ACESL calls for use of standing dispute boards in large projects

Monday, 29 July 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  •  Focuses to avoid disputes and implement a Construction Adjudication Act for Sri Lanka
The Association of Consulting Engineers Sri Lanka (ACESL) conducted a two day workshop on management of claims, dispute resolution, dispute boards and adjudication under the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) for the construction industry recently at the Cinnamon Grand hotel. The program was supported by the Asian Development Bank through the ADB-AusAID South Asia Development Partnership Facility and was conducted by FIDIC Accredited Trainer Engineer Zoltan Zohanyi. ACESL is the Sri Lanka member association of FIDIC. The Chief Guest for the opening of the workshop was Rita O’Sullivan, Country Director, Asian Development Bank. Among other distinguished invitees were Seiji Noda, Senior Infrastructure Specialist – ADB, Harsha Fernando, Consultant Governance – ADB and Ranjith Gunatillake, Managing Director – Sanken Construction. “The management of variations, adjustments, claims, processing of claims, dispute boards and various other matters to do with contracts have become all the more important due to the large number of  infrastructural projects being carried out in Sri Lanka. At this workshop, we looked at ways of dispute avoidance, to help prevent problems and prevent claims escalating to disputes,” said Malith Mendis, President of the Association of Consulting Engineers Sri Lanka (ACESL). “The objective of the program was to share knowledge with regards to dispute boards, dispute avoidance and alternative dispute resolution procedures amongst the construction community. This was because ACESL is of the opinion that dispute boards are misunderstood in Sri Lanka.” Mendis further stated: “Dispute boards are now practiced in projects worldwide and ACESL promotes standing dispute boards rather than ad-hoc dispute boards. Standing boards have the capacity to know a project well from its inception, and plays a role in dispute avoidance, prevent problems becoming disputes and prevent hostilities amongst parties to a contract.” ACESL, as the member association of FIDIC, strives to impart professionalism and best practices in the profession. ACESL has a list of FIDIC trained adjudicators to provide dispute avoidance and resolution services. ACESL also promotes the enactment of a Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act in Sri Lanka to facilitate resolution problematic payment scenario currently suffered by the construction industry and to give adjudication legal teeth. Mendis thanked the Asian Development Bank and the sponsors – Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau, Sanken Construction, Sierra Construction, Consulting Engineers and Architects and SR Steel, for the support extended to this program. Mendis also said: “We had a high demand for this workshop and we have been turning down those who wanted to participate due to all spaces taken up. We hope to repeat this program in 2014 as we have had a lot of interest from implementing agencies, contractors and consultants. Today, we have participants from right across the industry emphasising the importance of these subjects.” Participants included Government and donor agencies, engineers, project managers, architects, quantity surveyors, attorneys-at-law, claims managers, consultants, contractors and developers.