractor or his cash flow. Similarly, it is not fair to support the contractor where it is unreasonable and will affect the employer.
Good luck with your problem and let me know how you get on.


Eureka Mzungu on September 2, 2015 at 3:35 pm.

Dr Deen
Thank you for the response and it has been of help. I have written the Employer most of the content is based on the responses you have given here and of course with reference to the contract. The Employers QS is in agreement with our arguments. We are waiting for the response as he has to consult other Employer’s Project team members. Thank you for the insight.


Eureka Mzungu on September 8, 2015 at 2:22 pm.

Dr Deen
How do you relate the my question which you responded very to Sub Clause 12.2 a and b of the FIDIC Red Book 1999 Edition.
Eureka Mzungu


Eureka Mzungu on September 8, 2015 at 2:23 pm.

Dr Deen
How do you relate to my question which you responded very well last time to Sub Clause 12.2 a and b of the FIDIC Red Book 1999 Edition.
Eureka Mzungu


Reese on September 10, 2015 at 2:15 pm.

Dear Dr. Deen,

We have a lump sum contract and within that some of our boq items are specified as LS, PS & PC.. my concern is that if we have 1 item LS cost $70/- and what we got from supplier is lesser than that amount, does the client/consultant have the right to deduct the difference from our contract? or if vice versa, do we have the right to claim for a variation as addition to the contract?



Dr. Haris Deen on October 26, 2015 at 5:24 am.

Dear Reese,
No the client has no right to ask a reduction since the item is a firm lump sum contract. What will be the position if you as the contractor had to pay more than $70 will they pay the difference?


Musa on October 1, 2015 at 9:53 am.

Dear Dr. Deen

I am from the client side, the contract is a design & Built contract and it was transferred to our department from other authorities by a novation agreement with the contractor and it is under construction stage. The contractor is claiming that the contract is a Lump sum contract based on a statement mentioned in his proposal under the Measurement and Payment clause states” Payments are on lump Sum basis based on the attached BOQ”. my question is: is this statement Sufficient to prove that the contract is a Lump sum contract? noting that it is not mentioned in any other part of the contract.

your reply is highly appreciated

best regards,



Dr. Haris Deen on October 26, 2015 at 5:21 am.

I have replied this query directly to you


Rizwan Nazir Kazi on October 25, 2015 at 9:35 am.

Dear Sir,
Asslam alikum w rb,

I am working As contract manager in a contracting company. we have completed one of the project as lum sum fixed price contract. after the work has been completed the client is start deducting the item mentioned in BOQ for not done in the site.those item is not shown in drawing or specified as particular specification. my question is that can a client deduct Items from BOQ for not done work Item in BOQ in the Final account without isuing an omission notice during the construction period.


Dr. Haris Deen on October 26, 2015 at 5:19 am.

Dear Rizwan,
Wa Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmathullahi wa Barakaruh,
Irrespective of whether a contract is lump sum or not, the Client can insist the contractor to execute N ITEM THAT IS IN THE BOQ and priced and becomes part of the contract sum. The contractor cannot get paid for what he has not executed. This being the case the client has the right to take out works that are clearly priced for but not executed for any reason. This right is provided for in the contract under the variations clause. However, it has to be treated in accordance with the contract and omitted by a VO.


Ajay Mohan on November 23, 2015 at 11:20 am.

Dear Mr Dean
I am a QS in kuwait working a lumpsum contract based on FIDIC
I am having a situation regarding one variation issued by the owner
The owner deleted one item in the BOQ and replaced with a new item. the problem is that the deduction is more than the BOQ Amount for this item because the Quantities in the bill is less than the quantity measured from the drawing.

Is the owner allowed as per FIDIC to delete an amount greater than the BOQ amount when a complete item is changed.

Please Respond


Dr. Haris Deen on November 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm.

Dear Ajay,
This sort of situation comes up over and over again. In a lump sum contract quantities do not matter as there is no re-measurement. Therefore it is values. If the Employer’s QS made a mistake in the quantities and priced by the Contractor the final price is the criterion by which all adjustments are to be made. For example if the actual quantity to be executed is 100 m2 and the QS by mistake put in 10 m2 the Employer will insist that the Contractor should execute what is shown on the drawing that is 100 m2. The 90 m2 extra being the Contractor’s risk. Similar if the Owner wants to delete items from the BOQ he omits the whole sum – How can he deduct more than what is in the contract? He can therefore deduct only what is there not more. As for payment for the varied work the Contractor must be paid for the full quantity at an agreed price.
Dr. Haris Deen


Rasanga on November 30, 2015 at 10:24 am.

Dear Dr. Deen,

Is it possible to have ‘Rate Only’ item in the BOQ in Lump sum contract BOQ?
Not in Day work or schedule of rates.


Dr. Haris Deen on November 30, 2015 at 9:32 pm.

Yes, Rosanna, it is possible to have rate only items which will not be part of the lump sum. If work is instructed on a rate only item this will be a variation to the contract sum.


BL on January 5, 2016 at 8:32 am.

Dear Dr. Haris ,
A pleasant day to you !
Kindly please advise with this situation ;
We do have a lump sum contract with the interior subcon, it happens the height of the ceiling was lowered 1mtr.,in this case the qty of the area for instance column and wall which to be finish with marble and because of the advise that the ceiling is to be down at 1mtr. the marble finish is to be lessen in each part,my question as a contractor can we deduct the qty of the area in which was affected with the lowered ceiling.Looking forward for your kind reply.



Dr. Haris Deen on January 5, 2016 at 5:35 pm.

If the Interior Sub contractor was informed that there will be change in the wall height at the time of receiving his price then, he should expect a reduction. Otherwise he must be paid for the full height because he might have priced on the basis of a larger quantity as bulk purchase is cheaper.


Dr. Haris Deen on January 7, 2016 at 4:04 am.

I do not know whether your question relates to a hypothetical situation or a factual case. In any case the rates quoted does not matter once the lump sum price is accepted. A contractor might have had a higher rate for an item as a compensating factor for any shortfall in the quantifies or for risks. Therefore as long as the status quo has not changed the rates should remain intact, however much higher they may be. Such higher rates can be contested only when the contractor tries to apply them to variations.


houcine on January 9, 2016 at 3:19 pm.

in case of failure of nominative subcontractor, what will be solution to the main contractor to defend him self against the delays


Dr. Haris Deen on January 11, 2016 at 4:00 am.

Dear Houcine,
I was torn between trashing your query and responding. IT IS NOT NOMINATIVE SUBCONTRACTOR IT IS NOMINATED SUBCONTRACTOR. Firstly although the contractor is nominated by the Employer the contractor can object to yhe nomination if he has reasons by virtue of experience working with such a subcontractor. Once the contractor accepts the nomination he enters into a subcontract with such NOMINATED SUBCONTRACTOR. Thereafter, it is the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that the nominated subcontractor performs according to contract. If the nominated subcontractor is delayed in performance which results in a delay to the contractor’s works then the delay damages must be recovered from the subcontractor. It must be proved without doubt that the delay to the project completion was entirely caused by the nominated subcontractor for a claim against him to be successful.


houcine on January 11, 2016 at 8:08 am.

Many thanks for your reply Dr.Haris
first of all, we are talking about client nominative supplier who delay the project completion date.
the responsibility of this delays can be imputed to the Employer or only to the Main Contractor.


S.Khan on January 14, 2016 at 2:57 pm.

An arithmetic correction was observed in financial evaluation of epc contract,which has increased the price of the project. The Contract was awarded with increase price.
The Contract was signed by the Contractor and Employer.
After three months tine it was found that the arithmetic correction was not carried out in the Price schedule. The epc Contractor claimed the arithmetically correct price , but was rejected by the employer.
Please advise what is the remedy. Who will correct the mistake in the Contract .Document which are signed by both parties.


Dr. Haris Deen on January 15, 2016 at 3:29 am.

Dear Khan,
If the contract sum is stated in the letter of award as the corrected sum and the Agreement also states the corrected sum which is signed by both parties, then this is the contract lump sum. The arithmetic error in the BOQ can be corrected to conform with the agreed contract sum


Stor on January 19, 2016 at 5:10 pm.

Hi Mr. Harris Dean,

I have a question in relation to the use of FIDIC here in the Middle East (lump sum contract). We have a situation where the contractor is claiming for additional cost of re-configuring a mechanical room because the space provided in the original design is not enough for the MEP equipment and does not meet the authority requirements. However, we are rejecting this claim as the contractor is responsible to study this at the tender stage before submitting his lump sum price. Are we correct in rejecting the claim?


Dr. Haris Deen on January 21, 2016 at 6:22 am.

Dear Ian,
I am unable to give you an authoritative reply without studying the tender conditions and instruction to renderers. However, it is unreasonable to assume that the tenderer will have a crystal ball to see what might happen unless it was something obvious. In this case as you say if the “space provided” by the Employer at the time of tender was insufficient, in my view there was no way the contractor to assume that this space would be insufficient. In my opinion the contractor must be given the benefit of doubt and be paid for the actual additional costs involved irrespective of it being a lump sum contract.


Ajay Mohan on February 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm.

Dear Mr Dean

There is a statement that the “float belongs to the owner”

what does this mean.

does that mean that float on all activities belong to the owner



Dr. Haris Deen on March 1, 2016 at 7:44 am.

Hi Ajay Mohan,
If the contract says that the float belongs to the OWNER, then that has to be respected. That means that the Owner can instruct variations to be executed within the float period without EOT


technology blog 654 on January 24, 2016 at 3:23 am.

I don’t see a prompt or indication about how to start writing a blog. I want to know how to initiate one. Thank you..


Dr. Haris Deen on January 24, 2016 at 5:28 am.

Please contact any IT person who can help you.


Hammed on March 2, 2016 at 10:25 pm.

please what are the primilaries under lump sum


Dr. Haris Deen on March 3, 2016 at 8:36 am.

As stated in the BOQ


SHIBU NARAYANAN on March 24, 2016 at 12:50 pm.

We have a question related to final account of a lump sum contract. One of the item was specified to be from one specific manufacturer in Tender documents. Because of various reasons including geographical differences, the prices was not available from this manufacturer to that item within tender submission date.The contractor made their own judgment and priced the item.
While the project commenced, the price quoted by this agency was very high and as contractor could not afford it; they have gone for alternate products with clients approval. The system installed function to the satisfactory levels as well.
However while preparing the final account due to contractor, the QS of employer is claiming that as this particular item is deviated from specified manufacturer; they have the right to deduct money from the contract.
1) Is this claim is contractually correct as they have not given any notification of negative variation while approving the alternate product?
2)How the Employer QS will evaluate the deduction amount contractually?


Joe on March 29, 2016 at 11:13 am.

Dear Dr Deen,

I didn’t see my question posted, apologies if you have answered it already.

Lump Sum Contract. The Contract has a clear start and completion date, therefore the Contractor fixed its rates for that duration with some risk to cover a possible overrun on completion. To fix this rate, the rate with the Suppliers and or Subcontractors had to be fixed for the same duration.

My Question:
Can you claim an increase in BOQ rates if the project has been extended due to various VO’s? For clarity, more than 6 months to a year.
The Contract has been extended for so long that the Suppliers and Subcontractors cannot supply at the contract rate anymore.

The Client’s view, it is Lump Sum sort it out.
But how can you be paid on rates which is no longer realistic and clearly outside the original Contract completion date? Yes we received EOT’s and associated prolongation cost, but what about actual cost increases long after the initial completion date which can be proved? To exaggerate, what if the project is extended for another 2 years, should the Contractor still be paid on old rates?


Haris Deen on March 30, 2016 at 6:19 am.

Dear Shibu,
It is difficult to give any authoritative response without reading the whole contract and conditions under which the tender was submitted. Of course, if the delayed work, additions or variations required procurement of materials at enhanced prices the contractor might be entitled for the increase in prices,


Stephen on March 30, 2016 at 3:40 pm.

Dear Dr Dean,
We priced for 2 containers to be on site throughout the project in our prelims, which was our train of thought at the time. However since winning the contract and almost finishing the project we only used 1 container (for storage). Can the main contractor deduct 1 container in there valuation against us? (Lump Sum Contract). I would appreciate your expertise in this matter.


Sheraz on April 12, 2016 at 7:49 am.

Dear Mr. Deen,

Can Employer be entitled to deduction in ‘Preliminaries/General Requirements’ on account of negative variations to a Lump Sum Contract? Some of the deleted/omitted works pertain to items which were included as provisional in the Contract.
Thanks in Advance,


Dr. Haris Deen on April 12, 2016 at 10:08 am.

Dear Sheraz,
Thank you for your query.
Even in Lump Sum Contracts, omissions and deductions can take place. The contract provides for dealing with such omissions or deductions. Similarly additions can take place. If there is a negative variation and that affects the construction period, then all time related charges can be adjusted. Any monies provided for Performance Bond, and Insurances will not be affected and cannot be touched. However if there is no change to the completion period resulting from the negative variation then it is not reasonable to apply reductions in the preliminaries.


Col on April 12, 2016 at 4:58 pm.

Thanking you in Advance- Qatar GCOC- Fixed Price Lump Sum Contract- If during Tender stage an element of work was removed 100% from Drawings and Specifications (Revised Documents issued), however the BOQ was never amended, and the Contractor priced the item, can the Contractor claim the monies against the item in the BoQ? The point being- his price is Lump Sum QRX, he is carrying out the defined scope for QRX, the works will never be instructed as they are not in the Scope (Drawings or Spec.- All agree to this). The Contractor is fulfilling his obligation, and requesting full payment for QRX. The BOQ is being used for payment purposes and variations. The Engineer cannot remove the item via a Site Instruction, as he has no scope to refer too.


Dr. Haris Deen on April 12, 2016 at 8:16 pm.

Dear Colin,
Thank you for your query. There are several questions that the Employer’s consultant might raise. 1. The Contractor knew that the item in question will not be executed (this might have been informed through a tender circular during tender stage), therefore why did he price it. 2. They can insist that if the item is not carried out then they would want the money.
Having said this I must reiterate that if nothing had happened then the contractor can insist on payment for all the items in the BOQ irrespective of the BOQ being incorrect. The contractor cannot claim for work that he knew he was not going to execute and knowing full well that the item will not be executed he took the risk and priced it. Sorry to have to give you bad news.


Stephen Matthews on April 28, 2016 at 1:43 pm.

We priced for 2 containers to be on site throughout the project in our prelims, which was our train of thought at the time. However since winning the contract and almost finishing the project we only used 1 container (for storage). Can the main contractor deduct 1 container in there valuation against us? (Lump Sum Contract). I would appreciate your expertise in this matter.


Dr. Haris Deen on May 14, 2016 at 12:18 pm.

Dear Stephen,
As long as the Contractor has completed the contract obligations how many containers were brought in does not matter. It is not the containers that matter because the containers are not for installation, as long as all that is required for installation or execution has been done the contract is complete and must be paid for fully.


Mohan Rajagopal on May 9, 2016 at 10:31 am.

Dear Dr. Deen,

I am a Quantity surveyor working in a Civil contract company. I request your kind help to advise on one of our on going Lump sum project of a Desalination plant with many small buildings for operation and control purposes. The EPC contractor issued ‘IFC’ drawings where there have been a lot of changes from the tender drawings (like thickness of concrete slab increase, size increase, rebar changes etc.). During execution, the EPC side Quantity surveyor told that, I can submit the variation once each building construction is complete, so that we can avoid confusion in re-measurements as there were repeated changes in the drawings. I did so and he certified for payments so far (most of the changes are BoQ item related variations). But finally nearing the end of the project the EPC contractor’s project director, denies all the variations as I did not submit or notify within 14 days as mentioned in the contract agreement/FIDIC conditions of contract.

They highlights the cluase number 20.1 (Claims, disputes & Arbitration) and not paying our variations as we did not notify within 14 days for the variations. But my variation does not consist any extension of time or additional preliminaries requirement.

Other clause is also in the agreement, that is clause number 13.1 (Variations & adjustments) where the notification period has not been mentioned anywhere.

Please can you advise I am entitled to get the variation.

Thanks & Regards,


Dr. Haris Deen on May 14, 2016 at 12:13 pm.

Dear Mohan,
There are no time limitations stated in any sub-clauses under clause 13. Variations and adjustments are not time related. Clause 13.1 states “Variations may be initiated by the Engineer at any time prior to issuing the Taking-Over Certificate for the Works either by an instruction or by a request for the Contractor to submit a proposal”. There are no time limitations stated therein. The QS for the Employer has correctly identified the Variations and according to you has included payment for them in payment certificate. For him to do so there must have been VO’s issued. By reference to Clause 20.1 the Engineer has created a dispute on the payments made and expects the Contractor to claim for these variations. This procedure is time related.


Mohan Rajagopal on May 15, 2016 at 9:26 am.

Thanks a lot for your reply Doctor Deen



Maurice on May 14, 2016 at 10:30 am.

In EPC lump sum contract what happens when a contractor did not provide units rates and only give totals in the BOQ during evaluation?


Dr. Haris Deen on May 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm.

Dear Maurice,
With the brief information you have given it is not possible to give any authoritative reply. If the contract is based on FIDIC Clause 14.1 (d) requires the contractor to submit to the Engineer within 28 days after the commencement date a proposed breakdown of each lump sum price.


Maurice on May 14, 2016 at 12:48 pm.

Yes it is FIDIC contract. we are in course of evaluation of received bids. The tender documents has provided technical specifications,drawings and BOQ.then one bidder for many items in the BOQ he provided only total cost without indicating or quoting units rates and prices for such a number of items. can that firm be rejected basing on 14 of ITB. please advise!


Maurice on May 17, 2016 at 9:02 pm.

what are the components of local preference under FIDIC contract. can goods manufactured from a region member countries under a specigic economic intrgration? or it only stand for goods manufactured within the client/borrower country!


Dr. Haris Deen on July 15, 2016 at 11:22 am.

Dear Maurice,
FIDIC per se does not require any preference, but what does the Particular Conditions or the Specification call for? If either of these documents stated a preference, the Contractor will be required to comply.


Ahmad Bilal Mohamad Saeed on May 18, 2016 at 7:00 am.

Dear Dr. Haris,

My friend has a design build contract of road. The Bill of Quantity (BoQ) includes some items that were not quantified and the company has not priced them.
The company has prepared the design and now the quantity of items is known to him. Can he claim for amendment of the contract on items that were not quantified and priced in the BoQ of the contract.
He executed those items plus the items had price in the BoQ. Is he entitled to receive his payments against those items he has executed but were not rated in the BoQ.


Dr. Haris Deen on July 15, 2016 at 11:18 am.

Dear Bilal,
The Contractor is entitled to payment for all work he has executed. This is the Hadley v Baxendale principle. However, it depends on what the Contract states. However, if there was an item in the Contract BOQ which has to be priced and the Contractor has failed to price it he is required nevertheless to execute the work without payment because he chose to do so.


John McClean on July 15, 2016 at 7:25 am.

It would appear someone has copied your material.


Dr. Haris Deen on July 15, 2016 at 11:13 am.

Dear John,
Thank you for alerting me.


Wen Ting on July 20, 2016 at 7:15 am.

Dear Dr. Harris Deen,

I would like to ask pertaining to omission of of an item from Lump Sump Contract.

Im a QS of NSC Subcontractor. Architect issued an Instruction to omit an item in our scope of work.

Omission of item 2a: Supply and Installation of Railing

In our contract item priced breakdown shown item 2a is amounting $500k. In the contract there is a Schedule of Rate. The consultant assessment of the omission is: 5000m ( qty measured from contract drawing) x $250 (schedule of rate) = $1.25 million with the reason all variation order has to be based on Schedule of rate.

So the consultant is omitting me more than what I have priced in the contract for this particular item which is $1.25mill vs $500k.

My argument here is that, in the price breakdown has clearly show item 2a: Supply and Installation of Glass Railing amounting $500k, and therefore the consultant should omit $500k rather than $1.25million.


Dr. Haris Deen on January 10, 2017 at 1:04 pm.

Dear Wen Ting,
Sorry for the delay in replying to your query.
The Consultant is incorrect. He cannot take out more than what is included in the contract. What reason can he give for taking out something which is not in the Contract Price. You must fight it? Ask the Consultant to explain from where in the contract price that he is deducting this amount?


Zyman on August 22, 2016 at 3:56 pm.

Dear Dr. Haris Deen,
We have contract that is lump sum and after signing the contract we made value engineering and reduced weight of the steel structure. Now client wants to deduct difference from our payment. We are not agree as contract is lump sum and no re-mesarument is applicable. Can you please advice if our positions is right?


Dr. Haris Deen on August 22, 2016 at 5:17 pm.

Dear Zyman,
It depends on the contract that the contractor has signed. Usually, when a Value Engineering exercise takes place after the contract is signed the saving is shared between the contractor and the employer irrespective of it being a lump sum contract.


Zyman on August 23, 2016 at 10:44 am.

Thank you for promt response. For some works like excavation actual quantity were twice more than the one shown in boq. We were not paid because of lump sum contract. Can we compensate our loss with saving from this item?


Arnenc on October 30, 2016 at 2:17 pm.

I’m a QS and we are subcontracting a portion of EPC under the Main Contractor. Construction progress is now in 85%. Our contract, although is a Lumpsum, has a priced BOQ as forming part of the Subcontract Agreement. Now there are items tagged in the BOQ as “Optional Items” in which the Main Contractor has recently decided to take out from our scope. By the way, the amount of these optional items has been part of the Lumpsum Value initially awarded to us. Although its only less than 10% of the total contract value I felt bothered coz it cuts our expected final value. I went over the Subcontract pages but there is nowhere to find any clause or condition on how to deal or administer the said Optional Items in case the Main Contractor will decide to take them out. What I see in the contract are clauses for Provisional Sums which I feel cannot help me with my problems. Can you please advise me if the descoping of these BOQ items can be treated as negative variation? Can I also claim some damages relating to the omission of the works?
Another confusion is that the value of the said optional items in the BOQ is higher than that of the drawings after my evaluation. Which amount should be considered as the negative VO amount?


Dr. Haris Deen on October 31, 2016 at 4:41 am.

To give you an authoritative answer, I need to know the details of the Conditions of Contract between the sub-contractor and the contractor.


Mark aylwin on October 31, 2016 at 11:06 pm.

Dear Sir’s

As a small contractor we have undertaken a refurbishment project acting as main contractor with a JCT contract on place with the principle contractor who is appointed by the contract administrator , we are on a “lump sum” basis , I have an issue with one item (light fittings) We were given the type required and we issued a price for these lights (drasticly undervalued by mistake) however the CA has changed the light fitting types completely from those specified in the original tender docs, the costs have increased from 5k (in our tender) to 37k , I have asked for a variation , however he has stated that it should be a simple add and omit as the fittings in the original price should have been priced correctly,

Where do I stand with this? Can I ask for a variation or is it my own fault?


Dr. Haris Deen on November 1, 2016 at 7:49 am.

Dear Mark,
Thank you for your query,
Most contractors and sub-contractors suffer from mistakes not only made by quantity surveyors during measurement for BOQ but also from estimating mistakes made during pricing. Irrespective of the Form or Conditions of Contract used, the correct practice in a case as yours is to delete the entire value of the light fittings (keeping the quantity same as in the BOQ) and add back the varied type of light fittings as a variation with an agreed new price if the BOQ price for the deleted light fitting is not appropriate for the new type. If the price is higher, it will be the higher price and if the price is lower it will consequently be lower. The fact that you have incorrectly priced the BOQ for the described light fitting does not matter.


Yoshigo on November 18, 2016 at 10:52 pm.

Dear Dr,

I am a quantity surveying student with some question regarding the variation orders under Fidic lump sum contract.

Scenario 1:
For example Item A was signed in contract with 100m2 x 10$ = 1000$. Infact, the quantity based on tender drawing shall be 200m2 x 10$ = 2000$.

During construction stage this item involve a VO, and the new quantity based on revised drawing shall be 150m2 x 10$ = 1500$.

In this case as a General contractor’s QS, shall we omit 1000$ (contract amount) + 1500$ = overall addition of 500$ or must we omit based on drawing basis. -2000$ + 1500$ = -500$

Scenario 2
What if there is a miss!ing item in BOQ which seemed to include under drawing and spec involve a total omission in later Variation Order. Shall the contractor omit whatever he missed up or shall him remain no any cost deduction as this item is excluded in BOQ??

Your kind response is very much appreciated.



Dr. Haris Deen on January 9, 2017 at 3:43 pm.

Dear Yoshigo,
In reply to your query, I respond as follows:
1. Scenario 1. You can omit only what is contained in the Contract ie 200m2 @ 10$ = 2000$ and not any re-measured quantity and value. If the VO issued during construction stage involves a change to the specified material for the works or a different method of execution then the value to be added shall be the exact new quantity 150 m2 at a new rate.

2. Scenario 2 – If there is a missing item in the BOQ which is indispensably necessary for the proper functioning of the works this is included in the Lump Sum price. – Read my article on Lump Sum contracta


Yoshigo on November 18, 2016 at 10:55 pm.

Dear Dr,

I am a quantity surveying student with some question regarding the variation orders under Fidic lump sum contract.

Scenario 1:
For example Item A was signed in contract with 100m2 x 10$ = 1000$. Infact, the quantity based on tender drawing shall be 200m2 x 10$ = 2000$.

During construction stage this item involve a VO, and the new quantity based on revised drawing shall be 150m2 x 10$ = 1500$.

In this case as a General contractor’s QS, shall we omit 1000$ (contract amount) + 1500$ = overall addition of 500$ or must we omit based on drawing basis. -2000$ + 1500$ = -500$

Scenario 2
What if there is a miss!ing item in BOQ which deemed to include under drawing and spec involve a total omission in later Variation Order. Shall the contractor omit whatever he missed up or shall him remain no any cost deduction as this item is excluded in BOQ??

Your kind response is very much appreciated.



M. Sharaf on December 4, 2016 at 9:46 am.

Dear Dr. Haris,
I have a public work Contract Form (KSA), the Contract Form was modified to be a Lump Sum. The BOQ is part of the Contract Documents, however, the quantities as per the Contract Conditions shall not be subject to re-measure. The Specifications and Drawings have precedence over the BOQ.
The quantities are not accurate, there are many Variations made by the Designer and the Employer. One of these changes was concerning a change of the utilities lengths due to change in the facilities locations. There is a big difference in quantities between the BOQ and the drawings. My understanding to your point of view as per your statement in the subject and your confirmation via the discussions above, that I have to consider the BOQ quantities as the BOQ is being part of the Contract documents.
However, the actual quantities which the Contractor assumed to perform are that ones shown on the drawings not in the BOQ. in addition to the precedence of the documents, the drawings is prevailing the BOQ. However, the rule is under variation, we have to measure the new quantities versus the omitted quantities, this means to measure the omitted quantities from the Drawings not those measured and listed in the BOQ. If we consider the BOQ quantities, then we overlook all these facts.
Please, advise.


Dr. Haris Deen on January 9, 2017 at 3:35 pm.

Dear Sharaf,
First of all my apologies for the delay in replying. My response to your question is as follows:
1. In a Lump Sum Contact the contractor prices for the scope shown on the drawings and described in the specifications. What is indicated in the BOQ is irrelevant. The quantities or the items as long as the Employer/Designer does not change the drawings/designs or the speficiation.

2. In your case the Employer/Designer has made several variations (as stated by you). In this case the variations should be priced for and paid. If the variation is related to a BOQ item – The item must be deleted as a whole with the quantities shown in the BOQ irrespective of whether the quantity originally included is right or wrong.

3. If the Contractor is executing work originally shown on the drawings – that is his scope of work and he will have to execute all the works for the lump sum price as long as there are no changes.

4. You mention a “rule” that you have to remeasure and deduct the quantity so re-measured. This is incorrect, because in the first place you are introducing an element of re-measure to a lump sum contract and secondly, you will be remeasuring something that you had not priced for in your tender.
You can only deduct what is in the tender and add back the value of the new work after calculating.


M.Sharaf on January 10, 2017 at 10:21 am.

Thank you Mr Haris for your reply.
In your reply under item no. (2), if I delete the entire item from the BOQ, this means that I will consider its quantity by deleting it’s total price and not the scoped quantity shown on the tender drawing.

By other way and under item (4),do you mean by ”deduct what is in the tender” the quantity listed in the tender BOQ or the quantity shown on the tender drawing?

Thanks a lot


Dr. Haris Deen on January 10, 2017 at 12:59 pm.

Dear Sharaf,
Please read my article on Lump Sum Contracts in this blog. However, for the sake of explaining, I would like to provide the following interpretation:
1. LUMP SUM contracts are based on the principle that the Contractor will execute all the works indispensably necessary for the works to be fit for purpose, irrespective of whether such requirements are shown on the drawings, specified in the specifications or described and measured in the BOQ. For example, if the contractor is building a house for a client and the architect has not indicated the flooring in his drawings and such is also not included in the BOQ. Then under a Lump Sum Contract the contractor will have to provide the flooring within his lump sum contract. (Williams v Fitzgerald). The Contractor cannot claim that the Flooring was not shown in the drawings and BOQ and was not priced. However, in a case like this the Client cannot demand a high quality flooring, the Contractor will be required to provide a basic flooring, in line with the client’s status.

2. When a contractor prices a tender for a lump sum contract he is expected to check the BOQ (if one is provided) to ensure that the quantities are reasonably within the range and all items are included. If there are discrepancies he will either bring such discrepancies to the notice of the Clinet or Consultant and make appropriate adjustments in his prices to cater for the differences. The works will not be re-measured in a Lump Sum Contract.

3. If during the execution of the works there is a change – a variation to one item instructed then the item in the BOQ that is subject to change must be deleted in whole – NOT ANY MEASURED QUANTITY FROM THE DRAWINGS. The contractor’s scope is the price for the works in the BOQ and not its quantity.
For example, if there is 1000 m2 of concrete flooring in the BOQ priced at 100 SAR per m2 = 100000 SAR, while the actual quantity measured from the tender drawings is 1500m2 – the contractor will be required to execute the 1500 m2 for SAR 100000 and he will not get anything more.
If the Clent decides to change the concrete flooring to any other type of flooring, you will deduct only 1000 m2 of concrete flooring which you have priced for and add back the new quantity 1500 m2 in the Variation Order.

Hope this explains


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Dr. Haris Deen on January 9, 2017 at 3:10 pm.

Thank you Benyl, Keep referring to this blog and also invite your friends to do so. It might then get some response from Google


rizwan on January 11, 2017 at 9:46 am.

Dear Sir,
Assalam alikum w. r. b,

Currently we are working on factory building and require steel structure to be fire proof painted for all steel structure which is PEB steel structure from kirby.
Earlier at the time of tender there is no specific specification was proof paint was measured as ltem for the whole factory steel structure.
In tender circular question is asked ”
Q:as per boq ref (x) item y, 2 hours fire protection paint for PEB Steel should be applied please clarify the required type shall be intumescent or cementitious.

Ans : Intumescent.

Q: Do we required to apply the fireproofing on decking of mezazanine and on purlin of roof since the thickness less than 1.2mm.

Ans: Only on purlins.

c) Kindly provide the specification for structural steel fire proofing?
Ans: Please see response as per answer a).

Q: As per Boq Ref X the purlins and decking are required to be fire proofed. please note that the cold formed z purlins could not be fire proofed for 2 hours kindly clarify.

Ans. Please see our response elesewhere as per Q a)Answer.

Hence we have applied the paint to whole steel structure except purlin.

Now consultant is requesting for a cost saving for the fire proof paint on purlin.

dose consultant has the right to make omission of purlin fire proofing paint.
if so base on what basis it will be omited as item was lum sum in the contract.

My point is that z purlin is not a PEB steel, in question a) asked for PEB steel only to be painted as intumescent paint. and as per q: d). it cannot be fire proof but consultant reply to follow as ans a).

Can you advise in this case can consultant omit the fire proof paint or not if he can omit on what basis deductions can be made.

I will appreciate your immediate response.

Best regards


Dr. Haris Deen on January 11, 2017 at 11:39 am.

Dear Rizwan,
Wa Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmathullahi wa Barakatuh.
Thank you for your email.
1. According to answer (b) to tender query, the Contractor has to price for painting the purlins with intumascent paint.
2. All Structural Steel Fire Proofing is 2 hour intumascent paint. (answer (a))
3. At tender stage, the Consultant insisted that the purlins must be fire proofed – referring to answer (a) in your Query (d)
4. Therefore, during pricing the tender you had no alternative but to price for the painting of the purlins with intumascent paint irrespective of whether it was required or not. This is a tender requirement and if you had not priced it you will be submitting a non-conforming tender.
5. Now the Consultant is asking to deduct the item for painting because you had not done it. He is assuming that the price of painting is included in the tender because, they told you that they want the painting to the purlins. Therefore you will either have to paint the purlins or give credit to the Client. The fact that the purlins does not require fire proofing does not matter. What matters is whether the price for painting is included in the tender or not. Even under a Lump Sum Contract you cannot get paid for work included in the contract and not executed. To do so will amount to unjust enrichment.


Ahmed Shehadeh on January 15, 2017 at 10:38 am.

I would like to share with you that we have a case in my project in Saudi, where we entered with lump sum contract with our client, who stated in the contract that the BoQ include approximate qty’s that don’t reflect the actual quantities that the Contractor will carry out in reality. In fact, we have started the works, and noticed that the Actual Quantities of Reinforcement Steel is more than Quantities in the BoQ by more than 10 M Kg which represents 25% of BoQ quantities. 

Having said all the above, we proceeded in the submission of our request for Compensation for such huge gap in the quantities, via which we urged the Engineer to fairly consider our claim, especially by knowing that no provisions in the contract outline the allowable limit of the increase/decrease in the qty’s that give the Contractor express entitlement to claim in case of such noticeable increase in the qty’s.  

The Engineer has rejected our claim, by stating that the Contractor is reminded : 

1. This contract is lump sum, where the qty’s in the BoQ are ‘ approximate ‘.  

2. The Contractor has given enough time during the Tendering stage to review and report any discrepancy that he might find. No such report has ever been received from the Contractor regarding this misrepresentation of the qty’s. 

Therefore, can you please advise your feedback on the above. I trust that you will not hesitate to provide me with the best answers.

Do you have any book or material that can help me to pursue this matter from Sharia point of view!  Sharia requests that the fairness should be the core of any agreement, and prevent that one party to be damaged due to the negligence of the counterparty. 


Vladimir on January 15, 2017 at 11:15 am.

Dear Dr. Haris Deen,

I would appreciate a lot your help on Provisional Sum evaluation in Lump Sum in the following case.

The Design and Build Contract for construction of 20 storey building was awarded on a Lump Sum bases with Provisional Sum for additional 5 Floors (subject to permit approval).

When 5 Floor’s were instructed, in addition to cost for 5 floors design and construction the Contractor put forward a claim for redesign of the 20 storey structure to accommodate 5 floors, increased foundations required to support 5 floors, extra piles, additional preliminaries.

5 Floor was Provisional Sum, which was instructed.

Does Contractor has a right to Claim for modification of 20 storey original structure and other associated costs?

If these 5 floor would not be instructed…would Employer had entitlement to look for saving?

Kind Regards


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