AN INVESTIGATION ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FORMS OF CONTRACT AND METHODS OF EVALUATION OF PROLONGATION CLAIMS IN KENYA’S CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY: A STUDY OF LARGE-SCALE CONTRACTORS IN NAIROBI

ABSTRACT
Time is a very key element in construction projects. However, many projects still encounter delays to completion. This has resulted in claims and disputes, which negatively impact on the project development. Key among these claims are the prolongation claims by contractors, resulting from extension of time. These claims are difficult to prepare, both conceptually and practically as they require an elaborate documentation as supportive evidence. Moreover, even though the standard forms of contract recognize the likelihood of delays occurring, they do not expressly give the principles of how such delays and the associated costs therefrom are to be calculated. They are also not specific on the standard delay analysis techniques to be employed in assessing and granting extension of time and prolongation claims.
The objectives of this study were therefore to identify the causes of delays to completion of construction projects, to find out the challenges faced by contractors in preparing prolongation claims and to establish the delay analysis techniques employed by contract administrators in assessing and granting prolongation claims.
The study hypothesis was that there is no significant relationship between the standard form of contract and the delay analysis technique employed.
The study adopted a descriptive approach. Both primary and secondary sources of information were used. The questionnaire was used as the main tool for primary data collection. To meet the objectives of the study, two sets of questionnaires were administered: one to large-scale contractors and the other to contract administrators (in this case architects). A total of 44 respondents took part in this study, 23 large scale contractors and 21 architects. The respondents were arrived at using the systematic random sampling technique. Data analysis was done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel, and presented using pie charts, bar graphs and tables.
The study found out that the major causes of delay to completion of construction projects include variations, late issuance of drawings, delayed statutory approvals, inclement weather, underestimation of project time and co-ordination problems with sub-contractors.
Contractors identified the main challenges they faced in preparing prolongation claims as lack of adequate records, lack of focus on the delay event that may necessitate an extension of time, too
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many details required, poor record keeping, difficulty in ascertaining the overall delay, lengthy process of preparing the claims, inadequate knowledge on the procedure of preparing prolongation claims, inability to identify the full extent of the delay at the beginning of the delay event and inexperience of the staff on site.
The study revealed that contract administrators use four main delay analysis techniques in assessing and granting prolongation claims. These include the As Planned versus As Built program, the Time Impact Analysis (TIA) technique, the Collapsed As Built (CAB) technique and the Impacted As Planned (IAP) technique. The type of technique employed majorly depends on the standard form of contract used.

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