The final published version of the Code of Practice does in its content include a number of new additions from previous drafts. In respect to the notice of Intention to refer, the code now places a direct requirement on the party that they must attach a copy of a written construct contract should same exit. The inclusion of the “must” in the requirement would imply non-compliance and therefore a defunct Notice should this not be complied with.
The new code also includes a new section (6) which is aimed at outlining the responsibilities of the prospective Adjudicator to the parties to a payment dispute. In particular there is the inclusion of the requirement under section 6(ii), that an Adjudicator should only accept an appointment if they believe they are competent to determine the issues in dispute. Does this add a new dimension to the question over the definition of competency of say an Architect taking on a payment dispute centred around measurement or a Surveyor taking on a dispute centred on quality?
The code has for the first time includes, under section 8, a note in respect to the possibility of inclusion within the construction contract of a named person to perform the role of Adjudicator should the need arise under the Contract. This addition would appear to go towards assisting the parties in the maintaining control and agreement over the appointment of their own Adjudicator within the five day window allowed by the Act. The code also allows under section 9 and 10, for a further breakdown in a process of agreement of the Adjudicator within the five day window.
In addition to the general control of the Adjudication process, the code has also included under section 12, and further at section 42, that an Adjudicator, no matter how appointed, must notify the Construction Contracts Adjudication Service and supply them with some information both at the outset of appointment and on completion for the purpose of compiling statistical information relating to the Act.
The revised code has, correctly, under section 24, extended the list of information that should be provided under cover of the Notice of Referral from the previous draft. The need to include the contentions on which the Referring Party intends to rely upon will be a necessary addition in order to allow for a fair and reasonable response from the Responding party on the issues raised.
The full version of the published Code of Practice for Adjudications in Ireland is available on the Departments website here. https://www.djei.ie/en/Publications/Code-of-Practice-on-the-Conduct-of-Adjudications.html
Keith Kelliher is an Accredited Adjudicator, who has completed the Diploma in Adjudication in University College Dublin, specifically on the Construction Contracts Act 2013, and has represented Main Contractors and Sub-Contractors in payment disputes for over 15 years in the Irish construction industry. Contact Keith at email@example.com for any assistance with the requirements of the ACT.